It’s been 10 years since Sean Taylor died of a gunshot wound that severed his femoral artery at his home in Florida. Today, we remember Taylor as one of the NFL’s most talented safeties, who always played with a viciousness and passion that was unmatched.
Taylor played for Miami Hurricanes teams in the early 2000s that produced loads of NFL talent. Seventeen players from the 2001 team that he was on were drafted in the first-round of the NFL draft from 2002-2006. He then took his swagger from the U, and made an immediate impact with Washington.
Taylor’s reputation as one of the biggest competitors in football was never greater than when he put a big hit on punter Brian Moorman in the 2006 Pro Bowl:
Today, that hit would be frowned upon. Not just because it’s in a Pro Bowl, but because it was on a punter who certainly didn’t see him coming. Of course, research on the impact of big hits like this has also changed the game of football and how we view it.
Luckily, it wasn’t a helmet-to-helmet hit, and Moorman was a good sport about it, considering he got rocked so hard it looked like Taylor knocked his soul right out of his body.
Moorman keeps that jersey in a special place, too:
In a Sean Taylor feature from Thursday's Redskins program, former Bills punter Brian Moorman says his Pro Bowl jersey is the only jersey he has framed frontwards because there is a piece of gold paint from Taylor's facemask in it. pic.twitter.com/4p1QUJYWOH— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) November 27, 2017
But the most impressive part about this is that Taylor cared about the Pro Bowl. Most players don’t today, and historically, most never have.
Many NFL players get a bad rap about not caring about the game, playing for checks, etc.
If there was a single player you could say that was guaranteed to not be like that, it was Taylor. It was part of what made him so great.