I covered Sean Taylor for his entire Redskins career. Which means I really didn't know him that well…
Sean Taylor's death has left a gaping hole in the organization and the NFL. And the reaction to his death comes from all over.
"It's a tough time for me," Giants receiver Sinorice Moss, brother of Redskins' wideout Santana. "Sean was really like a brother to me. I feel for his family. 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."
Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell gave a statement to a media throng numbering around 100, standing outside the main entrance. At the end of his minute-long statement, Campbell lowered his head, put his hand over his face, turned and was escorted back into the building. "Sean was a great person," Campbell said, "that had all the intentions of trying to do the right things for people in the community. He will be truly missed."
Taylor's reach extended to those one would never expect. Like offensive guard Pete Kendall. When Kendall was traded to Washington, the first player he met was Taylor. Later, after the season opener, Kendall was in the parking lot with his two boys. Taylor met them and engaged them.
"Sean actually spent time with them," Kendall said. "As a father, that stood out to me. That made probably the biggest impact on me." Redskins center, Casey Rabach, speaking on Sirius Radio, said, "He was always running around having a great time, joking around. A guy that had a young daughter that he'd bring in to work and show off to his teammates and his coaches and the people around Redskin Park. That's the Sean Taylor I know, the Sean Taylor that I will remember.
"He's definitely going to be missed. Each and every day he'd come into the locker room and it seemed as he made his way to get his laundry or stuff he's stop by each and every teammate and say, ‘Hey, how you doing? What's new?' [He was] the kind of guy that had a great time on the football field."
Redskins coach Joe Gibbs talked about Taylor's transformation as a person, going from a somewhat wild kid to a maturing adult. Gibbs credited God and said Taylor attended chapel services weekly.
And Gibbs admitted right now it would be hard to balance work and grief. Indeed, he made it sound as if he'd spent more time today reflecting than preparing, a normal reaction given what's happened.
"Where do you put your occupation? Where do you put your friends? Your family? Your kids? Your grandkids?" Gibbs said. "And you realize life is so fragile. That for me is what I'm dealing with most of the time. It's hard to concentrate on football. Sean, he loved football. He loved these guys here. He loved competing. As I'm going to go forward, I'm going to think about where he is. I take great heart in that."
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