Sean Taylor was one of the fastest rising stars in the NFL during his four-year career with the Washington Redskins. The safety garnished a reputation as being one the hardest hitting safeties in league history before his life was tragically cut short nearly seven years ago.
While he may no longer be with us, his exploits continue to be reminisced by Redskins Nation and his family. Wide receiver Santana Moss pays homage to his college and professional teammate each game and you can still see numerous No. 21 jerseys in the stands at FedExField on Sundays.
In the fifth round of the NFL Draft this past May, Taylor’s cousin, Keith Reaser, was selected by the San Francisco 49ers.
Taylor’s style of play still has a profound impact on Reaser both on and off the field. As explained in an article by ESPN’s Bill Williamson, Reaser said he watched every game of Taylor’s and that the two would train together where the two-time Pro Bowler played a mentor role.
“I watched every game he ever played,” Reaser said, “from him being at Miami in college to the NFL. We used to run and train together. What I learned most from him was his passion and work ethic. He taught me that, and I will never forget it.”
Reaser was joined by his family on Sundays in front of the television or somewhere in the stadium Taylor was playing in and said that him just playing professional football was a bonding experience. When they received news that he had been shot and passed shortly after, Reaser said it was a “tough time” on the family. At the time, he was only 16-years-old.
“He was our focal point. So much was about Sean. For it to happen like that and being in the spotlight, it was very difficult to handle.”
Now, seven years after Taylor’s death, Reaser is trying to make a similar impact to Taylor when he caused opposing players to fear lining up in his path.
“He would have been the best safety ever to play,” Reaser said of Taylor. “I want to make his memory proud.”
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