Taylor Hits It Off

During an interview with Miami defensive tackle Vince Wilfork at the scouting combine, Redskins coach Joe Gibbs asked him to talk about his teammates. Gibbs wanted a scouting report on other Hurricanes. He knew no one could deliver a better report than a teammate.

''Hey, Sean Taylor,'' Wilfork told him.

He didn't need to say anything else. The unstated words left a big impression on Gibbs. So, too, did Clinton Portis' constant lobbying for Taylor. When Gibbs told Portis that another offensive guy might leave the Redskins with one of the best offenses, Portis told him, ''We're going to be good on offense.'' In other words: get Taylor.

''That's a tribute to Sean that his teammates thought a lot about him,'' Gibbs said.

Some of his new teammates are starting to think the same way, without ever having played with him. But they've seen the tape. And they like it.

''You put him on anybody's defense and it's an automatic upgrade,'' Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington said. ''If it was poor, it's now average. If it was average, it's now good. He definitely makes a difference for this team.''

Arrington remembers being impressed with Taylor during the Orange Bowl win over Florida State. In that game, FSU running back Greg Jones won a collision with Taylor. But it's how Taylor responded that Arrington liked.

''He was punishing them the rest of the way,'' Arrington said. ''That was the biggest boost for me. That's the type of attitude you have to have. His intensity level went up that much higher. I really enjoyed that.''

Arrington also enjoyed chatting with Taylor, saying that he ''doesn't hit it off with too many people.'' But he did with Taylor.

Taylor's arrival means Matt Bowen likely will shift from free to strong safety, a spot he played in college and in the NFL until last season. Ifeanyi Ohalete likely will move to the bench.

''I can help the team more at [strong],'' Bowen said. ''That's just my natural spot.''

Gibbs also recalled watching tape of an H-back, believed to be Florida's Ben Troupe. On the game's first play he noticed a jarring hit by a safety, leaving Troupe upside down. It was Taylor.

But don't ask Taylor for his best hit.

''Every hit is special,'' he said. ''So I just hit, play ball and try to make plays.''

Which is why the Redskins drafted him, along with his versatility.

''I can be moved anywhere,'' Taylor said. ''I can go out on the slot and play one on one. I can come down and taackle. I'll do whatever's asked of me.''


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