ASHBURN, Va. -- Media-shy Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor spoke to reporters for the first time at this year's training camp Thursday. While he didn't say much, he offered some insight on his new physique.
Taylor, already one of the hardest hitters in football, arrived at camp looking slimmer yet just as strong. He said he still weighs the same - 225 pounds - but he has overhauled his diet to include more fruit, fish and vegetables and less red meat.
"I just take this job very seriously," Taylor said. "It's almost like, you play a kid's game for a king's ransom. And if you don't take it serious enough, eventually one day you're going to say, 'Oh, I could have done this, I could have done that."'
"So I just say, 'I'm healthy right now, I'm going into my fourth year, and why not do the best that I can?' And that's whatever it is, whether it's eating right or training myself right, whether it's studying harder, whatever I can do to better myself."
Taylor only spoke for a few minutes. Most of his answers were short, some were defensive, and the whole scene had an uncomfortable vibe - hardly a surprise from a player who has made known his distrust of the media since the Redskins drafted him in 2004. He ended the session before reporters could ask any potentially difficult questions, such as why he leveled punter Brian Moorman at the Pro Bowl in February or why he decided on this particular day to break his silence.
Asked about the adjustment to playing free safety, as opposed to the interchangeable safety positions the Redskins have used in years past, he said: "I'm a safety, man. I play free, strong, whatever you ask me to play."
Asked about the development of the defense, he said: "Right now I think everybody goes out every day and puts their best foot forward, and they try to do their best."
Asked about playing in his first Pro Bowl, he said: "Hawaii was definitely an experience I'll never forget. ... I just like the fact that I got to meet players from different teams. It was football, but when we had our time off, we hung out, and we talked about things other than football."
Taylor was especially curt when asked about former teammate Ryan Clark, who has been credited by teammates and coaches as being a key part of Taylor's development in 2004 and 2005. Clark is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom the Redskins play on Saturday.
Asked what Clark did to help Taylor during their years together, Taylor said: "He did nothing. He played with me. He was a teammate."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press