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Gibbs Still Optimistic About Taylor

Head coach Joe Gibbs said Thursday that he is still excited about working with Sean Taylor despite the second-year player's absence from Organized Team Activities at Redskins Park.

Taylor has not taken part in the team's voluntary off-season workouts that started in late March or the voluntary OTA sessions that began May 17.

"I'm still excited about working with him," Gibbs said. "I'm just trying to get him to join in on what everybody else is doing."

Gibbs called it "disappointing" that Taylor has chosen not to attend the OTAs.

Taylor, the hard-hitting safety who played his collegiate ball at the University of Miami (Fla.), wrapped up his rookie season last year with 89 tackles (62 solo), four interceptions, one sack and two forced fumbles. He was named a first alternate to the Pro Bowl.

"Sean's a gifted player," Gibbs said. "So many times in sports, it's a matter of, how do you reach a guy? We know he's a great team guy and we know he loves football. When we were out practicing during the season last year, he was out there in the mud running and diving--having a great time playing footall.

"He chose not to attend this off-season. [In comments last week about Taylor], I wanted to get the attention off of one guy and get it on the guys who are here. We have a bunch of guys here working hard to build a football team.

"I think our job is to try and reach him and try to get him to play great for us. This is proof of what can happen on a football team. You don't want it to happen but it can happen."

The first mandatory off-season session for players is the full squad mini-camp from June 17-19.

Gibbs said he would be surprised if Taylor were absent from the June mini-camp.

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