Sean Taylor Doesn't Get Flustered
So I was actually at the Redskins game on Sunday, writing a story about their continuing penalty issues, and I wanted to ask Sean Taylor a question, since he was flagged for two
30 (my bad) 15-yarders in addition to a few less-than-ideal results in pass coverage. He was dressing by himself, his back to the room, with no media members around and that huge "Taylor" tattoo across the top of his back, which would let him be easily identified in a shirts vs. skins game, but is less helpful in an Eagles vs. Skins game.
Anyhow, I asked another scribe why no one was approaching Taylor, and he explained that people have pretty much given up. Sometimes you'll get a grunt in reply to a question, sometimes he'll merely walk past you and not speak. Still, I was gonna mention his penalties in my story, and at a minimum I wanted to say whether he declined to comment.
(His locker, by the way, was the closest one to the visiting team locker room's little foyer, which contained one of those metal heating racks to keep food warm, the kind you see in cafeterias. Inside the tray were hamburgers on the top, hot dogs on the bottom. I wasn't really expecting spaghetti with codfish ragu and garlic-brushed bruschetta, but somehow I imagined the post-game grub choices would have extended beyond hamburgers and hot dogs. Although I guess Brunell already has the wet noodle thing covered.)
Anyhow, I went up to Sean Taylor.
"Sean, could I ask you a question?" I asked.
He continued dressing and didn't look at me.
"Uh, Sean, could I ask you a question?" I asked.
"What?" he said, giving me hope.
I thought maybe I should start with an easy one, build up a rapport.
"Do you think you're being picked on with those 15-yard calls?" I asked.
He looked at me and smiled.
"Are you getting picked on?" he asked me. Then he picked up his bag and left the locker room.
It was, in a word, odd. Although my question was lame, I'll admit. No one claimed those calls were wrong. No one even tried.
"You hit the guy out of bounds, I think anybody that would have did the same thing would have gotten the call," Carlos Rogers said.
"We've just got to be smart," Renaldo Wynn said. "You know, he's playing hard, I can't take that away from him, but if we can just not shoot ourselves in the foot on those type of plays, take away those type of things we'd be in a much better situation."
Meanwhile, I believe Marcus Washington may have been the first player to reference Budweiser's Leon in the context of The Great Mark Brunell Debate of '04-'06 and Possibly Beyond. Washington was asked if the QB questions were becoming a distraction.
"You know, I think when those questions arise and things like that happen, you've got to start with yourself first," he said. "I can't look to the quarterback, I've got to worry about getting big plays stopped, tackling, things of that nature. So I've kind of got my hands full worrying about things that I really need to worry about. And I think if people look at themselves and don't look at other guys, I think everything will take care of itself. Sometimes on the team, when things don't go your way, you tend to want to say, 'Well it can't be me.' You know, you kind of want to take the Leon attitude, if you all know who Leon is, and kind of say it's somebody else's fault. But you've got to start at home. You've got to start with yourself."
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