- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2005

No Washington Redskin may be more psyched for Sunday’s opener against Chicago than defensive end Phillip Daniels. Not only did Daniels miss 11 of 16 games last season, including the last four, he spent the previous four seasons with the Bears.

“To be back on the field is sweet, and we’re playing Chicago the first game,” said Daniels, who made one of his brief returns to the lineup the week after Washington won in Chicago last Oct. 17.

The Bears waived Daniels on March 3, 2004, after he declined a $1 million cut in his guaranteed money and they rejected his counter-offer of an equal reduction in his base salary. Daniels signed with the Redskins that day.

“They wanted to keep me as long as they could until they released me, but I was smart enough to see through it,” Daniels said.

“[New Bears coach Lovie Smith] did call me at home, and I respect him for that. He said, ‘You’re the best defensive lineman we have. What can we do [to keep you]?’ I told him, ‘There’s nothing you can do.’ It was time for me to leave. I won’t hold any grudges.”

Taylor talks

Safety Sean Taylor, who skipped the entire offseason program, spoke to the media for the first time since the first day of training camp, though he declined comment about his legal troubles.

“Every time Sunday comes around, everybody gets a little excited,” Taylor said. “I’m in shape. I’m ready to go four quarters.”

Asked to compare this opener to his rookie debut last year, Taylor said, “You don’t have that rookie thing over your head. You don’t have to think about it too much. You’ve already seen it. No hesitation basically.”

Although both of his safety sidekicks from last year, Matt Bowen and Ryan Clark, have missed lots of time with injuries this summer, Taylor isn’t worried about who will be there against the Bears.

“Nobody’s going to step on the field and not be prepared,” Taylor said. “Preparation is something we pride ourselves on. We’ve worked out all the kinks. We progressed slowly but surely. We got through our little four-week period of preseason, and we’re ready.”

Injury update

Ryan Clark (knee) and reserve weakside linebacker Chris Clemons (hamstring) missed their second straight practices and are pessimistic about their chances of facing the Bears.

“The scoop is obvious, I guess,” said Clark, who has swelling in his right knee. “They held me out today. That pushes me back a little bit. Do I think I’ll be ready to play? Yes. But without the proper practice, I don’t know how much good I’ll do the team.”

Clark, who missed the second and third preseason games with the sprained knee after not being hurt during his first three regular seasons, aggravated the injury Sept. 1 at Baltimore. He’s listed as questionable. Clemons, who was hurt in the same game, is doubtful.

“I was running and moving around, but usually it’s not good if you’re not out there on Wednesday,” Clemons said.

It’s especially disappointing for Clemons because his brother Nic, a Redskins defensive end, could make his NFL debut Sunday.

Receiver Taylor Jacobs, who returned Monday after missing four weeks with a sprained left big toe, practiced again and said he’s still limited in cutting left. He’s listed as questionable, but he believes he’s progressing so well he will be ready to play.

Offensive tackle Jon Jansen practiced with a cast covering the left thumb he broke Monday.

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