The 49ers Respond
Okay, last post of the night. Matt Maiocco, who covers the 49ers for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, was kind enough to send along some quotes from San Francisco on Sean's passing. San Fran Coach Mike Nolan spoke to Coach Joe Gibbs about the tragedy, and the 49ers organization has a frame of reference on this as well.
Thomas Herrion was a popular first-year offensive lineman who collapsed and died of a heart attack in the locker room shortly after an exhibition game in August 2005.
49ers RB Frank Gore, Sean's Miami teammate who shares an agent with Sean, said that Drew Rosenhaus told him that Sean was in Miami last weekend seeking another opinion on his injured knee. Coach Joe Gibbs has said repeatedly that he did not know Sean was even in Miami, and I have checked with other team officials this week who also said they knew of no doctors visits planned for Sean in Florida. However, Sean could have made an appointment on his own, as there is a highly respected surgeron, Dr. John Uribe, in that area, who has evaluated many Redskins before (fellow Miami player Mike Barrow visited him several times during Barrow's injury-plagued season here in 2004 if I remember correctly). Uribe is the chief of the sports med. division of the Miami School of Medicine.
Anyway, here's what Nolan and Gore had to say:
"First off, our heart felt condolences go out to Sean Taylor, his family, as well as the Washington Redskins entire organization. This is, obviously, a really unfortunate thing that happened, but at the same time, each year, hopefully, his death does not go in vain. Each year this happens with a couple of players and hopefully some other guys can learn from it and gain from it. They have to be careful in things they do."
RE: Did you talk to Joe Gibbs?
"I did speak to him yesterday. Obviously, it's a very difficult situation for their entire organization, being in the season. I know that we went through it a few years back with Thomas Herrion. That was in the preseason. So there are some similarities, but at the same time there are also some differences, because of where we are in the season. So we just kind of spoke about some of the things."
RE: How will did you know Sean ( Taylor )?
"I knew him pretty good. I've known him since pop warner/high school and we came into college together."
RE: When did you hear about the news and what was your reaction?
"When I woke up on Monday morning when I saw it on ESPN. I couldn't believe it. When they said he got shot in Miami , knowing that it's during the season, I called my agent and my agent told me he was down (there) to get a second opinion. It was scary you know, especially getting shot in his house, just going down to get his knee checked on to see what's wrong with it."
RE: Everybody talks about how close knit the University of Miami former players are, is there any thought that you'd want to go back for the funeral?
"I'm going to talk to Coach Nolan after practice. That's true, the University of Miami , all the boys that come out of there, we're like brothers. It's tough you know. It's like losing my brother."
RE: Do you ever worry about your own safety being in such a high profile position?
"It's tough. I know it can happen to anyone. Miami , it's a tough city. A lot of people have jealously for guys who have better stuff than them. I thought about it when I go back to see my family and my kids, I've got to be careful. It's just tough on me, losing my mom. Now, I'm losing a friend who I played ball with, who I knew from younger days."
RE: Can you share with one of the memories that maybe you have on the field or off the field with him?
"On the field everybody knew him, Sean Taylor, he was a tough dude. He was a great football player. He loved the game. A lot of people didn't know (him), he was a great dude too, man. He called me when my mom passed. Even when he left early, he use to look out for me when he went to the NFL and I was still in college. He was a great dude."
RE: Was that the last time you talked to him Frank, when he called you about your mom?
"Yeah, last time."
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