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Remembering 21: Taylor's Greatest Hits

I asked two of the men who worked most closely with Sean Taylor, and who studied a ton of his film, to think back on a couple of his most memorable plays. Both Gregg Williams, the Redskins' former assistant head coach - defense, and safeties coach Steve Jackson pointed to massive blows Taylor delivered in his rookie season, and Williams recalled another play from early in Taylor's career when he made a play based on his mere presence alone.

Nov. 14, 2004: Against Cincinnati RB Rudi Johnson at FedEx Field.

"I have a lot of plays, but one particular play and one particular game was versus Cincinnati," Jackson said. "Rudi Johnson ran an outside sweep and they were in the lead, I think just really running out the clock. Sean came from the other side of the field and clotheshung [sic] him and you could see on the field their whole team looking like, 'Where the [expletive] did he come from?' And Rudi looked up and that was just Sean."

Said Williams: "I vividly remember the play. He sniffed out that play. it was a pitch to Rudi and not only did he arrive at the point of contact, he clothes-lined Rudi Johnson and at the last second Rudi saw it ... and was trying to duck out of the way."

Nov. 28, 2004: Against Pittsburgh RB Willie Parker at Heinz Field.

"There was another play everybody talked about when we played Pittsburgh in 2004, his rookie year," Jackson said. "[QB Ben] Roethlisberger scrambled out and we've got Sean playing the half field on the other sideline, and he took off running, and by the time he got the ball in the air and when Willie Parker caught it, Sean hit him so hard that the ball went flying one way, and his helmet went flying the other way. And then (Taylor) got up and he did Joey Porter's little kick thing right on that sideline, and everybody looked like, 'Who is this guy, and where did he come from?' Those were the things his rookie year when everybody recognized how special he was."

"I recall that play, definitely. I recall that hit," Williams said. "Sean traveled - we measured it - about 40-42 yards back across the field and was able to cover that ground and in that little time. And the hit was so violent that it blew out [Parker's] cheek pads and his chin strap and knocked his helmet off."

Dec. 11, 2005: Against Arizona RB J.J. Arrington at Sun Devil Stadium.

"I remember another play when we went to Arizona in 2005. It was a fourth-down play and it was a toss play to running back J.J. Arrington. They needed that play and Sean had put so many of those violent collisions on film that J.J. went down to get away from the hit that he knew was coming from Sean on that play. And he was short on the play, and he did not make an attempt to make that gain, because of the intimidation that he had already seen on him."

That was a must-win game for the Redskins that December, when they won five in a row to finish 10-6 and earn a playoff berth.

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 25, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Remembering 21  
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Next: Remembering 21: Ring of Fame

Comments

My all-time fav was when he blasted Crayton at the end of the Monday Night miracle game.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 25, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Nice. All against RB's shows you what ST did for not only the passing game but the run attack as well.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 25, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Alex,

The real problem that year was Spurrier let some one were Bobby Mitchells 49.

Not sure of the number 11 why would Ramsey not be allowed to wear it.

Here is the list of unofficial retired numbers.

7 Joe Theismann, QB, 1974-85
9 Sonny Jurgensen, QB, 1964-74
28 Darrell Green, CB, 1983-2002
42 Charley Taylor, WR, 1964-77
43 Larry Brown, RB, 1969-76
44 John Riggins, RB, 1976-79, 1981-85
49 Bobby Mitchell, RB, 1962-68
51 Monte Coleman, LB, 1979-94
65 Dave Butz, DT, 1975-88
70 Sam Huff, LB, 1964-69 (Worn by Leonard Marshall in 1993)
81 Art Monk, WR, 1980-93

33 is the only number retired by the Skins.

Posted by: Flounder21 | November 25, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I still love when he knocked the punter out of his shoes in the Pro Bowl.

Posted by: Flounder21 | November 25, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Wish you could post the hits. I never get tired of watching ST blow people up.

Posted by: Gweez | November 25, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

My favorite i guess "non-hit" was against the eagles i say in maybe 2006/07? All I recall is that todd pinkston was running a deep post from the slot, he had some space and the ball was right on target, then pinkston saw ST coming with a head of steam and just tucked his arms back in and just decided not to catch that one. Shows you the kind of fear he put in other players. LaRon is a head hunter but he will never make people fear him like ST.

Posted by: gtstang9t3 | November 25, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I thought Rypen was in the ring, hence my thing on the number 11.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 25, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The Greatest Hit came in 2005:

Miracle @ Midnight on Monday Night:

Santana Just burnt the original Roy Williams for 2 TDs. Dallas was trying to come back.

