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News & Notes: Taylor Fitting In On D-Line

Jason Taylor is surrounded by 80 new teammates and a dozen new coaches, so it's understandable that he doesn't know everyone's name yet.

A week after joining the Redskins on the practice fields for training camp, Taylor feels like he is fitting in well.

He had worried that his presence would detract from what other Redskins players are doing on the field.

But that hasn't happened.

"You worry about taking the focus off the guys that have been here and have worked hard for this organization, especially after the whole dog and pony show that took place last week [with his introductory press conference]," Taylor said. "But they understand my reception is part of the business.

"I am here to help this team win in any way I can. My ego is not one that is going to overshadow anyone. My teammates understand that and I have been well accepted."

Taylor joined the Redskins as part of a high profile trade on July 20, the first day of training camp. He was acquired from the Dolphins for second-round and sixth-round draft picks

When Taylor looks around at the Redskins' defense, he sees top talent all over the field.

"I really like the secondary with Fred Smoot, Shawn Springs and LaRon Landry, because they cover well and give you a chance to rush the passer," Taylor said. "The defensive line is strong with Cornelius Griffin and Anthony Montgomery in the middle and Andre Carter opposite me. The linebackers are all very good.

"This is a group that I first researched when I got traded here. It is a group to be excited about."

Taylor recently took out a full page ad in Miami newspapers thanking fans for their loyalty and support the last 11 years.

Even though he's a Redskin now, he still calls South Florida home.


-- BETTS HAS THIGH INJURY

Ladell Betts sat out Wednesday's practices with a right thigh contusion. He suffered the injury earlier in the week.

"I am not worried about it, because it is more of a bruise," Betts said. "But it can be one of those injuries that linger on if you do not take care of it. We are just trying to get it healed and out of the way."

Added Jim Zorn: "It's just a matter of him trying to get the soreness down. If he had to play, he would play."

With the injury, Betts is unlikely to see action in this Sunday's Hall of Fame Game, Zorn said.

It's uncertain if Clinton Portis will play, so Rock Cartwright and Marcus Mason could get the bulk of reps against the Indianapolis Colts.


-- SAMUELS UNLIKELY TO PLAY SUNDAY

Chris Samuels remains limited in practice as he recovers from off-season elbow surgery.

Samuels is not expected to play in Sunday's Hall of Fame Game against Indianapolis, Jim Zorn said.

"I do want to start getting Chris to where he feels comfortable," Zorn said. "His situation is that he is a good pro and he will tell us when he is ready."

Stephon Heyer and Chad Rinehart are expected to see action at left tackle in place of Samuels.


-- KELLY AT PRACTICE

Malcolm Kelly increased his practice workload on Wednesday. He is recovering from a mild hamstring injury.

"He came out and did a few things, but I still don't want to push it," Jim Zorn said. "This was a fast practice, so he will be out again [on Thursday]. I want to get him in on some run plays, so at least he is running without having to run routes or trying to run by somebody."

Kelly said he was uncertain if he would be available to play in the Hall of Fame Game.

"You want to go out there and play, but at the same time you have to be smart about the situation," Kelly said. "I don't want to go out there and aggravate the injury, then miss the rest of the preseason and a few regular season games."


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