Last appearing in a regular season game in Week 10 of 2014 action, Redskins defensive lineman Phil Taylor knows he needs to stand out this offseason to make the active roster.
Phil Taylor entered the NFL with high expectations after being selected with the 21st-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.
He has the ideal size (6-foot-3, 335 pounds) to be a presence in the middle of any defensive line, and – according to his NFL.com draft profile, has a "very effective anchor at the point of the attack against the run and can take on the double team."
This proved accurate during his rookie season, as Taylor started all 16 regular season games for the Browns, recording 59 tackles along with four sacks and a forced fumble. The Baylor product was named to the Pro Football Writers Associations' All-Rookie Team as well.
But injuries took away portions of his next three seasons before he was released on Sept. 1, 2015.
Taylor remained out of the NFL for the 2015 regular season before signing with the Denver Broncos on Feb. 22, 2016, but his stint with the then-defending Super Bowl champions lasted only six months before being released in August.
"I did the best performance I could every time I stepped out there," Taylor said recently on "Redskins Nation" about his time with the Browns. "Unfortunately, I had injuries but that comes with this beast called the NFL. So you have to live, learn and work from it."
The recently turned 29-year-old is back on an NFL roster now with the Washington Redskins and believes he can compete for a roster spot on a rebuilt defensive line.
"I didn't really look at the roster, it was more of I got to do what I got to do," Taylor said of the process of signing in Washington. "I haven't played football in two years so I've got a lot to prove. My name hasn't been around for a long time so it's not about position and where I am playing but is about going out there and doing what I got to do."
Check out images of the Washington Redskins' second day of Phase 1 offseason workouts at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
Taylor – who grew in Brandywine, Md., and is a lifelong Redskins fan – says he'll do whatever it takes to get back onto an active roster in regular season action.
That starts with "being coachable" under new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
"When I was coming out [of college] I took a visit out to San Francisco when he was there," Taylor said. "I knew he was a great coach and he they had an earlier pick, so I just waited in the green room. He is a great coach and when I took the visit I loved what he taught me in that short amount of time. It was meant to be that we ended up back together."
Taylor is currently one of eight defensive lineman on the Redskins' offseason roster, joining defensive ends Ziggy Hood, Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier along with defensive linemen A.J. Francis, Joey Mbu, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee.
Taylor joined the group following a "pretty dang good" workout last fall according to Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky.
His hope now is that he can turn this opportunity to remain in the league with his hometown team.
"It feels great, its home," Taylor said. "I'm closer to my family, finance and baby. They are still in Cleveland which is only an hour flight or a five-hour drive. It's the best of both worlds."