The Washington Times - November 30, 2008, 01:10PM


Just before the Washington Redskins and New York Giants kicked off on Sunday, Sean Taylor’s parents, girlfriend and 2-year-old daughter gathered on the field as the late Pro Bowl safety was inducted into the Redskins’ Ring of Fame. The scoreboard showed highlights of Taylor’s career at Gulliver (Fla.) Prep, the University of Miami and the Redskins. Taylor was just 24 when he was murdered in the South Florida home last November he shared with his girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, and their daughter, Jackie. “I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the owner for this great honor from our family,” said Taylor’s father, Pete. “We really appreciate the DC area, the fans and the many people that have blessed us throughout this trying time. We all understand that playing in the NFL is a privilege. Sean had the opportunity to play here. One of the things we talked about when he came here [in 2004] was the 12th man, the fans of the Redskins. He stated that when you guys make the stadium rock, he begins to rock. Right now, Sean is rocking in heaven.” After a short break, the Redskins came out of the locker room to Taylor’s family and Joe Gibbs, who coached Taylor throughout his 4-year career with Washington. Running back Clinton Portis, a college and pro teammate and Taylor’s closest friend on the Redskins, then came running on the field holding a large bearing his buddy’s No. 21. Taylor had injured a knee last Nov. 11 against Philadelphia and was on break from his rehabilitation when four men broke into Taylor’s suburban Miami home early on the morning of Nov. 26, 2007. When he confronted the men, Taylor was shot. Fans held a candlelight vigil at Redskin Park, but he died of his wounds the following morning. The first player drafted by the Redskins, fifth overall, upon Hall of Famer Gibbs’ return to Washington in 2004, Taylor was embroiled in controversy on and off the field during his first two seasons. Those difficulties culminated in June 2006 when Taylor pleaded no contest to assault and simple battery charges and was given probation and community service. From then on, Taylor’s life seemed to turn. He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and was having his best season when he was injured in 2007. He was voted to a second Pro Bowl posthumously.