Taylor switches from No. 99 to 55, has first Skins practice
ASHBURN, Va. -- Jason Taylor entered the locker room Tuesday morning ready to suit up for his first practice of training camp, just like he'd done before each of his past 11 NFL seasons.
"Some of the guys in the locker room noticed I was uneasy with it at first," Taylor joked. "I was looking at the helmet and trying to figure out what it was and all that."
Taylor successfully put on the uniform, the first time he'd practiced with the team since being acquired from the Dolphins on Sunday for a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-round choice in 2010.
Taylor took the field in a No. 55 jersey, a change from the No. 99 he'd worn since entering the league.
Andre Carter, Taylor's new defensive end partner, already wears No. 99 for the Redskins. Carter was willing to talk about a number swap, but Taylor didn't press the issue.
"I thought about it last night," Taylor said after his first practice Tuesday morning. "I talked to my wife and decided we'd let 99 stay in Miami and start a new chapter up here."
Taylor's last chapter in Miami was a dramatic one. He appeared on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars" this offseason and did not participate in Dolphins workouts. There appeared to be a rift between Taylor and the Miami management.
Taylor played down those difficulties in his first press conference as the newest member of the Redskins on Monday.
"From my point of view there was no animosity, no hard feelings," he said.
Regardless, now Taylor is in Washington with a new number and a fresh start.
Jim Zorn and Jason Taylor address the DE's decision to wear No. 55 as a Washington Redskin.
The No. 55 is normally reserved for a linebacker, and Taylor is primarily a defensive end. But Taylor occasionally dropped back into a linebacker position in Miami, and he is listed as a linebacker-defensive end on the Redskins' roster. It's not the first time Taylor suited up as No. 55 -- he wore No. 33 at the University of Akron, but was No. 55 in the 1997 Senior Bowl.
Taylor was sporting one visible remnant of his Dolphin tenure Tuesday; his white cleats were spiced with Dolphin-orange stripes that clashed with the Redskin uniform. It wasn't nostalgia that caused Taylor to bring his shoes from Miami. He just didn't have time to get new ones between Sunday's trade and Tuesday's practice.
"Nike is great, but they're not that fast," Taylor said.
The jersey was just one of the changes Taylor needed to adapt to after the trade. When he arrived at the Redskins' training camp facility for practice Tuesday morning, he didn't even know where the locker room was located.
His teammates were another mystery. Taylor flew in to join the team Monday, but barely had time to introduce himself in a team meeting that night. At breakfast Tuesday morning, unfamiliar faces sat at the tables. Taylor recognized offensive lineman Todd Wade, who played four seasons in Miami, and found a seat next to him.
"It's kind of like being a rookie," Taylor said. "But I'm not buying doughnuts or carrying anybody's pads. I'm still one of the old guys around here."
The Redskins were also taking advantage of the opportunity to meet their new teammate.
"It's all a bonding time," Carter said. "Everybody is welcoming him with open arms, and it's just great to have him."
On the field, Carter said he asked Taylor for pass-rushing tips. Off the field, Carter asked him about "Dancing With the Stars." It was just one of several "Dancing" references Taylor heard throughout the day.
"If they're messing with you, it means they like you and respect you," Taylor said.
Taylor's first practice with the team was uneventful. He participated in individual drills during a rain-shortened morning session but did not join in when the team started pitting offense versus defense. Instead, Taylor stayed close to defensive coordinator Greg Blache and listening to the defensive calls. In the day's afternoon session, Taylor did get some work in the full-squad 11-on-11 drills.
Taylor totaled 117 sacks -- best among active players -- as No. 99 for the Dolphins. The Redskins believe that dominance will continue even though the number has changed.
"People are going to know who No. 55 is real soon," quarterback Jason Campbell said.
Daniels and Buzbee both suffered season-ending injuries Sunday on the first day of Redskins training camp. Daniels, who started 15 games last season, tore the ACL in his left knee during the first practice of training camp. Buzbee ruptured his Achilles tendon in Sunday's afternoon practice.
