Sean Taylor's trial date, originally scheduled for Monday, was postponed yesterday until Oct. 24 by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mary Barzee.

At a hearing in Miami, Taylor's attorney, Edward Carhart, made the formal request for a continuance, citing the need for more time to prepare for his defense.

The state attorney general's office reiterated yesterday that it doesn't object to a delay until after the season ends in January. And Carhart is expected to request at least one more continuance so that the trial doesn't occur until 2006.

"I thought it would have been too greedy of me," Carhart said, when asked why he didn't request that the trial be pushed further back.

The Redskins will face the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 23 and the New York Giants on Oct. 30.

This week, Barzee turned down the state attorney's request that Taylor be required to attend yesterday's hearing, and Taylor practiced in preparation for the season opener Sunday at home against the Chicago Bears.

Taylor has been charged with one count of aggravated assault with a firearm and one misdemeanor count of simple battery after a June 1 confrontation between two groups in a Miami neighborhood. Taylor faces a minimum of three years and a maximum of 16.

Taylor's attorney yesterday also formally turned down a plea bargain offer to waive the mandatory minimum by removing the firearm allegation. If Taylor had accepted, he would have been forced to accept a negotiated sentence almost certainly requiring jail time.

Taylor, declining to speak about his legal issues, said he is looking forward to the season.

"We don't have any stats right now. We're not ranked," said Taylor of Washington's third-ranked defense last season. "We're nothing. We're zero. So that speaks on what we have to come out and do.

"We got through our little four-week period of preseason and we're ready for the season."

Groom Gets His Kicks

After two seasons of trying out for NFL teams, Andy Groom will make his first punt in the regular season Sunday. Groom -- who beat out 16-year veteran Chris Mohr -- got tired of seeing his inexperience noted with each story on him during the preseason.

"It's the same kind of game to me," Groom said. "It counts now. It's not like I'm more nervous for practice to get ready for the regular season. You can get excited about the game, but you can't get over-pumped. You just have to be confident in your abilities that got you this far."

Groom was definitely nervous Saturday as he watched his alma mater, Ohio State, play and waited in his temporary apartment for news of the Redskins' final cuts.

"My heart jumped," Groom said of seeing "Redskins Park" pop up on his caller I.D. "I was waiting all day for it and all day Friday and it never came Friday. Coach [Danny Smith] had a low tone and said: 'We had to go with . . .' And then he said me."

Undrafted, Not Unwanted

During Coach Joe Gibbs's first tenure, he took pride in undrafted long shots such as offensive lineman Joe Jacoby making the team. Linebacker Zak Keasey, an undrafted rookie from Princeton, is the first player since Gibbs returned to Washington to overcome overwhelming odds to make the roster.

Keasey stood out when he was trying out because of his dark blonde dreadlocks. And some noted that the 6-foot, 236-pound Keasey played at the same Division I-AA school as the son of Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense.

But Keasey made the team over fifth-round pick Robert McCune and Brandon Barnes, who played in 12 games last season, mostly on special teams.

Yesterday, Keasey, who led the Ivy League with 127 tackles, was still giddy. "It was unbelievable, a dream come true," he said.