Hog Wire: Sean Taylor
By: Bernie Marshall
Category: Washington Redskins News
- Fall 2000: Taylor, who transferred to Gulliver High from Miami Killian after his sophomore year, helps Gulliver win the Class 2A state championship, while playing three positions -- running back, defensive back and linebacker.
- February 2001: Taylor signs with the University of Miami. He's rated The Miami Herald's No. 1 prospect in Miami-Dade County, and is named a high-school All-American by Super Prep.
- Fall 2001: Taylor is one of four freshmen to play for UM in its national championship season.
- Fall 2002: Taylor becomes a starter and is named second-team All-Big East.
- Fall 2003: Taylor leads the nation with 10 interceptions -- equaling Bennie Blades' UM record -- and is named a first-team All-American and Big East Defensive Player of the Year.
- April 2004: Taylor is selected in the first round of the NFL draft, fifth overall, by Washington and later signs a seven-year, $18 million contract.
- Fall 2004: Taylor becomes a starter in the Redskins' third game and goes on to start 13 games and intercepts four passes in his rookie season.
- June 5, 2005: Taylor is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and battery for allegedly pointing a gun at people he believed had stolen his all-terrain vehicle. Charges were later dropped after a plea agreement.
- Fall 2005: Taylor registers 70 tackles, one sack, two interceptions and two forced fumbles in his second pro season.
- Fall 2006: Taylor has his best season (129 tackles, one interception, and three forced fumbles) and is named first alternate to the Pro Bowl.
- Nov. 11, 2007: Taylor suffers a sprained knee in the Redskins' game against Philadelphia and was expected to miss a few weeks.
- Nov. 26, 2007: Taylor is shot in the groin by an intruder at his Palmetto Bay home.
- Nov. 27, 2007: Taylor dies at 24.
This Sunday’s opponent might be the perfect team for Washington to face because the Buffalo Bills recently had to deal with the tragic nearly fatal spinal injury of tight end Kevin Everett. Everett lived but the injury hit the team and community hard. With all the connections between the two teams the Redskins may be able deal with this loss a little better because they will have time to talk to other players and coaches that are outside of the organization but not so far removed. Both Taylor and Everett were University of Miami alum, Bills receiver Roscoe Parrish and practice squad defensive tackle Orien Harris both went to the “U” as did Redskins linebacker Rocky McIntosh, wide receiver Santana Moss and running back Clinton Portis. There are former Redskins playing for the Bills such as offensive lineman Derrick Dockery, quarterback Gibran Hamdan and tight end Robert Royal, and even more ex Bills on the Redskins roster, like linebacker London Fletcher-Baker, safety Pierson Prioleau, offensive lineman Mike Pucillo, offensive lineman Ross Tucker, long snapper Ethan Albright, and quarterback Todd Collins.
Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said "What we're going to do is go forward and we'll make our preparations and get ready to play [Sunday]," Gibbs said. "For me personally, I don't know how we'll deal with it except that we're all going to do it together. "I know we have a great high-quality bunch of guys here. So we'll move forward and get ready for this weekend."
The Redskins, their fans, and the majority of the NFL are still mourning the lost of safety Sean Taylor. The family that he was taken from may never move forward but the NFL won’t stop. The League will honor Taylor with a silent moment before every game this weekend and teams will be wearing the number 21 on their helmets. The Redskins have to play two games in five days starting this Sunday; on Monday morning most if not all of the players will board a 6 am flight to Miami for the 11 am funeral of their teammate. The Redskins did not petition the League office for a schedule change, so the team has to move on with five games to play but where do they start? In an attempt to return to some form of normality the players and coaches returned to the practice field on Wednesday. Before Wednesday’s practice the team held a team meeting, speakers included the head coach, the owner, Jackie Garcia (Sean’s girlfriend of seven years and mother of his one year old daughter), running back Clinton Portis, and Taylor’s dad Pedro Taylor. Pedro Taylor spoke for about ten minutes and told the team how much Sean enjoyed being part of the Redskins and how much his teammates meant to him he also stated that Sean would want them to not only play out the 2007 schedule but would want them to win their remaining games and make it to the post season.
The Redskins didn’t have to scramble for a safety to fill Sean’s spot because Taylor had been replaced by second-year veteran Reed Doughty because of a knee injury and Doughty will continue in that role. They did make some roster moves though, to fill the open roster spot the Redskins re-signed wide receiver Jimmy Farris on Wednesday, they also activated linebacker Matt Sinclair from the practice squad, to make room for Sinclair they released offensive lineman Kevin Sampson. Sampson became expendable after Guard Randy Thomas returned to practice for the first time since September. Wide receiver Burl Toler was re-signed to the practice squad to replace Sinclair.
After Wednesday’s practice middle linebacker London Fletcher said "there was nothing was normal about today,” and that it was very difficult to focus during practice and meetings. Coach Gibbs said the day never began to have a semblance of normalcy but "once the team got back to work, things began to feel better". Gibbs called the day unique and continued to express that the team is living hour by hour.
