Redskins safety Sean Taylor died this morning, one day after being shot by an intruder at his home…
On the Sean Taylor incident: "It's an unfortunate situation. No one knows the logistics of what happened. The reports say it was a home invasion. Nothing was taken that I know of. It's tough. You think back to how much heat he took for everything, for missing camp, for not being around for this or that, for missing the rookie symposium. You come to the realization that all of that means nothing. He is fighting for his life. Hopefully the prayers come from everybody and he will pull through the situation. Now you got your back against a wall. Everything that seemed so big at the time or that everyone made a big deal about means nothing now. That man is fighting for his life. We need him to pull through. Our prayers are with him. Hopefully he will be alright."
On how Sean Taylor had matured over the past year: "Everyone in this building has noticed the change that Sean has endured over the past couple of years and seen the man that he has become ever since his little girl was born. It's hard to expect a man to grow up over night, but ever since he had his child, it's been a new Sean. Everyone around here knew it. He was always smiled, always happy, always talking about his little girl."
On if he had ever been in Sean Taylor's Miami home: "No I had never been at his house, the house that this situation happened in. But it's not a bad neighborhood. This could happen anywhere. It wasn't a bad neighborhood or a high crime area, just an unfortunate situation."
On how situations like this have happened to former/current University of Miami players: "I wouldn't even say this program, this is life. Things like this happen every single day and you can't single out one program. A kid got shot at Memphis, kids got shot in Arizona. It can happen anywhere and stem from a little argument. What you have to do is make the most of the time you have. Enjoy it and appreciate it and realize whatever your situation is, losing to Tampa, losing to the Cowboys, not making the playoffs, that stuff is not that serious. It's tough at times. There are more that people are going to fight through than this game. We enjoy this game and love playing this game, but at the same time, it's just a game. It's not something that you live and die for. What you live and die for are your kids, your family, and that's what Sean was doing."
On how he is coping: "It's hard. How can you deal with this? There is nothing we can do. We can't jump in front of the bullet for him or turn back time. You can only keep thinking what if Sean had been at the game with us or what if Sean had been on the flight with us, then he wouldn't have been in that situation. At the same time, I think this was in God's plans. You can't divert what is in God's plan. Sean is a tough guy and hopefully he can pull through this.
On when he first heard about Sean Taylor's incident: "When I first got here Jon Jefferson (Director of Player Development) pulled me into his office and told me what happened."
On his initial reaction: "I was shocked. I didn't know anything like that was going to happen. We were a little down about the game but when I found out about this my mind immediately shifted over to praying for Sean Taylor."
On how it affects the team: "It's really tough. It has already been a tough season for us, especially these past three games. That's small compared to what is going on with Sean. We found out about that and everybody immediately started praying. We had a meeting about it, just to talk about the things that are going on. It's funny because a few weeks ago I was talking to Coach Gibbs about how Sean has matured. I thought he was a great guy off the field. He is really a team guy. Everybody knows he is a great player. You don't see him out, he is a home guy. He is doing all the right things. For something like this to happen to him, it's just a shame. We really love Sean and are praying for him. At this point I don't really know his status. I heard he was in a coma but I don't know if that is true or not. There is a lot of false stuff going on about it. We just need to band together. We need to pray. It really is a difficult situation for us to handle at this point."
On Sean Taylor being in a hospital in Miami, Fl and not nearby: "It's really tough. I heard a couple of guys talking about making the trip down. Tomorrow is our off day. He is going to need all the support we can give him at this point. It is tough. At least if he was here we could go see him and be in the room to pray for him."
On the team meeting: "The main thing was that we prayed for him. I really can't talk about anything in specifics. It's a team thing and we keep everything in house. I can tell you we are praying for him and we need everyone to continue to pray for him."
On trying to make sense out of something like this: "I was just telling Demetric Evans (DL, #92) in the meeting that I have never had anyone close to me be shot. It's tough to grasp. It's really hard. Sean is a great guy. He is not a trouble maker. He's always doing the right things. For something like this to happen, it's hard to understand."
On how Sean Taylor has matured over the last year: "I believe that. I even talked to Sean about that. I said, ‘Man, I'm proud of you. You are doing a great job.' He said, ‘Thanks, I'm just focused on my job and staying out of trouble and doing all the right things.' I talked to Coach Gibbs at the banquet when Sean won the defensive award and I was sitting next to Coach because I had won the offensive award. I was talking to Coach Gibbs about how Sean had matured, how he was a great guy, and how he was doing all the right things. Coach Gibbs agreed. We probably talked for about five minutes. It's a shame for something like this to happen to him."
On how he heard the news on Sean Taylor: "I was getting dressed to come over here to Redskin Park and the news happened to be on. I saw breaking news and I was half listening, not really focused on it. I started listening and saw a picture of Sean up there and I saw that he had been shot. Immediately, I was like, ‘oh my goodness'. I was just trying to find out what happened from that point on."
