- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sean Taylor was the only Redskins player to skip the 2005 offseason program at Redskin Park, and it’s unclear whether the talented but troubled safety will be on hand when the players return to work in early spring.

Taylor’s trial in Miami on a felony assault charge and a simple battery misdemeanor is March20, the first day NFL offseason workouts can begin. However, coach Joe Gibbs said he might not ask his players to report then since their season went two weeks later this year.

In any event, Gibbs expects Taylor to be on hand for conditioning.

“We’re counting on Sean being here,” Gibbs said. “We had a good talk about it today. We’re both on the same page.”

Taylor declined comment as the players left Redskin Park yesterday. Receiver Santana Moss, a University of Miami teammate, and strong safety Ryan Clark, Taylor’s closest friend on the defense, expect him to return if his legal situation is favorably resolved.

“Sean knows what’s best for him, and for whatever reason, things happened the way they did last year,” Moss said. “I’m sure he’s learned from it. We live in the same area [of Miami], and the trouble he got into — he didn’t ask for it. It found him. Knowing what the coaches expect of us, I’m sure Sean will accept those tasks and be here.”

Patten a difference-maker?

Receiver David Patten, who went on season-ending injured reserve Nov. 18 following knee surgery, said he could have played the past three weeks. Patten caught 22 passes for 217 yards while starting seven of the first nine games. James Thrash and Taylor Jacobs caught just five passes for 65 yards in Patten’s place the past three weeks.

“I’ve been ready to play for three weeks,” Patten said. “It was frustrating to see us go down [when] I felt 100 percent and I couldn’t play.”

Gibbs said Patten’s expected absence for four to six weeks after surgery made it too hard to keep him on the roster.

Under the knife

Jon Jansen will have his right thumb repaired tomorrow, and fellow offensive tackle Chris Samuels will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after the Pro Bowl on Feb. 12. Centers Casey Rabach and Cory Raymer will have shoulders scoped, as might middle linebacker Lemar Marshall. Only Jansen would be ready for the start of workouts.

Linebacker Chris Clemons, who ended the year on IR with an ailing knee, also will be ready for the offseason program.

A play for Wayne?

Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne is one of the most attractive free agent receivers hitting the market the first week of March. It’s unlikely the Colts, who already have millions committed to quarterback Peyton Manning and receiver Marvin Harrison, will be able to afford Wayne — especially since running back Edgerrin James is also due a new contract.

Enter the Redskins?

Wayne had a career-high 83 receptions for the Colts this season. Moss and Wayne were teammates and roommates at the University of Miami.

“We’ve worked together before — we’ll be friends forever,” Moss said. “If that was a thing they went and did, it would be great for the team. But I still have a lot of confidence in the guys here, especially [David Patten]. I know he could do big things.”

Meanwhile, Moss said he will return punts next season if asked. He was limited to seven returns this season, none in the final eight games. The Redskins ranked 28th in the NFL on punt returns this year.

“Whenever they need me, they know they can count on me,” Moss said. “I won’t turn my back on anything that will help the team get better.”

Extra points

Ray Brown is retiring after a 20-year career, but Gibbs said the Redskins will find a place for the popular guard in the organization. …

Clinton Portis, who carried 385 times in 18 games, said he survived the season without any major ailments.

“The only medicine I need is rest,” Portis said, adding as a joke, “I just hope nothing goes wrong when the skydiving tournament starts.”

Portis will spend the next few weeks in South Florida but indicated he would return in the spring when workouts begin.

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