- The Washington Times - Friday, June 10, 2005

Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor has broken his long silence with coach Joe Gibbs.

In a conversation apparently initiated by his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, Taylor spoke to Gibbs on Wednesday about recently being arrested and charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

It was the first time Taylor spoke to his coach all offseason. The fifth pick overall in the 2004 draft not only had been the only Redskin boycotting the offseason workout program, he also had not been returning Gibbs’ phone calls to explain why.

Gibbs didn’t reveal much about the conversation but did say he called after Rosenhaus suggested Taylor was ready to talk. The coach added he was glad to have spoken to Taylor, who explained his side of last week’s much publicized incident.

“I think the best way for me to phrase it is, we had a good talk,” Gibbs said. “I feel good about the talk. And we’ve just got to work our way through this.”

Taylor is scheduled to be arraigned June 24 for a June 1 incident in which police say he pulled a gun on two people he believed stole his ATVs. Taylor reportedly then physically assaulted one of the victims while an associate wielded a baseball bat and chased the other.

Police continue to investigate a second phase of the incident in which shots were fired at Taylor in retaliation. No developments have been made public on that front.

Team loses 2 OTAs

The NFL and NFL Players Association levied a surprisingly harsh punishment for the Redskins’ recent violation of “organized team activity” rules, stripping Washington of two of its three remaining OTAs.

The club had been scheduled to resume OTAs Monday, practice through Wednesday and hold minicamp at the end of the week. Now, no players are allowed at Redskin Park until Thursday, when Washington will hold a final OTA before opening a three-day minicamp.

The Redskins were punished for excessive contact in one-on-one blocking drills between offensive and defensive linemen. Initially an NFLPA spokesman said one-on-one drills weren’t permitted, but Gibbs said, after review, they are. However, a joint statement from the NFL and NFLPA said the organizations didn’t like the “intensity and tempo” they saw in clips on redskins.com.

“We felt like we were doing what we should be doing to teach,” Gibbs said, declining to say whether he thought the punishment was fair. “But we also understand, if they tell us to do something, hey, we’re going to do it. We’re going to try to stay within the rules.”

Gibbs said he has scaled back certain drills to comply with league rules but hasn’t placed any restrictions on redskins.com. The team’s official Web site apparently remains free to videotape and broadcast whichever parts of practice it chooses.

Extra points

Second-year H-back Chris Cooley strained his hamstring, the first real injury of the offseason, according to Gibbs. The setback isn’t considered serious. …

Free agent cornerback R.W. McQuarters apparently intensified negotiations with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, signaling the likely end of Washington’s bid. The Redskins were offering only a minimum-salary deal. …

Washington scheduled a scrimmage at Baltimore for Aug. 6, the first Saturday of training camp. It will be the Redskins’ first appearance at M&T Bank Stadium.

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