Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Taylor named to Pro Bowl
By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
December 18, 2007

Jason Cole
Yahoo! Sports

Three weeks after receiving the worst news he'd ever gotten as the owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder was able to deliver a morsel of good information to the family of the late Sean Taylor.

Taylor made the Pro Bowl at safety.

Snyder called Pedro Taylor, Taylor's father, on Tuesday afternoon shortly after Washington found out from the NFL that Taylor, Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels and tight end Chris Cooley made the team.

"Mr. Snyder was very excited for Sean and for the team," said Pedro Taylor, whose son died Nov. 27 after being shot during a burglary at his home in suburban Miami. "This just makes me feel proud of Sean for all the hard work he put into this, all the film study, the working out four times a day and just wanting to be one of the best players ever at that position.

"He always wanted to be accountable to the other 52 guys on the team, the guys on the practice squad and the coaches. He did that."

Taylor, in the midst of having what many people considered his best campaign, was named to the Pro Bowl after last season and received the most votes at his position from fans this year. Pro Bowl spots are determined by the votes of fans, players and coaches – each of the three counting equally.

"I think it's tremendous that the fans, coaches and players thought enough of Sean to vote him in," said agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represented Taylor. "It's a testament to what type of player he was. I know this means a lot to his family and friends."

Selected No. 5 overall in the 2004 NFL draft, Taylor had a career-high five interceptions in the nine games he played this season. He had missed two games with a knee injury and had flown to Miami to be examined by a doctor there and check on his home before the burglary occurred. He was shot in the leg, the bullet piercing his femoral artery and causing massive blood loss.

After the shooting, Snyder, Redskins executive Vinny Cerrato and running back Clinton Portis flew to Miami. In the wee hours of the morning after they arrived, Snyder received a call from Rosenhaus saying that Taylor had died.

The NFL has since honored Taylor by allowing players around the league to wear the No. 21 – Taylor's jersey number – on their helmets. In their first game after Taylor's death, the Redskins' defense opened the game with only 10 players on the field to honor Taylor.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was still planning a way to honor Taylor for the Pro Bowl and would likely announce something in the next few weeks. A substitute for Taylor will eventually be named by the league.

Pedro Taylor said he'd welcome a chance to help honor his son at the game in Hawaii. Pedro Taylor and his family have tried to remain upbeat about their son's life in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"It's tough, but we're taking it one day at a time, you keep going," he said.

Taylor was recently honored by the state of Florida as one of the 33 best high school players in the 100 years the state has played organized football, joining others such as Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin on the team.

"Just to be mentioned with guys like that is an honor and a testimony to how hard and how important this was for Sean," Taylor said.

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