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Taylor Makes Debut At Wide Receiver

Posted Sep 11, 2005

GameDay surprise: The Redskins used Sean Taylor at WR in red zone situations on Sunday. Full Story

All summer long, the Redskins were faced with questions about the height of their wide receivers. It turns out they had a 6-2, 232-pound receiver in their midst all along.

The Redskins unveiled a new offensive look on Sunday: safety Sean Taylor came in the game at wide receiver in two red zone situations. Taylor did not catch a pass in the game, instead serving as a decoy for a pair of short passes to Chris Cooley.

"Down in the red area, what Sean can do is give you an added punch down there," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "He has a huge wingspan. He can play receiver or running back and he has fantastic hands.

"Any expanded role for Sean as far as receiving may be something we continue to work with."

When Taylor first entered the game on offense, there was a noticeable buzz in the capacity crowd at FedExField. It was early in the second quarter.

On his first offensive play, Taylor lined up wide left. He ran five yards, then cut across in the end zone. Quarterback Patrick Ramsey appeared to look his way, but instead found H-back Cooley underneath for an apparent touchdown. Cooley was called for offensive pass interference and the play was called back.

Taylor also came in the game at wide receiver on a 3rd down play at the Bears’ 3-yard line. Again he was used as a decoy, as Mark Brunell found Cooley underneath the coverage. Cooley was stopped short of the goal and the Redskins had to settle for a field goal.

In retrospect, it’s not surprising that coaches would consider using Taylor on the offensive side of the ball.

At Gulliver Prep in Miami, Taylor played on both sides of the ball, serving as a running back on offense and a defensive back and linebacker on defense. He rushed for 1,300 yards and a state-record 44 touchdowns in 2000, his senior season.

Taylor accounted for three touchdowns, including two receiving, in leading Gulliver to the Florida Class 2A State Championship.

It’s not the first time that the Redskins have experimented with using a defensive back on offense. From 1999-2003, the Redskins occasionally used cornerback Champ Bailey as a receiver.

In 2000, Bailey lined up at wide receiver in several games, including starting once, and caught three passes for 78 yards. He also lined up once at running back and rushed for a 7-yard touchdown. But Bailey’s value on defense was too great and coaches were concerned that playing him on both sides of the ball would risk him to injury.

Also in 2000, cornerback Deion Sanders played wide receiver for several snaps, but did not record a reception.

 

 

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