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Remembering Sean Taylor, five years after his death

Buffalo Bills v Washington Redskins Getty Images

It was one of those moments where the time and place the news came remains frozen in memory.  For me, I was shaving while worrying about all the stuff I needed to be worried about on the first day of what ended up being the last trial I handled before doing this on a full-time basis.

A friend called my cell phone to let me know that Redskins safety Sean Taylor had been shot by an intruder in his home.

Five years ago today, Taylor died from the bullet wound that severed his femoral artery and resulted in ultimately fatal blood loss.  ESPN has put together an excellent reflection on the life of Taylor, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft and only 24 at the time he was murdered; receiver Santana Moss is still shaken by the incident.

Sean Taylor died protecting his Miami home, his girlfriend, and their 18-month-old daughter against intruders who assumed Taylor would be with the Redskins.  He wasn’t, due to an injury.

Taylor’s early NFL years featured on-field and off-field incidents, from spitting in the face of Bucs running back Michael Pittman to brandishing a gun during a dispute over ATVs.  By all accounts, the birth of his daughter had caused Sean Taylor to change, to mature.

The fact that he is still remembered so fondly and emotionally by those who knew him five years after his passing underscores that he was a special talent and a special person.  Via WUSA, here’s a look at some of Taylor’s biggest hits; the biggest likely came on an afternoon in Hawaii, when he treated the Pro Bowl like anything but the glorified game of full-padded-two-hand-touch it has become.

We continue to wish Taylor’s family and teammates well, specifically his daughter, Jackie, who is now six years old and growing up without her father.

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41 Responses to “Remembering Sean Taylor, five years after his death”
  1. waiting4asuperbowl says: Nov 27, 2012 8:19 PM

    Still devestated that hes dead

  2. cwwgk says: Nov 27, 2012 8:25 PM

    For the DC area, the tragedy was all too reminiscent of Len Bias.

  3. blacknole08 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:27 PM

    Man, what a heck of an athlete he was. I can recall being in high school and watching this guy completely destroy a Noles WR each year — The hit he made on P.K. Sam still stands out. The Noles never won a game against the U while he was there. “I wish he played for us” I would say to myself.

    I cried the day he past — He was only 24 and died for no reason! I was 21 when he was murdered and now I’m 26.

    Life is just too short.

  4. peytonsneck18 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:33 PM

    Sad that a young promising player lost his life so early….sad!!!

  5. skinsfan91 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:35 PM

    The Redskins would have 2 or 3 more wins right now if he was on the team. Dude was a force in the defensive backfield.

  6. garyreazons55 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:36 PM

    One bad cat. Made receivers pay when they came over the middle.

  7. defscottyb says: Nov 27, 2012 8:38 PM

    RIP Sean Taylor, you will always be remembered… Hail!

  8. djmcba says: Nov 27, 2012 8:43 PM

    If you want to lambs ESPN all the time you should at least give them kudos for making this a huge part of their sports coverage today prompting you to write an article…or what that be wholly objective journalism?

    It’s a huge shame senseless violence like this takes place and I find it interesting the trial has yet to take place after five years (it is scheduled for next April).

    I don’t give a damn about any mitigating circumstances, I hope they throw the book at these guys.

  9. faris213 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:50 PM

    I remember waiting for my econ class to begin when i saw the story on ESPN.com. Then you kept hearing reports about how his condition is improving, and then just like that you hear that he passed.

    Still gives me chills when i watch the Skins’ first defensive snap with just 10 men. I think the big hits overshadowed the rest of his game. Great against the run and a very underrated cover safety. And the scary part is that he was just getting better. Such a shame.

  10. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Nov 27, 2012 8:50 PM

    The U has had some safeties in its time. Bennie Blades, Fred Marion, Ed Reed, Ryan McNeil, Bubba McDowell, Burgess Owens, Brandon Meriweather, Kenny Phillips, Darryl Williams, and more.

    Sean Taylor was better than all of them (maybe Bennie Blades was as good).

    U Mt Rushmore
    Jerome Brown, Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, and Sean Taylor

  11. panicatthedistrict says: Nov 27, 2012 8:53 PM

    The fact that today’s Skins still can’t find an adequate replacement for number 21 pains me and reminds me how important he was to the team as both a player and a person. RIP Sean, we still miss you.

  12. evomike06 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:58 PM

    Guy was an absolute beast on the field. To bad this happened to him when he was finally starting to get his life together off the field. Skins defense has never been the same since he was murdered. RIP Sean Taylor. Hail

  13. pgcubano says: Nov 27, 2012 9:01 PM

    RIP Sean..I will never forget you..HTTR

  14. phillyrick22 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:10 PM

    RIP Sean.. You were one of my favorite players, played the game right. Gone way too soon.