On Sean Taylor: "Since coming in here and meeting Sean back in April, he has embraced me. We have had some conversations about football and about things in life. From the Sean I know, I see a player and a person who has grown so much. You have heard things about Sean being standoffish but he hadn't been like that with me at all. I was just starting to get to know him on a personal level."
On how the team is coping: "Football is one thing and today we were coming in thinking about the loss we had. When something like this happens it really brings you back to thinking about how he is fighting for his life. The situation is going to take some time. We will continue to pray for Sean and try to get as many folks as possible to pray for him. Not just Redskins fans, but all individuals to pray for Sean, because he definitely needs those prayers."
On feeling vulnerable as an athlete: "I think you are vulnerable because you get a lot of attention. People know who you are or assume you have all this money. People are looking for ways to try to attack you in some way, shape, or form. As an athlete, you are more vulnerable in a sense."
On talking with Coach Williams: "I have talked to Gregg about it. He is disheartened by the situation. He and Sean are very close, on and off the field. He is taking it extremely hard because he loves Sean. We are all taking it hard."
On if this situation calls for a lifestyle change: "He was at his house. You can't live in a box. Here he was, in his home, at two o'clock in the morning. He wasn't out in the club. He was at home. It's a sad situation."
On thinking about the upcoming game versus Buffalo: "Right now our thoughts and prayers are focused on Sean and his recovery. Come Wednesday we are going to prepare for Buffalo as best we can because we still have a job to do. Sean's situation is much bigger than what we are dealing with in terms of football games."
On the Sean Taylor incident: "You never want to enter a team meeting, or you never think about entering a team meeting to address an issue that is way bigger than this game of football. As a team and an organization, this is much bigger than football. This is not just a member of the Washington Redskins, we are talking about a dad, a brother, a friend of ours. That is where we are with this right now. Our prayers go directly out to Sean and his family. That is where we are at as a football team right now."
On how the team was informed of the Sean Taylor incident: "Coach Gibbs has addressed the team, as well as our team chaplain. They do a good job with that. That is as vocal as the team has gotten so far. There are no specifics or details that I can give you right now other than the fact that we are saddened by the situation that is going on down there. It's very personal. As a family, a friend, a person, we come together and send our prayers out. You always hear about something before you think the other person has heard about it. There were words thrown around this morning but our first formal address to this matter was in the team meeting."
On how this affects football: "It's tough to even think about a game that we play, for our livelihood, but definitely a game, when you are talking about a friend in a situation that he is in. Anytime you wake up and thank God for being awake, don't take it for granted. We are talking about a game we play for a profession that we love to play. We have to rally as a team with prayer right now and then the football will come."
On how Sean has matured: "If you have kids, and you see the development of your kids as they grow up. It happens so fast and your kid grows and you're like, ‘Aw I didn't even know he could do that' or you are so excited when he does this. It's similar with Sean here. When I came here in 2005 he had just had his things go on. From '05 to now I have been able to see him leap, an unimaginable amount of growth. You could see it carry over in his personality on and off the field."
On how the team is coping: "We are definitely praying for him. I'm praying for him as I stand here before you. Each individual has their own way of handling their own battles in life. The way that they cope with emotions, I expect everyone on this team to handle it the best way they can. As a team we will come together and rally in every effort of prayer so that we can get through this."
On how he is dealing with the Sean Taylor situation: "It's very tough. It puts everything in perspective. A couple of hours ago we were worrying about this loss to Tampa and the playoff situation we were in. All of that goes out the window now. We are looking at a family member from this family fighting for his life. It's tough. We forget about football right now and worry about our brother, our family."
On his impressions of Sean Taylor: "It's kind of funny. I came in for my visit for the first time in the off season. The first person I saw in the locker room was Sean. I always knew Sean. To have him say we would like to have you here, it meant a lot. You start to think about all the times you talked to him and little conversations you had with him. It's funny, I wake up and look at the internet and am thinking, what are they talking about, someone got shot. He was the last person that would have ever been on my mind that could have gotten shot because of the person that he is. He is the type of person that is unbelievable. People don't understand the kind of person that he is. All the situations he had legally, earlier in his career, doesn't state the type of character that he is or the type of person that he is. You have to be around Sean to see that. He is an unbelievable person. Our prayers go out to his family. We need everybody's prayers to help him through this. Not just us, everybody, you included. Put him in your prayers."
On how he knew Sean Taylor before becoming teammates: "I just knew him from playing against him. It's a small fraternity that plays in the league. We tend to know great players and he is a great player. You tend to get to know him and want to know him."
On the team's reaction: "Everyone around here is just stunned. We are numb right now. I probably speak for everybody when I say we are numb. We don't know what to do right now."
