Today would have been the 31st birthday of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who was tragically murdered in 2007. In only four years in the NFL, Taylor became a perennial Pro Bowl player and one of the most feared defensive backs in football. Taylor was selected by the Washington Redskins with the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Coming out of the University of Miami (FL) Taylor was set to be the next great defensive player from the school. He was one of only four true freshmen to play on the 2001 National Championship team. Taylor would follow up a National Championship with an All-American career at Miami. As a sophomore he was first team All Big East, third on the team in tackles, and played one of his best games in the 2002 National Championship game where he had 11 tackles and two interceptions. Taylor’s junior year was his best as a Hurricane. He would be named a unanimous first-team All-American, the Big East Conference player of the year and set the Miami record for defensive/special team touchdown returns in a year.
Once in the NFL, Taylor was able to make an immediate impact. Taylor known as one of the biggest hitters, was also one of the better cover safeties. As a rookie, Taylor played in 15 games recording four interceptions, two forced fumbles and 76 tackles. While Sean Taylor was excelling with his play on the field, he was gaining a bad-boy reputation on it, as well as facing legal issues off it.
In 2004, Taylor was charged with a DUI in Virginia, the charges would later be dropped by a judge stating there was a lack of probable cause. The following year Taylor would face charges on aggravated assault in his hometown of Miami, these charges would later be dropped in 2006 as part of a plea deal.
Before the 2007 season, Taylor and long-time girlfriend Jackie Garcia gave birth to a daughter named Jackie. This seem to signify a change in Taylor’s life. A new mature and focused Sean Taylor could be seen and that was reflective in his play. In nine games played during the 2007 season would record 42 tackles and five interceptions before a n injury sidelined him.
Sean Taylor’s untimely death has had a lasting effect on the Redskins organization almost decade later.
So today we pay respect to one of the hardest hitting and feared safety’s during his time, and one of the most beloved Redskins of all-time.