I can't believe it has been five years since the death of Redskins safety Sean Taylor. I never was more intrigued by an athlete in my entire career - the violence and the passion with which he played the game, and then the shyness and introverted way he carried himself off the field. Taylor rarely spoke with the media, but I considered it an honor and a blessing to know that he never turned me down for an interview. Nov. 27, 2007 was the saddest and toughest day of my sports broadcasting career.
Off the field, Taylor was a boy who turned into a man before our very eyes. The birth of his daughter gave him purpose and what is forgotten in all the madness is that he died protecting his family. It angers me that justice still has not been served in this case, but that is a rant for another time.
Seeing his daughter, his girlfriend Jackie and his father Pedro at the recent alumni weekend was one of the joys of my football season. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder may get criticized for a lot of his football moves, but the way he has treated and taken care of the Taylor family deserves the utmost praise.
On the field, the Redskins have never recovered fully from his untimely death. Laron Laundry played out of position trying to fill the void and, honestly, no one will come close to the skill set Taylor possessed. He was on his way to redefining the safety position. It was pretty cool seeing opposing wide receivers afraid to go over the middle as Taylor would be waiting there to inflict pain and harm.
Many have asked me what my favorite Taylor play was, and it has been so hard to come up with just one, but I will say that any defender who takes out a punter in the Pro Bowl is my kind of football player.
The Redskins have not had a game-changing talent like Taylor until now. Robert Griffin III is on offense what Sean was on defense. I'm running out of adjectives for RGIII and opposing defenses are running out of ways to try to stop him. Eight touchdowns passes in the last two games and, because of him, the Redskins are in playoff discussion.
All any NFL fan wants is for their team to be relevant and have meaningful games in December. Well, Redskins Nation you've got it. No matter what happens in the rematch with the Giants on "Monday Night Football," the burgundy and gold have a shot at the postseason.
There have been 69 points scored and six turnovers forced by Mike Shanahan's team since the loss to Carolina before the bye week. Maybe Shanahan should have talked evaluation a long time ago.
What is your favorite Taylor moment and what do you realistically think the Redskins' record will now be at the end of the season?