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Taylor Eager to See Ravens' Reed

Posted Oct 6, 2004

Sean Taylor won't be on the field at the same time as Ed Reed on Sunday night, but he'll still have his eyes on Baltimore's Pro Bowl safety. Taylor counts Reed as a mentor--they were teammates at the University of
Miami in 2001. Full Story.

Redskins-Ravens Gameday Preview

Sean Taylor won’t be on the field at the same time as Ed Reed this Sunday, but he’ll still have his eyes on Baltimore’s Pro Bowl safety.

The two played together in 2001 at the University of Miami, with Taylor serving as Reed’s understudy. When Reed was drafted in 2002 by the Baltimore Ravens, Taylor took over at safety for the Hurricanes.

This Sunday, Taylor and Reed will be back on the same football field for the first time since 2001. The 1-3 Redskins take on the 2-2 Ravens in a Sunday night matchup at FedExField.

"Ed is one of those guys I’ve looked up to," Taylor said. "We came from the same school and I’ve always strived to look at him and say, ’Let me see what he did. Let me see if I can do better. What can I take from him to help my game?’

"I’ve definitely learned a lot from him. It’ll be special."

While Taylor is just beginning his NFL career, Reed has already established himself as one of the league’s premiere safeties. He has 15 career interceptions in just 37 games (including playoffs) and had two picks against Cincinnati’s quarterback Carson Palmer two weeks ago.

Taylor, the Redskins’ first-round pick (fifth overall) last April, finished his collegiate career at Miami with 14 interceptions, 188 tackles, one sack and two blocked punts in 34 games.

His 14 interceptions ranked fourth on the Hurricanes’ all-time list behind only Fred Marion, Bennie Blades and Reed. Only Reed’s 389 yards on interceptions is more than Taylor’s (306) in school history.

Taylor’s NFL career got off to a strong start in preseason, when he led the NFL in interceptions with three, including one for a score in the Hall of Fame game.

Taylor earned his first start in Week 3 against Dallas after seeing duty as a reserve the first two weeks of the season. He has recorded 15 tackles (10 solo) and two passes defensed.

On Sunday, Taylor will be more focused on Baltimore’s offense than Reed. Among the players he’ll be watching closely is running back Jamal Lewis, an explosive runner with breakaway speed. He owns the NFL’s single-game rushing record with 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns last year.

"Jamal Lewis is a real hard runner--he’ll run through tackles and get yards after contact," said Taylor, who will be counted on in both pass coverage and run support. "You have to wrap him up to stop him."

Taylor, expected to make his third NFL start this Sunday, said he can feel himself becoming more comfortable in the defensive scheme.

"It’s a progression," Taylor said. "As long as I’m taking steps in the right direction, I’ll keep on getting better. Success is something that doesn’t happen overnight.

"Coaches are emphasizing to us, ’Keep working.’ There are opportunities, but we’re just not capitalizing on them."

 

 

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