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Redskins.com:Rookie Jacobs Motivated to Show His Skills


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Rookie Jacobs Motivated to Show His Skills


By Patrick Wixted

Redskins.com contributing writer

During the 2003 NFL Draft in April, the Redskins were scheduled to select in the second round with the 44th overall pick. Much to the surprise of the principal decision makers for the organization, wide receiver Taylor Jacobs was still available. In truth, they did not expect a receiver of his skills to be still available. There was no way that the Redskins could pass up a player of his talent, head coach Steve Spurrier has said.

Jacobs is elated to be with the Redskins but at the same time he won't forget all those teams that passed on him.

Following a spring workout at Redskin Park, the young wide receiver out of Florida put it this way: "I'm going to come out here with a positive frame of mind and try to get better."

Since being drafted in April, Jacobs has joined the Redskins for mini-camps, coaching sessions and the team's off-season workout program as he settles into the Northern Virginia area.

He maintains that he's comfortable with the team's offensive system after having played for Spurrier at Florida. Jacobs has displayed the size, route-running abilities and dependable hands to make an impact with the Redskins during his first few weeks with the organization.

Heading into Training Camp 2003 at Redskins Park, Jacobs looks to be in the mix at wideout, hoping to possibly secure the No. 3 or No. 4 receiver spot behind established players Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner. Also expected to challenge for playing time at the position will be Patrick Johnson, Cliff Russell, Darnerien McCants, Justin Skaggs and Richmond Flowers.

One of the things that stands out about Jacobs is his work ethic. When he played high school football at Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Jacobs was in the somewhat difficult position of having his father, Harry Jacobs, as his football coach. Even though his talents at the high school level were outstanding, Jacobs felt the need to prove to other players--teammates and opponents alike--he deserved to play based on merit and not because his father was the coach.

For that reason, at least in part, Jacobs developed a disciplined work ethic early on in his football career. Spurrier has spoken of Jacobs' willingness to put in extra time to improve.

"I was going to go out there and work in high school so people couldn't say, 'He's just out there because his father's the coach,'" said Jacobs. "So I used that to fuel my desire. I've kept that sense of work ethic, and developed it. I've always believed that if someone's going to beat me, I don't want to look back and say I didn't do my best or I wasn't prepared. I try to always do my homework.”

Now at the NFL level and happy to be a Redskin, Jacobs wants to prove to the teams that passed on him that he can play. That's what drives him as he prepares to enter his first NFL training camp. Jacobs' father has had a profound influence on his life and football career and the same can be said concerning his brother Evan. Jacobs says he wants to succeed as an NFL player in hopes of being able to one day support Evan, his only sibling, who has a mild case of the congenital disorder known as Down syndrome. Taylor and Evan have always been close, and remain so. Evan, 19, serves as an inspiration for Taylor and the entire Jacobs family.

“He’s just a great person,” Taylor Jacobs says of his brother. "He’s at all my games and supports me now, no matter how I play. He is my motivation. He will never be alone, and I’ll do anything to support him.”

As far as Taylor Jacobs is concerned, he's your basic late bloomer who wasn't recruited by Florida State, even though that school is very close to his home town of Monticello, Florida. That's just another of the many reasons Jacobs is especially motivated to make it with the Redskins and in the NFL.

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