Bledsoe saw Patrick Clayton OPEN for a 1st down. He threw it to him and as soon as he caught it....

BOOM! His WHOLE body collappsed as the Reaper swooped in.

The hit was so devastating, the refs didn't realize he had position originally and called it incomplete when it was actually a fumble. Go check the replay or post the youtube video.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 25, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see that JJ Arrington one.


I wonder how long it'll take for me to stop saying "Man, if we still had Sean Taylor, that wouldn't have happened." everytime somebody from our secondary gets ran over or doesn't deliver on an opportunity for a big hit.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

We cant forget about Terry Glenn going across the middle and pulling his arms back as ST was about to knock him...

Posted by: rc2223 | November 25, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I love LaRon, but Brandon Jacobs would not have done that to the Reaper.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 25, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"My favorite i guess "non-hit" was against the eagles i say in maybe 2006/07? All I recall is that todd pinkston was running a deep post from the slot, he had some space and the ball was right on target, then pinkston saw ST coming with a head of steam and just tucked his arms back in and just decided not to catch that one. Shows you the kind of fear he put in other players. LaRon is a head hunter but he will never make people fear him like ST.

Posted by: gtstang9t3"

here's a similar one, although from the Pro Bowl :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWdnyFfzy3E


can you blame him though? I truly can't believe there's a WR in the league at that time that wasn't at least a little shaken when playing against ST.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"I love LaRon, but Brandon Jacobs would not have done that to the Reaper.

Posted by: Original_etrod "

Announcers would've been saying "And Brandon Jacobs needs to get low there or he might get taken out the game" instead of saying that about LaRon.

A running back slowed down a little after breaking a couple tackles and a little off balance? Those are Sean Taylor highlight plays right there.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

That one on Rudi is haliarious, the entire field literally like 20 guys are running in one direction until on guy ST 26/36/21 comes across the opposite direction, all you see is arms and legs flying and rudi drops like a ton of sh!t off that mean clothes line. It was complete bedlam.
The hit on willie was just devistating right on the sidelines in fron of their bench completely blew him up.
The best just had to be the way that he played TO copmpletly fustigated the guy, he hated ST.
And btw he also outjumped Randy Moss on a deep ball down the center of the field maybe rookie year but just staright up out jumped him then dragged him down, not to many players in the league can say that.

Posted by: Stu27 | November 25, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I can't forget the fact that TO refused to put his arms out for a pass when ST was on the field. TO was so intimidated by him it wasn't even funny. And TO never had a good game when ST was on the field, he was scared to catch the ball when ST was out there.

And I remember that Pinkston play(or non-play), it was on all the highlights from that weekend too, it was great.

Posted by: craig2 | November 25, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 25, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

All of these brings a smile to my face. Reaper was the man period.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 25, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I think TO was a little hesitant around Sean Taylor, but I won't say his level of play went down against Sean Taylor.

TO is an incredible WR, but I think Sean Taylor elevated his game tremendously because he had to, and he simply outplayed TO as a better player.


One thing I always loved was when Sean Taylor would get a late hit flag, because we knew he was just putting that fear into the player and that it would work. Most other players get one and it's stupid. Sean Taylor gets one and he's making a point and that player is gonna remember it.

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

on one of the highlights ST nudges TO a little after TO has gone out of bounds while TO was on the Eagles.

TO turns around and yells for a flag from the ref, I don't think they called one.


but I'm just thinking TO was prolly like "dammit, this guy is gonna kill me if he gets the chance."

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Etrod. Chills....

Posted by: Gweez | November 25, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

There is no question TO didn't want any part of the Reaper. Hell friends that are Cowboys fans even say that and would say that to me.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 25, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Umm TO was a different player with ST in there. No one wanted to run post patterns or crossing routes with ST playing.

Just ask Todd Pinkston

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls794MhIkU4

Posted by: Gweez | November 25, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

This video has all the hits mentioned broken down in slow motion it is awesome check it out just watched it myself the best taylor tribute video I have ever seen.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvpV1xMX2do

Posted by: Flounder21 | November 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rZOfG50y1Q&feature=related

the JJ Arrington fall is at about 7:20 on that youtube post

lol

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The hit on the punter at the Pro Bowl is my favorite - the best part is that Moorman comes over to congratulate him on it afterwards. Priceless.

Posted by: suzannepdc | November 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Just ask Todd Pinkston

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls794MhIkU4

Posted by: Gweez | November 25, 2008 10:50 AM

I was at that game and that was Ryan Clark, not ST36 who he froze up on......

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 25, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The hit on the punter at the Pro Bowl is my favorite - the best part is that Moorman comes over to congratulate him on it afterwards. Priceless.

