Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Safety Sean Taylor was a surprise participant as the Washington Redskins began their second week of organized team activities yesterday at Redskin Park.

Taylor, who had not been in touch with the coaching staff while absent last week, acted as if his return wasn’t a big deal even though he and still-absent cornerback Shawn Springs had been the only players missing.

“I don’t think there’s a problem,” said Taylor, who didn’t participate in any voluntary offseason work in 2005 and wasn’t a regular in 2006 either as his felony assault case made its way through the legal system. “I should’ve been here with everybody else, but I’m sure I’ll make it up the next couple of weeks.”

The 24-year-old Taylor, the fifth pick in the 2004 draft, said that contrary to speculation, he has no issues with his contract.

“I’m definitely happy,” Taylor said. “I have a seven-year contract. I’ve played three years of that contract, and I’m fine. That’s never an issue. … I [just] got a little tied up [last week] and had to go to my little girl’s birthday party and stuff like that. I had fun out there at practice today. I had to catch up from last week.”

Taylor also is happy that the Redskins used the sixth choice in last month’s draft on safety LaRon Landry, who soon should become his seventh partner in four years.

“I like the fact that we drafted a safety,” said Taylor, who downplayed assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams’ declaration last week that he was now the free safety, with Landry destined to be the strong side starter eventually. “I don’t think I’m being a mentor [to Landry]. We’re all going to help him along. There will be some things I’ll pass on to him, and he might teach me something. We’re real deep. We have five, six, seven safeties.”

Neither Williams nor coach Joe Gibbs was available for comment on Taylor’s return, but his teammates were happy to have him back.

Running back Clinton Portis, who also played with Taylor at the University of Miami, said it was great to see the talented safety make a diving interception on his first day on the field in 2007.

“It would’ve been one thing if Sean was out there being quiet and not really doing anything, but he was making plays,” fullback Mike Sellers said. “You can’t say that Sean wasn’t working out because it’s obvious that he’s in great shape. It’s good to have him back.”

Notes — As the rookies joined the veterans on the field for the first time, the Redskins announced the addition of eight players who had attended the May 4-6 minicamp on a tryout basis.

Heading that list is defensive back Byron Westbrook (Salisbury University), the brother of Philadelphia running back Brian Westbrook. Washington also signed Byron Westbrook’s DeMatha High teammate, tight end Brian Bell, and former Georgetown defensive end Alex Buzbee.

Other new Redskins include receiver Carl Berman (Indiana State), fullback Pete Schmitt (Wisconsin-Whitewater), guard Cornelius Rogers and defensive back Brandon Register (both Alabama-Birmingham) and linebacker Kevin Jones (St. Augustine’s). …

The Redskins cut six players, including former New Orleans tight end Zach Hilton (Good Counsel High) and ex-Denver receiver Adrian Madise, both of whom had signed last week. Receiver Deyon Williams (Suitland High, Va.) and fellow rookie free agent Daniel Francis, a cornerback from LSU, also were let go, as were defensive tackle Vaka Manupuna, who spent time on the practice squad last year, and former San Diego and Chicago safety Jerrell Pippens.

Fullback Nehemiah Broughton, who tore an ACL last Tuesday, was placed on injured reserve.

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