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Taylor Continues NFL Adjustment

Posted Sep 27, 2004

Sean Taylor was asked earlier this week if he expected the New York Giants to be an angry team after their 31-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

"Wouldn’t everybody be?" he replied.

More than anything else, that answer reveals the intensity inside the Redskins’ rookie safety, a first-round draft choice. Throughout preseason, Taylor energized the defense as he recorded 10 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Last Sunday, Taylor played about 20-25 plays, according to assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams. His workload this Sunday will depend on which offensive sets the Giants employ during the game.

"Sean is in a ton of packages," Williams said. "How many packages he plays in will be how many packages we can match him up in, as we have our matchups designed right now. We are looking for him to continue to make the plays that he made all preseason. When he gets the opportunity to be on the field, we want him to make plays."

Taylor said he always wants to be on the field, but he recognizes that the defense’s personnel is set up to match up with the offense.

"Every player would like to play when they want to play and how they want to play, but the system’s not set up like that," Taylor said. "We’re coming off a great team effort against Tampa Bay and I’m coming off the bench to help the team the best way I can."

Taylor was the fifth overall pick out of last April’s draft. At 6-3 and 230 pounds, his combination of size and speed makes him unique for the safety position. He possesses the ability to cover like a cornerback and hit like a linebacker. Last year at the University of Miami, he recorded 77 tackles, 10 interceptions and a sack.

For now, coaches are taking it slow with Taylor.

"Sean has been a very good student," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "This is a first-year deal. He made a ton of great plays in the preseason and I think he’s going to make a ton of them in the regular season. We are increasing what he’s doing. We have some real good players out there and it’s a matter of how to mix and match and get the most out of him."

As Taylor learns the complexities of Williams’ regular season defense, he is already making an impression on special teams. Williams cited Taylor as a standout on kickoff coverage units.

"Our kickoff coverage was not very good, but Sean was special," Williams said. "He did very well on that particular unit on special teams. That’s what young guys have to do. They have to show up and play well on the packages that they play."



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