|Taylor once again following in Moss' footsteps|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2007 10:51|
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -Travis Taylor has some experience following Randy Moss, having joined the Minnesota Vikings two years ago after they dealt the receiver to the Oakland Raiders.|
Now that Moss has been dealt again to New England following a disappointing two-year stay in Oakland, Taylor has joined the Raiders to help replace Moss.
``Don't give me that responsibility,'' Taylor said Wednesday. ``It takes a lot to replace that guy. Like I said, it's a great opportunity to be here. It's a great organization and a lot of good things are going on around here.''
Replacing Moss in Oakland is a much easier task than it was in Minnesota, where he was one of the NFL's top receivers after making five Pro Bowls in seven seasons. Moss struggled with injuries and focus with Oakland and had career lows last season with 42 catches for 553 yards and three touchdowns.
The Raiders traded him during last month's draft to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick. Oakland used a third-round pick on receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins, traded for Mike Williams and signed Taylor on Tuesday in search of added depth with Moss no longer around.
Last year's leading receiver Ronald Curry returns along with Jerry Porter, who led the team in receptions the previous two seasons before feuding with coach Art Shell in 2006.
``We think that we've created a lot of competition there,'' coach Lane Kiffin said. ``Randy not being there is losing one, but adding three we think that they fill it. I think that if you talk to them, they feel the competition, they feel the guy next to them and feel that some guys won't be here.''
The deal with Taylor came together over the last few days. Kiffin also talked with Keyshawn Johnson, who was released by Carolina earlier this month and announced Wednesday that he would retire to take an announcing job with ESPN.
``We were exploring,'' Kiffin said. ``I had three good conversations with Keyshawn about it, and it just didn't work out.''
Taylor had 57 catches for 651 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Minnesota Vikings before becoming a free agent. A former first-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, Taylor has 311 career receptions for 4,013 yards and 22 touchdowns.
His career numbers are better than any receiver currently on the Raiders' roster, but he knows he has his work cut out for him with so many receivers in camp.
``The numbers don't mean anything,'' Taylor said. ``The only thing that means anything is the eye in the sky. Let your play talk and you go from there. ... (Kiffin) said that there's no certainty in anything. Just come out here and play. Give it all you got and let your play do the talking. He said he's going to play the best receivers and that's all I ask for is the opportunity.''
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