Joe Gibbs: "I want to start by saying early this morning I was woken up by a tragic set of circumstances for Sean and all of us immediately. I was already headed in and came to the complex. I know very little information about the situation, medically, other than it is extremely serious. What we did this morning was figure out that Dan Snyder (Owner, Washington Redskins) was going to take a contingent and leave and go to Miami, which they did. He just got in down there. A lot of Redskin people went with him to be supportive of the family and see what they could do. We met at noon with the team. What I said to them was I described what we knew about it. I told them that Brett Fuller, our chaplain, was here. We had him talk to the team. After Brett talked to the team for awhile we had a prayer. At that point, I told the players they were free. For all of us here, we are obviously in shock. I know I can't put it in words. I wouldn't do a good job of explaining how we feel. I know all of our fans out there are praying. All of us are emotional right now and caught up in it. We are praying for the absolute best for Sean and his family."
"Personally, I will always think back to my own kids playing football. Before that I would look at players and have a tendency to say ‘Do this' or ‘Hit that' and then all of a sudden your own son is out there and it put it all on a real personal basis for me. All of us reflect on life and we see how fragile life is. To see the way Sean had grown since he came here and the way he had impressed all of us, I knew how much his baby meant to him. To have that baby and carrying that baby, I could see in him a maturing process that you go through when you have your first child. All those things go through my mind, and yes, it puts it on a personal basis. I have never gone through anything like this so it is hard for me to put it into words and I'm probably not doing a very good job at it."
"Our policy ever since I have been here is that the medical team tells us what is best for the player. Most of the time, players are getting treatment, and if that is what is best for them, then they stay here. Last week, Mike Sellers or James Thrash were always here. They didn't travel with us because that is what is best for them because they can be here and get treatment. A week ago, what happened was Sean stayed here and came in and got treatment on Saturday. When I got back in on Monday he called me in the office in the morning right before our meeting. He said ‘Coach, somebody broke into my house yesterday. I came down to straighten everything out and I will be in tomorrow for my treatment.' He said he wanted me to know that it would be hard for him to make the meeting. I told him I understood and to take care of the house and everything he had to. He did, and the next day he was back here getting treatment. I thought everything was fine. This weekend, I know he was here when we left. He got treatment on Saturday. I don't know what happened after that. I don't know why he traveled back to Miami. In my life, in my world, I have learned that you can't go back.
After games people ask why did you do certain things. I say you need to make a decision and go forward. That decision, I think only the Lord knows the set of circumstances here that took place. For all of us, for Sean and his family, I spoke with his dad this morning, it's a hard time for us. I'm sure I'm not doing a good job of telling you how everyone feels."
Gregg Williams: "It's been a pretty long, difficult day for all of us. Most people came into work today thinking about how to get over a tough loss down in Tampa yesterday. Things like this put things in perspective in a hurry. I have not had much sleep. As a father, a coach or as anybody, you do not like to get those very, very early morning calls with news like that. I think Coach Gibbs spoke well on how we as an organization feel about Sean. I think I've been documented many, many times on how I feel about him personally, my admiration for him and the closeness that he and I have. Any of the guys I get to coach and be around I've always thought about them as one of mine.
Obviously with him being the first draft choice I was involved with bringing here, he always been a little bit closer to me and my heart on that. He is not much older than my oldest son and he and I have come a long ways together in some of the maturation he has taken here. I'm very proud of some of the things he has accomplished since he has been here. It is well documented that you all have been able to see as a player grow, behind the scenes you have not been able to see because he has not been as forthcoming to the press as he has been behind the scenes with us. His growth as a teammate, his growth as a player, his growth as a leader on this team, when your teammates vote you a member of the leadership council that meets with Coach Gibbs week or bi-monthly or whenever they get together. I think his teammates have spoken about what they think about him and he has taken that role very seriously. With all those things being said, where the public gets a chance to see him is on game day and gets a chance to see him perform. I am more pleased with where I have seen him mature as a father and it really changed him with the conversations that I have had with him in the past to possibly have an impact in some changes in the decision making process as a father. From a fiancé standpoint and him being engaged, from a son's standpoint, from a grandson standpoint in his own families eyes for me I have had an inner smile go on with me as I have seen him grow here and see him change dramatically for the good.
Once again as I go back and put things into perspective. I have not had much sleep and I don't intend on getting much sleep tonight until we get more news. I don't have a whole lot more news for you to talk about how he is doing. I am waiting to hear from the contingent that goes down there any updates on those things, but I will tell you this: that the power of prayer is very powerful. All of us here, people who are watching today, Redskins fans, people in the media, everybody, all of us get on our knees and say a prayer for him. Whether he plays again? I don't know. If he does, great, if he doesn't great. I just want him to recover. I just want him to be alright."
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