The Redskins had originally signed Mapu as an undrafted free agent in May and released him on June 24.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Steelers' Brown rips Sanders' QB comments
- Source: Colts' Thomas needs quad surgery
- NFL placing trackers in pads to enhance stats
- Bortles impresses Jags OC with his progress
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
TRAINING CAMP 2008
Commentary/featuresWarner proves he has future
The Cardinals gave Kurt Warner the chance to compete with Matt Leinart for the starting spot, and the 37-year-old quarterback made the most of the opportunity. John Clayton
Pennington's learning curve
It seemed the Jets could not help Chad Pennington pack his bags fast enough. Now the most experienced QB on the Dolphins, he's relishing the chance to excel again.
• Kreidler: Future still promising for 49ers' Smith
• Clayton: Injuries impact preseason
• Seifert: A new approach in Detroit
• Smith: Favre drama a reality check for McNabb
• Kuharsky: Titans focused on defense
• Sando: Running key for Holmgren's swan song
• Mosley: Giants hope history teaches well
• Garber: Coughlin distances from SB win
• Williamson: Chiefs engergized by youth
• Chadiha: O-line might hold real keys for Jets
• Wickersham: Three tips for Favre
• Mosley: Giants done with celebrating
• Naylor: Canadian divide on NFL invasion
• Graham: Sleeper Bills | Blog: Yo, Canada
• Seifert: For a change, no distractions for Vikes
• Mosley: McNabb confident Eagles among elite
• Kuharsky: Garrard taking control
• Mosley: Eagles poised to return to prominence
• Clayton: Young on his way to elite status
• Kuharsky: Garrard ready to lead Jags
• Chadiha: Delhomme determined to seize moment
• Yasinskas: Smith's approach suits Falcons
• Mosley: Zorn's coaching desire finally fulfilled
• Williamson: Young Raiders share Kiffin's hunger
• Graham: Jets wiping slate clean
• Chadiha: Turner ready to lead Falcons
• Clayton: Vikings firmly in Jackson's corner
• Walker: Tough schedule awaits Steelers in 2008
• Mosley: Favre is QB turned ringmaster
• Clayton: 5 reasons Favre would start for Pack
• Graham: Patriots not dwelling on past
• Sando: Rams optimistic despite questions
• Williamson: Shanahan points to playoffs
• Walker: Bengals look to move past chaos
• Yasinskas: Delhomme, Peppers must step up
NFL blog network• NFL Nation blog
• AFC: North | South | East | West
• NFC: North | South | East | West
• Contact our bloggers
Camp Confidential training camp tourA breakdown of our annual camp tour:
• Wednesday, July 30: Chargers, Cowboys
• Thursday, July 31: Texans, 49ers
• Friday, Aug. 1: Patriots
• Saturday, Aug. 2: Bengals, Panthers
• Sunday, Aug. 3: Broncos
• Monday, Aug. 4: Rams
• Tuesday, Aug. 5: Steelers
• Wednesday, Aug. 6: Jets
• Thursday, Aug. 7: Raiders | Redskins
• Friday, Aug. 8: Falcons
• Saturday, Aug. 9: Jaguars
• Tuesday, Aug. 12: Eagles | Vikings
• Wednesday, Aug. 13: Bills
• Thursday, Aug. 14: Chiefs
• Friday, Aug. 15: Giants | Seahawks
• Saturday, Aug. 16: Bucs | Lions
• Sunday, Aug. 17: Browns
• Monday, Aug. 18: Titans
Video• NFL Insiders on Bills, Broncos, more
• Rachel Nichols on Favre, Jets
• NFL Live dissects ESPN.com power rankings
Audio• Podcast: Biggest questions
Scouts Inc.• Camp outlook: AFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Camp outlook: NFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Notable quarterback battles