- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2001

WESTMINSTER, Md. Just wearing a Super Bowl ring makes what would have otherwise been a disappointing season a successful one for Travis Taylor.
That's how Taylor, the Baltimore Ravens' immensely talented second-year wide receiver, viewed his first season in the NFL.
Taylor missed the second half of the season with a broken left clavicle and sat out of the Ravens' playoff run, including January's Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla.
"It wasn't a disappointing season. We won the Super Bowl," Taylor said. "I'm happy, I'm hungry and glad to be back. I could have played in the Super Bowl, oh yeah."
It's been more than 10 months since Taylor last suited up for the Ravens. Before he got injured Oct. 29 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at PSINet Stadium, Taylor was the Ravens' third-leading receiver with 28 receptions for 276 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor also accounted for 18 first downs, 11 of which came on third down.
The Ravens drafted Taylor out of Florida with the 10th pick overall in the 2000 NFL Draft. At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, Taylor is the biggest of the Ravens' receivers.
"When you are the 10th pick in the draft, you better [be athletic]," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "What he doesn't have is that experience having played in the playoffs and the Super Bowl that some of those other guys did. So he's going to have to make up for that."
At this point, Taylor is the Ravens' third wide receiver behind Qadry Ismail and Brandon Stokley. And for the time being, Taylor is content with his role.
"I missed eight or nine months of football," Taylor said. "I understand what Coach Billick is doing, I need to go win my position back. I'm looking for a big breakout year. I've been working out since March down at Cris Carter's passing camp, so I'm trying to come in and do a good job."
Last season in Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, it appeared Taylor had that "breakout" in the Ravens' thrilling 39-36 come-from-behind win. Taylor set a Ravens' rookie record with two touchdown receptions against the Jaguars and totaled four catches for 80 yards in his first pro start.
"He's doing well. We're moving him around, and he's playing a lot of different positions, but he's very capable of handling it," said Ravens receivers coach and former Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. "Training camp has just begun, and everybody progresses through it and it gets better as it goes. They get a better fit with [Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac]. That's a critical thing: how the quarterback sees you and how he is giving you the ball. So you can't say this guy and that guy are the fit because they all have to jell together. Sometimes a better fit for a quarterback is a different guy even though the other guy is more talented."
A tough run-after-the-catch receiver, Taylor probably will be used a lot on third-down passing situations because of his size and ability to run for extra yards. Taylor, who left Steve Spurrier's high-powered Florida offense after his junior season, twice won bowl MVP honors in the 1999 Orange Bowl and the 2000 Citrus Bowl.
"Travis is a big receiver who is strong and can get open, especially on third-down conversions," Ravens cornerback Duane Starks said. "Once he realizes that his injury is 100 percent healed, he doesn't have to be timid about playing the game."

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