Former Teammates Remember Sean Taylor:
-- "He was a private guy,’ but he was a great guy, man. His work ethic and everything he did on the field and his approach to the game and how he played the game, he was going to be one of the greatest to play the game, I think. It's just sad to see that happen. I just remember how he prepared for game and his mentality before a game. From Wednesday to Sunday, he took the game as serious as anyone and he lived and breathed it. He was definitely on his way to being great. "… Running Back TJ Duckett
-- "I'm pretty much speechless,’ It was more difficult sitting around the house and being alone about it, without anyone to talk to who really knew Sean," … punter John Hall who lives in the area and came down to Redskins Park
-- "I got to know him off to the side. As a player he was growing as a player, wasn't making as many mistakes. He was becoming the leader of that defense, getting people in the right place ... And off the field when I would talk to him, he'd talk about just how much he really cared about his fiancée, his daughter. He talked about the decisions he was making, the decisions he used to make. He wouldn't make those same decisions or mistakes any more and as an individual and a young man you've got to grow through those growing pains ... But if you can learn from those mistakes and move on, that's a great thing."… Guard Derrick Dockery
-- "I understand the magnitude of this game with the Patriots and everything coming in, but the bottom line is, I was more than a friend to Sean Taylor. I was someone he definitely looked up to, and bottom line, it's unfortunate that situations happen like this. When they do happen like this, some things pull you away from everything else that everybody else wants you to worry about. This right here is life. It doesn't change. Life is, once it's gone, it's gone. "As a man, I would just ask for you guys, sympathy just to understand that right now is a very challenging time. Not just for me, for the University of Miami family, everybody. You don't lose a 24-year old kid with that much promise in life like this; it makes you take a step back. For me, it made me take a huge, huge step back. To ask God, what is it that you want me to do, what is it that you want me to stop being selfish about, and things like that.”… Linebacker Ray Lewis
"If anything, the game is going to take care of itself. I'm just going to get through this weekend, hopefully help a lot of my teammates get through this week as well as a lot of the Hurricane family. We're just going to go from there."
-- "On the field everybody knew him, Sean Taylor, he was a tough dude. He was a great football player. He loved the game. A lot of people didn't know (him); he was a great dude too, man. He called me when my mom passed. Even when he left early, he use to look out for me when he went to the NFL and I was still in college. He was a great dude."… Running Back Frank Gore
-- "We all lost a good friend. He is a guy who I remember when he first walked through the doors (in Washington) and just being close with him. He kind of reminded me of myself. He came in and didn't trust very many people. He was a good guy once you actually got through the tough shell. He was a caring person, a fun guy and a great guy to be around. I know that I'm going to miss him. I was thinking of the other day when we played them and how he hugged me at the game. It is very touching. It is hard to say. He was just 24-years-old. It is something that hurts all of us." … Wide Receiver Laveranues Coles
The Redskins will play host this weekend to the Buffalo Bills (5-6) who are coming off a 36-14 road lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. The game will be played at Fed Ex Field; kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm, the Redskins are expected to honor Sean Taylor's memory with a tribute before the game. For those not in the area you can follow the game online. Bills coach Dick Jauron announced Monday that J.P. Losman would be replace and the team will be led by rookie quarterback Trent Edwards (69.9 QB rating, 790 yards, 1 Touchdown, and 5 Interceptions) and Outside Linebacker Angelo Crowell (97 Tackles, 67 Solo/30 Assists, 1 Sack and 1 Forced Fumble). The Buffalo Bills are ranked 29th in points scored with 167 points and the defense is 23rd in points allowed, giving up 258 points.
Complete Tale of the Tapes:
Total Offense: Washington is ranked 13th with 334.4 yards per game and Buffalo ranks 31st with 267.4 ypg.
Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 6th with 124.6 yards per game and Buffalo ranks 18th with 101.2 ypg.
Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 15th with 209.7 yards per game and Buffalo ranks 30th with 166.2 ypg.
Total Defense: Washington is ranked 9th giving up 310.7 yards per game and Buffalo ranks 31st with 378.5 ypg.
Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 11th giving up 97.5 yards per game and Buffalo ranks 23rd with 119.7 ypg.
Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 13th giving up 213.2 yards per game and Buffalo ranks 29th with 258.7 ypg.
DT Cornelius Griffin (Back) is listed as Questionable
Griffin has not practiced this week and will be a game time decision.
WR James Thrash (hamstring) is listed as Questionable
Thrash has not practiced this week.
FB Mike Sellers (Back) is listed as Questionable
Sellers has not practiced this week.
RG Randy Thomas (torn triceps muscle) is listed as Questionable
Thomas returned to practice this week but is still recovering and hopes to return Thursday against the Bears.
WR Antwaan Randle El (Hamstring) is listed as Probable
Randle El was limited in practice this week with a heel injury and is still nursing the hamstring
WR Santana Moss (Groin) is listed as Probable
Moss was limited in practice this week with a heel injury.
RB Clinton Portis (Back) is listed as Probable
Portis was limited in practice this week with his sore back
The following players are done for the 2007 season:
FB Broughton, Nehemiah (Knee)
TE Ecker, Tyler (Groin)
WR Espy, Mike (Knee)
WR Harris, Steven (Knee)
WR McAddley, Jason (Hamstring)
OL Tucker, Ross (Neck)
OT Jansen, Jon (Ankle)
CB Carlos Rogers (Neck)
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