  15. dirtmcgirt24 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:10 PM

    At least there’s 2 classless people out there who felt brave behind the cowardly shields of their computer monitors to put thumbs down on some of these posts. You’re disgraces to society.

    Very nice piece, Mike. I feel for the guy’s family.

  16. logicalvoicesays says: Nov 27, 2012 9:16 PM

    The complete package as far as what you want in a football player. He was on his way to surpassing records to become the best ever at the safety position. I often wonder how different LaRon Landry would have progressed as the duo looked very nice in the 5 games they played together. May he rest in peace and may god bless his daughter.

  17. stevincinci says: Nov 27, 2012 9:17 PM

    If I recall, the Bengals passed on him when he was drafted. Character issues…. imagine that, Bengals passed on him because of character issues. R.I.P Sean and Chris Henry (character issues) Any one know where Odell Thurman is? (character issues)

  18. husky2score says: Nov 27, 2012 9:26 PM

    Too unfortunate this had to happen, and it would’ve been fun watching him, and listening to what people said about him around my Maryland area.

    RIP Sean Taylor

    Best wishes to the family.

  19. h3min1230 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:32 PM

    I wish you guys would disable the “thumbs up/down” button for stories like this. Some of these posters are pathetic.

  20. raiderinva says: Nov 27, 2012 9:32 PM

    Just a touch of reality …..

    Let’s not forget that everyone ripped Gibbs for taking Taylor, then ripped Cleveland for taking Winslow. Both were the trouble makers of the draft and both from “The U” …

    Taylor also in curd the nickname “The Hitman” in part because of his hit on Punter Brian Moorman in the Pro Bowl. He was a controversial pick for the Pro Bowl due to his multiple off the field issues and arrest. At the time of his death he was facing multiple felony assault and battery charges, had been cleared of numerous DUI charges in VA, and also had been ejected from multiple games for spitting on players. (I don’t know how to explain the ATV incident?)

    Until five years ago Sean Taylor was no angle.

  21. ramasez says: Nov 27, 2012 9:33 PM

    It’s wierd, I never been that attached to players but I he was my favorite and I will never forget the day he died.

  22. procre8te says: Nov 27, 2012 9:37 PM

    Man, That video of his hits makes me sad, and pumped up! Tragic. How the Skins’ could use him right now. Good on you Florio for this post.

  23. footballfan84 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:38 PM

    May peace be upon him.

  24. sean21taylorrip says: Nov 27, 2012 9:45 PM

    Obviously by my screen name I am a huge Sean Taylor fan and redskins fan. I took the loss of st21 about as hard as I would the loss of a friend and family member. I still find it hard to watch YouTube highlites of Sean because it pains me to know what kind of impact he could of had with the redskins and in his daughters life. When st21 was on defense I would watch what he did on plays rather than following the ball because I knew he was going to make a big hit or a big play that would change the game and there aren’t any other defenders in the league that I can say that about. May you rest in peace Sean and may your family find peace since his killers still haven’t been brought to justice yet

  25. futilephish says: Nov 27, 2012 9:47 PM

    Man….life is just a blink of an eye…

    He would have made Ed Reed look like….well he would have surpassed Ed.
    GO CANES!!!

  26. h1ndrix says: Nov 27, 2012 9:48 PM

    Sean matured and had become the best safety in the league his last year. He had slimmed down and could cover the entire field while still remaining the most ferocious hitter in the league. I still remember his last game against Brett Favre and the Packers. I believe he had 2 or 3 picks and could have easily had 2 more he couldn’t hang onto. I’m glad I got the chance to watch him play.

  27. redskin3310 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:55 PM

    I was playing in a flag football tournament and looked down at my phone between games, saw a few missed calls from my wife, and she told me what happened. Devastating loss for his family. Unable to be replaced by the Redskins to this day. RIP Sean, we all miss you!

  28. squinn21 says: Nov 27, 2012 9:58 PM

    Grew up a Canes fan in Ft. Lauderdale and this guy was my favorite Cane ever. I was at a game vs FSU in high school and remember him hitting a WR so hard that it sent him into a full flip. To this day, I still don’t think I’ve seen anyone hit that hard. I literally heard that WR’s helmet pop all the way up in the cheap seats in the OB, it was unreal. I also loved how Sean hated that d bag Terrell Owens when he was with the Skins and always hit him every chance he could. RIP 26!!

  29. kane337 says: Nov 27, 2012 10:00 PM

    RIP Sean Taylor. We miss you. A Cane forever.

  30. raiderspride says: Nov 27, 2012 10:01 PM

    This post on P.F.T. Mr. Florio is, well let’s say very genuine.

    Thanks for the read.

