EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tyshawn Taylor is starting to feel like he's an actual part of the team again.
The rookie guard was finally able to go through contact drills in Thursday's practice, marking the first time he's done that since training camp began Oct. 2. Taylor has been limited after straining his quad during informal workouts with his teammates last month.
"It was good to be out there. I was excited," Taylor said. "Just to get some run in and play, it felt good."
"I played, it seemed like a lot, but it was only two, three-minute spans. So about nine minutes. I felt really good. It’s a little sore right now, but it’s cool. I’ll be good."
Avery Johnson's thoughts on Taylor's first full practice?
"He had short burst of minutes," Johnson said. "He didn’t play but two to three minutes at a time. But he did pretty good. Nothing to write a book about."
Taylor has missed precious time, something that can't be overlooked given he's learning everything on the fly.
"Training camps is the time for rookies to kind of prove themselves a little bit, and I felt like I was missing out on that," Taylor said. "To be out here, I feel like I’m getting my opportunity.
"I honestly don’t know if I am behind. It feels like it just because I want to be out there. But I’ve been watching. I know all the plays, and I know the system and things like that. So, it’s not really like me being out of the loop. I’m not missing too much. I’m just missing in action, kind of. Just to be out here feels good, but I know everything."
Taylor said he's picked up some pointers from Deron Williams and C.J. Watson while he's been sidelined and hopes to incorporate it into his game.
"I’m watching two really good point guards every day," Taylor said, "and getting to learn and talk to them every day. So it’s kind of easy for me to come out here and play because I’m watching two really good guards."
The biggest lesson Taylor learned while he was out had nothing to do with anything on the court. Williams gave Taylor the hazing business a few weeks ago when he forgot to bring in a newspaper as Williams had asked.
Since then, Taylor has made sure he's on top of his game. Whatever Williams and the vets want or ask him to do, he gladly goes through with it.
"It‘s not really that hard. It’s nothing crazy," Taylor said. "These guys respect us just like we respect them. They understand that we are grown men, too. They don’t take it overboard. It’s just simple things like bringing the newspaper every day. That's simple. I think the harder you make it on yourself by forgetting the newspaper and say, 'Nah, I’m not doing that,' I think the harder they are on you.
"You’ve just got to enjoy it, laugh at it, make a joke out of it and continue on with your day. They respect us, though."