WASHINGTON – Hard to believe it was seven years ago today that Washington safety Sean Taylor died from wounds he suffered the night before, after his Miami home was burglarized.
Taylor or “Meast,” as his teammates called him a his part man-part beast action on the field, was only 24 years old and in his fourth season with the burgundy and gold. He wasn’t supposed to be at home during the break in, the second in a little over a week at his residence, as he was rehabbing a football injury.
Even the burglars thought the home was unoccupied, and were surprised when they saw Taylor. In the aftermath of the confrontation Taylor suffered a gunshot to his femoral artery in his leg. He died after surgery early the next morning.
The team honored his passing in a game against the Bills at Fed Ex Field, the first game after his death, in which the starting defense fielded just 10 players, leaving Taylor’s spot vacant in remembrance.
The day before at a memorial, his uncle Michael Outar told a story to the audience about when Sean was playing youth football, saying that he wanted Sean to play running back or quarterback, so he could score all the touchdowns. But the coach gave Sean No. 66 and put him on the defensive line. Before the game, a young Taylor asked his uncle what he should do. Outar told him to “hit the guy with the ball.” And that’s what he did, over and over.
If Taylor had lived, you have to wonder if the team’s fortunes would have changed as Taylor entered the prime of his career.
Yes, he was just one player, but his contribution on defense many have said had the promise of other great safety’s in the NFL like Baltimore’s Ed Reed and Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu – both NFL Defensive MVP’s.
On this Thanksgiving, we should thank Sean Taylor for giving us football fans a brief but impactful career on the football field, and be thankful that, despite his a brief stay in Washington, he will always be remembered.
Follow @WTOPSports and @WTOP on Twitter.