I was chatting in one of my favorite spaces this evening Extremeskins.com and a post from a member was talking about the leadership abilities of RG3. The #2 draft pick in this years draft but everyone’s #1 here in DC! This talk of leadership led me to respond with the on the field leadership (lead by example if you will) of Sean Taylor. As I carried on through writing my reply I suddenly got choked up. I think about Sean Taylor every time I watch a game and always ask myself “what if he was still out here putting fear in these WR’s hearts” but I have never really talked about him in length since the shooting until today.
I began to think about on what level is it that this guy reached me to invoke such love for someone I have never met, then I decided to watch a film of his highlights as a Redskin and I instantly remembered why. He played the game the way that everyone should live their lives: full of passion, without fear and outright determination. He made everyone around him better by simply playing every play as if it was his last. When you see someone do that day in and day out you can’t help but be inspired. This easily translated through the TV screen and the Football field as I watched him play. I took my little cousin to the game against Detroit (Sup Frampton) and by the end of the game Taylor had yet another young follower who still wears his number to this day and plays as if he is Taylor reborn. He inspired not only the players around him to be better, but his fans as well. That is the definition of a TRUE leader.
He was a raw talent on and off the field, as he grew into the incredible talent he was on the field, it was matched by his growing as a man and a father off of it. Regardless of what went on in this mans past, the day his daughter was born was the day that changed the rest of his life. He began to approach both football and life in a whole new manner. He was a complete professional on and off the field. If he wasn’t at practice he was home with his daughter and his high school sweetheart spending time with them. Developing bonds with them the same way he did his teammates, protecting them the same way as well. He was also seeking spiritual guidance. During a late night conversation with his family’s pastor at an International House of Pancakes restaurant in College Park, Maryland, Taylor reaffirmed a decision he’d made earlier in 2007 to return to the Adventist Church and to the Lord.
The aftermath of events that took place on November 27, 2007 shows how respected he was in both Football and in Life. I am not going to post up stats for the simple reason that he brought a lot more to the game of football than INTs, Hits and Forced Fumbles, he made a nation of fans believe…he made me believe. I am choosing from this point on to not be saddened by the loss of this great man, but to rather celebrate him. You were in a class all by yourself Sean Taylor and you are missed by many. You will never be forgotten, especially by this fan. #21
The Meast In Action ==> Best of Sean Taylor!
TY SHK from ExtremeSkins for the quotes.
Thomas Jones: “I knew Sean. I played against him the past couple of years in the league,” said Jets running back Thomas Jones during his weekly appearance on a local radio station. “He’s one of the better safeties in this league. That’s just tragic and it’s kind of hard to believe. We just played against those guys a couple of weeks ago and I talked to him and now he’s gone. It’s unbelievable.”
Jonathan Vilma “Sean has been a close friend of mine since our days at the University of Miami. He was a great teammate and an even greater person,” Vilma said in a statement. “It is so hard for me to fathom that I am not going to be able to pick up the phone to call him. My deepest condolences are extended to his family, especially his daughter and parents. Sean will definitely be missed and I hope for the best for his family.”
Kellen Winslow: “My thoughts and prayers go out to Sean Taylor’s family,” Winslow said in a statement released by the Browns. “The University of Miami’s one big family, and we lost a brother today. “Sean and I had a special bond.We came in to college together, we left for the NFL the same year and were drafted right next to each other. “Sean’s future was taken away from him by a senseless act of violence. I am at a loss for words to describe the pain I feel for Sean and his family right now.”
Ken Dorsey: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend and former teammate, Sean Taylor. Sean was an intense competitor and a great teammate at the University of Miami.
Ken Hamlin: “The guy had a family, a lot of friends,” Hamlin said. “Sure he’s a great player, but from everything you hear, he was a great person as well. It’s definitely a big loss. I pray for his family and friends at this time.”
Roy Williams: “It’s tragic. I’m wearing a (No.) 21 on the back of my helmet for the rest of the season,” Williams said. “He’s a great dude. I met him at the Pro Bowl and was impressed with him on the field and off the field. He really will be missed.
Jeremy Shockey: “I first got to know Sean in college when he came in as a freshman and I was in my last year at Miami. He came in with Kellen Winslow. He was kind of a wild child, like myself, but life changed for Sean after he had his baby girl. Fatherhood really changed him. He grew up and matured. That baby (daughter Jackie) had transformed his life. Working out with him during the offseason, I witnessed a change. You could see it like night and day. I feel so bad for the family.”
Sinorice Moss: “It’s a tough time for me right now. Sean was really like a brother to me. We were classmates and teammates at UM and he was a guy that just loved football and loved being around his friends. I feel for his family. I know his dad real well, and I feel for his baby girl. He was so proud of his little girl, and it’s just so sad that he’s no longer here and won’t be able to see her grow up. The whole UM family is hurting right now. My prayers go out to his family because they are going to need our support.”
Andy Reid: “We are saddened by the news about Sean Taylor’s death. Although I did not know Sean personally we have competed against him for the last several years. He was a good football player who played the game with great energy and passion,” Reid said. “I listened to the respect and remorse that Coach (Joe) Gibbs and James Thrash had and felt for Sean. These are two people I know and respect greatly.
Eric Green: “I didn’t know him that well,” said Green, who still fell to his knees crying. But there was a feeling in my stomach that I knew him forever. One thing people don’t really know about the NFL, the league is like one big fraternity. It can be a guy from the Redskins and he can be out here, and he says I am in the NFL, if we are out, we show him love. To see another one go down, it brought back memories of New Year’s Day, when we were at Antrel (Rolle’s) house and at 5 in the morning, we are hearing (Broncos cornerback) Darrent Williams died. It was like the whole thing came back to me.”
Willis Mcgahee: “Sean was a great player, but more importantly a special person. When a senseless tragedy like this happens close to home, it really makes you think about the people in your life. This is much bigger than football; life is precious and you are reminded of that every day. I know he is in a better place, and my prayers are with his family.
Herm Edwards: “When you lose a young man like that, in the prime of his life, it sets you back,” Edwards said. “You think about the things you really feel bad about, and you figure out, ‘You know what? That’s really not too important in the grand scheme of it.’ ”
Tony Romo: “Once you are part of the NFL, you are part of a family. He was a guy that was a great talent on the field,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. “It’s hard to talk about.”
Chris Samuels: “A few weeks ago I was telling Coach Gibbs how Sean has matured, I thought he was a great guy off the field. He’s really a team guy.”
James Thrash: “He’s been tremendous. From the first day I met him to now, it’s like night and day. He really has his head on his shoulders. He has been doing really well as far as just being a man. It has been awesome to see that growth.”
Joe Gibbs: “We’re going to miss him, I’m not talking about as a player. I’m talking about as a person.”