    I am so sure Sean’s loved ones will print it out and frame it.

  31. 1standinches says: Nov 27, 2012 10:38 PM

    I still tear up over this.

  32. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Nov 27, 2012 11:21 PM

    it was actually the last time I cried. I stayed up all night glued to the tv worried and praying and when he passed balled like a baby.

    he was a true hero defending his young family. he could have turned into a hall of fame safety. no doubt the redskins are missing him this year.

    if he were on the defense the redskins wouldn’t have lost those 5 games that the defense gave up the lead late in the fourth to lose for them.

    rip #21 always will be a redskins legend!!! HTTR!!! may god bless his daughter and his widowed wife. I hope if the redskins were to win a super bowl that Mr Snyder still include Sean on the team and give the ring to #21’s daughter!!!

    HTTR fight like bloodthirsty warriors, play like champions, dominate and win!! play for Sean and play like Sean, ruthless and with all heart!!!
    take it one game at a time and win The rest of the games this season. HTTR

    #21 a redskin warrior forever!!!!!

  33. thermalito says: Nov 27, 2012 11:41 PM

    Living in America is more dangerous than many third world countries.

  34. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Nov 27, 2012 11:47 PM

    The day 21 died was actually the last time I cried. I stayed up all night glued to the tv worried and praying and when he passed balled like a baby.

    he was a true hero defending his young family. he could have turned into a hall of fame safety. no doubt the redskins are missing him this year.

    What a beast, kicking ass with a mecete vs 3men with guns

    if he were on the defense the redskins wouldn’t have lost those 5 games that the defense gave up the lead late in the fourth to lose for them.

    rip #21 always will be a redskins legend!!! HTTR!!! may god bless his daughter and his widowed wife. I hope if the redskins were to win a super bowl that Mr Snyder still include Sean on the team and give the ring to #21’s daughter!!!

    HTTR fight like bloodthirsty warriors, play like champions, dominate and win!! play for Sean and play like Sean, ruthless and with all heart!!!
    take it one game at a time and win The rest of the games this season. HTTR

    #21 a redskin warrior forever!!!!!

    #winfor21 #HTTR #rip21 #seantaylor #imissu #foeveraredskin #legendof21 #redskinwarrior #beatny #RG3forMVP

  35. wuchick2002 says: Nov 27, 2012 11:47 PM

    do the redskins still play their first defensive snap with 10 men?

  36. peepeetoucher says: Nov 27, 2012 11:52 PM

    R.I.P Sean..

  37. fincity305 says: Nov 28, 2012 12:06 AM

    Miss this guy. He will always be my favorite player. I would pretend I had a 26 on my chest and taylor on my back playing ball as a kid.. R.I.P Sean

  38. rtant2013 says: Nov 28, 2012 8:23 AM

    @raiderinva

    One, don’t deface this mans legacy or his memory. Two, he had one DUI and a battery charge (which he was just present for) so obviously you don’t have your facts right. The guy wasn’t a bad man, and when his daughter was born he grew up and matured.

    But the fact that you seem to think just because he had some issues, that he deserved someone breaking into his home and killing him. You are a loser bit**, and I would dare you to say anything similar anywhere other then behind your computer. No one deserves to be shot, especially at just 24.

    So let me ask you this, Suh has had more problems then the great 21, so if someone kills him its his fault because he wasn’t a saint right?

    RIP Meast, you truly were a man beast. We all love and miss you, and you’ll forever be embedded in all of our minds and hearts.

  39. rtant2013 says: Nov 28, 2012 9:32 AM

    In the words of Joe Gibbs

    “I don’t know how many times over the four years he played, that god looked down and said, dang I made one hell of a football player”.

    You’ll forever be missed Sean. You were a fan favorite, and I still see your jersey more then anyone else’s when I go to games. I still wear my #21 jersey every Sunday, because your still part of the Redskins. Your memory will always live on. My favorite player of all time and the Meast nickname fit him perfectly. Would have gone to the HOF and been one of the best safties in history.

    That ESPN segment had me in tears, and I’m definitely not a crier, but it brought back all those memories of him. His bone crushing hits could be felt through the stands.

    Also, its been 5 years and still no convictions A man is dead, a young girl will grow up without her father, and they still haven’t seen justice.

  40. babyriggo44 says: Nov 29, 2012 2:16 PM

    if someone breaks into your house lethal force is required to live.

  41. giantsfanbuteaglesownussoimaeaglesfan says: Nov 30, 2012 11:33 AM

    This is still sad. Sad he’s gone, sad we didn’t get to see him play for a real team, sad they way he went. All around what a waste of a great person and player, very sad. Wish I could have seen him play for a decent team or a great defense like the Ravens or Giants. RIP

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