Taylor Jacobs has already put his injury-plagued rookie year behind him. That much was evident during last month's mini-camp; with starter Laveranues Coles sitting out scrimmages to rest his toe injury, Jacobs was particularly active, getting the bulk of passes thrown his way.
Coaches wanted to get a closer look at Jacobs because there was limited game tape on him. He was more than happy to oblige.
"I'm wiping my slate clean--I'm not a person who dwells on the past," Jacobs said. "I'm just going to come out here full speed every practice and fight for every ball I can."
It was the injuries last season that perplexed Jacobs--mostly because he has sustained so few injuries in the past. The injury bug started in the preseason finale at Jacksonville when he bruised his pancreas diving for an errant pass and colliding with a Jaguars defender. Later in the regular season, he sustained a knee injury and then a foot injury.
Overall, Jacobs was inactive for six games last season.
"I'm not an injury-prone person," Jacobs said. "I've had only three injuries in my life and I've missed only two games my whole college career. So I'm not used to injuries. I'm just hoping that [last season] was my injury year and I can go on and have a healthy career."
For the season, Jacobs recorded only three catches for 37 yards. That's a far cry from his numbers at the University of Florida, where he played 44 games in four seasons and recorded 133 receptions for 2,097 yards and 16 touchdowns.
In Week 9 last season at Dallas, Jacobs showed why he was the Redskins' second-round draft pick in 2003. The 6-0, 198-pound speedster shook off Cowboys' safety Darren Woodson and beat him for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
This year, Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs has replaced Steve Spurrier--Jacobs' former coach at the University of Florida--at the helm of the Redskins. Jacobs isn't about to compare their offensive systems, mostly because he's still learning Gibbs' offense.
"Coach Gibbs comes with a different form of football with the way he runs his offense," he said. "I don't want to [rank] either one of them. I'm just interested in learning more and more from coach Gibbs."
Jacobs has also bulked up to help him better withstand the rigors of the NFL season. He arrived at mini-camp about five pounds heavier--mostly muscle mass--and he hopes it provides an edge in what should be a highly competitive wide receiver corps this offseason.
"I feel stronger because I knew I had to get in better shape," he said. "Coming into the next coaching session, I plan to be a whole lot stronger."