Taylor answers critics

In high school, Taylor Jacobs heard whispers from some in the community who wondered if he was only playing because his dad was the coach. He proved them wrong, earning a scholarship to Florida.

Now he's hearing whispers again. This time from scouts who say he lacked confidence, one reason he slipped to 44.

''The Miami game hurt him,'' said Pro Football Weekly's personnel expert Nolan Nawrocki. ''He was bracing for the catch and looked intimidated according to some scouts. He's a good player, but he has that mentality that he has to gain some confidence. That's what held him back. He was drafted where he should have been.''

But Jacobs said he doesn't lack confidence. Some of that probably stemmed from a quote by Jacobs, when he said he had to increase his confidence to become the go-to guy or to think he was the absolute best receiver.

''That's not an issue,'' Jacobs said. ''I heard that, but it's not a problem at all. I figure if they knew better, then they'd do better. So it's not true.''

Jacobs was the 18th rated player on Washington's board, making him a no-brainer selection in the Redskins' mind.

''We think he's suited for any system, not just this one,'' Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said.

Spurrier liked him out of high school as well. Spurrier was looking at a defensive lineman who was a teammate of Jacobs at Florida A&M High School. Florida's receivers coach Dwayne Dixon already had rejected Jacobs as a possible recruit.

But Florida's recruiting coordinator Bob Sanders told Spurrier he had to watch Jacobs. So he watched him run track, watched some film and offered him a deal--in the same day.

''We watched him catch and run and said, 'This isn't hard, we need to offer this guy a scholarship,' '' Spurrier said.

. . .The Redskins say Brad Banks will only play quarterback. He's too slow (4.73 in the 40) to be considered as a receiver or returner.

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