In his Monday press conference from Redskins Park, head coach Joe Gibbs discussed the Sean Taylor incident that occurred during the Tampa Bay playoff game last Saturday.
Taylor was disqualified in the third quarter of the Jan. 7 game for allegedly spitting in the face of Buccaneers' running back Michael Pittman during a heated exchange between the two players.
Said Gibbs: "Our feeling is, if that took place, we understand the penalties and we understand somebody being taken out of the game for it. Sean is so valuable to us. I had a long talk with him afterwards and he understands that. He's all football. He wants to play.
"He's one of our leaders and he's had an outstanding year. We can't afford to lose somebody as valuable as he is as one of our leaders. So we had a long talk about that and I think he understands that. We understand the penalties."
According to NFL.com, the league has fined Taylor $17,000 for the incident.
Asked about the fine, Gibbs said: "That's not for me to comment on."
Later, Gibbs was asked what he saw when he looked at film of the incident.
"We looked real hard at the film and you can't tell," Gibbs said. "Most TV people thought it at least ought to be that both guys had something to do with it. I don't know. It's not something for me to comment on. We understand the penalty was for that. We certainly don't want that. He's too valuable of a player for that to happen to us. Hopefully, that'll be something that never happens again."
Taylor declined to comment on the incident after the game. On Monday at Redskins Park, several players were asked about Taylor.
Said cornerback Shawn Springs: "I asked him about it and Sean said he didn't do it. One thing about Sean, if he does something, he's not going to deny it. He said he didn't do it, so I don't think he did it."
The incident marred what had been a strong performance by the hard-hitting, second-year safety playing in his first NFL playoff game. In the first quarter of the Redskins' 17-10 win, Taylor returned a fumble 51 yards for a touchdown.