Posted by: suzannepdc | November 25, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Actually he was just concussed and thought he was meeting St. Peter.

Posted by: Gweez | November 25, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

my screen saver is of taylor hitting an eagle receiver in a monday night game last year. taylor's forearm and left shoulder lifted the receiver (freddie mitchell i think) up in the air. McNabb's pass had been a perfect spiral rifled in on the numbers and when Reaper hit him, the ball ricocheted out in the opposite direction in another spiral. Mitchell's had and shoulders hit the ground before his feet did and Reaper just stood over him for a second before returning to the huddle and getting dap from a couple of teammates. But they didn't go overboard although it was a spectacular hit. That was the norm for Sean and it was expected.

Posted by: gregskins | November 25, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Great story. "FCAJLC"

Posted by: skinsfanforracialfairness | November 25, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

oh man, just saw the clip of that Eagles game late in the 4th, fumbled ball and there's a big pileup for it.

I remember screaming at the TV for someone to get it, then Sean Taylor just comes by, picks it up, and hauls ass for the TD.

Dude left us with some great memories

Posted by: TheTruth11 | November 25, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

gregskin, I have that same photo as my screensaver (both at home and at work) It was actually Reggie Brown that got rocked on that play.

Taylor just stuck is forearm and shoulder dead into Brown's sternum in that picture.

Posted by: RedDMV | November 25, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

4th, It was Clark coming. The fear was compliments of one Sean Taylor. You don't get alligator arms from the hit coming. You get them from the hits you've seen on film and felt in the past. He saw Burgandy and Gold safety and feared the Reaper.

Posted by: Gweez | November 25, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Etrod. I'm sure Brian Moorman is still walking funny after that hit in the Pro Bowl.

I hope the team is watching stuff like this during the week leading up to the Giants game. If that doesn't get them jacked up to beat the Jints I don't know what will...

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 25, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Gregskins I don't buy it. McNabb never threw a perfect spiral into the numbers in his career.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 25, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

One thing I'll never forget about SeanTay was how he always scared the $### out of big TO when Owens was with the Iggles and Cowboys. Sean was the only player I've ever seen who was big, fast, and fearsome enough that TO got alligator arms EVERYTIME he was around.

Posted by: PBL4 | November 25, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Greg and red I have the same wallpaper here at work, it was little reggie Brown, almost seems unfair ST lit up such bigger targets this guy stood naught a chance, then again none of em did.

Posted by: Stu27 | November 25, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Gregskins I don't buy it. McNabb never threw a perfect spiral into the numbers in his career.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 25, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse


So true. LMGO

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 25, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't it feel good remembering how the Reaper layed the wood on people?

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 25, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

RIP #21.

Sean Taylor - The Eternal Redskin

Posted by: PBL4 | November 25, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't Fincher wear #51?

Posted by: Tyler2Durden | November 25, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the correction RedDMV.

& LOL about McNabb...alex35332

Posted by: gregskins | November 25, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

One of my highlight hits was actually a horsecollar he threw on McNabb before it was illegal. Back in the day when McNabb used to run through armtackles like water, he just assumed he would do the same to ST. Wrong! Taylor bent him the other way and took him down like he stole something! McNabb never came at 21 like that again...

Posted by: wisdom80 | November 25, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

You all have it ALL wrong. Sean's greatest hit, in my opinion, was in the San Diego game where Sean didn't necessarily hit the ball carrier...but followed his assignment and blew the HELL out of Lorenzo Neal (FB for San Diego). Sean knew he didn't have the angle to make a play on LT...so he decided to unleash PAIN on Lorenzo Neal...knocking out the lead blocker so others could make a play on the ball carrier.

Posted by: jmicrodoc | November 25, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the knockout hit Sean did in the Pro-bowl (I forget the year)?

Posted by: memyselfI1 | November 25, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to comment on that jmicrodoc! He blew up Lorenzo Neal like no fullback has been blown up by a safety. That's what separated 21 from the rest off these safeties today. Sean wouldn't just blow up immobile QBs or little shifty wideouts, he would punish RBs, FBs, TEs, anyone who got in his way. No disrespect, but Ed Reed/Brian Dawkins/anyone you want to name wasnt dishing out pain to big boys like Sean. He was the best combination of hitting/covering ever, and he was only a pup.

Posted by: wisdom80 | November 25, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember I think during last years Detroit game, maybe the same game Sellers steam rolled that DB. When Detroit punted and Sean came out of nowhere and destroyed someone on the edge of the TV screen. I think it set up the return for a TD. I tried to google it but got nothing.

Posted by: murphyz | November 26, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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