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Trade Reaction: 'Great Respect' For Taylor


It was Sunday night, and Redskins players were huddled in meetings when news broke that the Redskins had traded for Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor.

First reaction was one of surprise at the swiftness of the transaction.

Second reaction was excitement, as well as respect for all that Taylor has accomplished.

"From watching him play all those years we spent together in the AFC East, Jason is a tremendous player," said linebacker London Fletcher, who before joining the Redskins played five seasons with the Buffalo Bills. "When we were playing the Dolphins, the offensive line was always worried about having to face him. You definitely have to account for him and assign two people for him."

The player most affected by Taylor's arrival is Andre Carter, who had 10.5 sacks last year.

Carter, who plays right defensive end, could switch to the left to accommodate Taylor. Carter said he has always played on the right side in his career.

Of course, as Carter pointed out, Taylor also has the versatility to play right or left defensive end.

That decision will be left up to coaches.

"[Taylor] can play the run and the pass and that is the type of [defensive end] you need," Carter said. "In this business, you need a versatile defensive end--you cannot be one-dimensional because teams are really crafty."

Carter and Taylor also wear jersey No. 99. Who will change?

Head coach Jim Zorn said that discussion had taken place among team officials.

Carter jokingly said that he might call for a "dance off," with the winner earning No. 99. He was referring, of course, to Taylor's recent appearance as a contestant on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars."

Veteran offensive lineman Todd Wade has faced off against Taylor in the past.

"When you prepare for Jason, you need to prepare for someone who is coming every single play," Wade said. "He is going to give everything he has. He always keeps his feet moving and that is why he is such a great pass rusher. He is also a really good team leader. He has great respect in the locker room and around the league."

Added left guard Pete Kendall: "Jason is certainly an outstanding football player. He causes problems for any offense whether he is rushing from the end or they move him around the field, which they have done in recent years. You always have to know where he is at all times."

Defensive line coach John Palermo, who worked at the college level the last 30 years, admitted that he had not studied film of Taylor prior to the Redskins interest in him on Sunday.

Palermo did periodically watch Taylor on "Dancing With the Stars," though.

"I did catch him a few times, just because I wanted to see how a big man could dance," Palermo said, laughing.

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