Sean Taylor

Sean Michael Taylor is an American football player who currently plays free safety for the Washington Redskins of the NFL and is one of the biggest hitters in the league. Due to his ferocious style of hitting, his teammates have nicknamed him "Meast". This a reference to him being "half-man, half beast.

Taylor played high school football at Miami's Gulliver Preparatory School where he helped Gulliver win the Florida Class 2A State Championship in 2000. At Gulliver, he was a star on both sides of the ball, playing running back (on offense) and defensive back and linebacker (on defense).

In 2000, Taylor rushed for 1,300 yards and a state-record 44 touchdowns. On two separate occasions, Taylor rushed for more than 200 yards during Gulliver’s state playoff run. He also racked up more than 100 tackles during the 2000 season and accounted for three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) in the state title game victory over Marianna.

Taylor was considered the No. 7 prospect in Dade County by the Miami Herald and rated the nation’s No. 18 skill athlete and an All-American by SuperPrep. He was also an Orlando Sentinel Super Southern Team selection, the No. 1 athlete on the Florida Times-Union Super 75 list, and rated the No. 14 player in Florida by the Gainesville Sun.

Taylor began his High School football career at 6A Miami Killian Senior HS, but left to Gulliver 2A where he could play both offense and defense.

In 2001, he was one of just four true freshmen to play for Miami in the 2001 national championship season, carving a niche for himself in Miami's secondary in nickel and dime coverage packages. Taylor was named "Big East Special Teams Player" of the Week for his performance against the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2002, Taylor was a first-team All-Big East selection by the league's head coaches in his first season as a starter. He finished third on the team in tackles with 85 (53 solos), broke up 15 passes, intercepted four passes, forced one fumble, blocked a kick and returned a punt for a touchdown. He led all defensive backs in tackles, interceptions and passes broken up and had a career-high 11 tackles (two solos) and intercepted two passes in the Fiesta Bowl loss to The Ohio State University.

During his final year at Miami, Taylor produced a historic season that culminated with a plethora of honors and awards. He was a named a consensus first-team All-American, the "Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year" and a finalist for the "Jim Thorpe Award" given to the nation's best defensive back. He led the Big East Conference and ranked first nationally in interceptions per game (0.83) with 10, tying the record for interceptions in a season held by former hurricane standout Bennie Blades. He finished third in total tackles with 77 (57 solos). He intercepted two passes in Miami's impressive 28-14 win over Pittsburgh, playing a key role as the Hurricanes limited All-American receiver Larry Fitzgerald to three receptions for 26 yards. He returned interceptions for an average of 18.4 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown return at Boston College, a 50-yard scoring runback at Florida State, and a 44-yard scoring runback against Rutgers. His three TD returns of interceptions is a Miami single-season record.

Taylor was the first University of Miami player drafted in 2004, being selected one pick before widely-sought former teammate Kellen Winslow, a dominant tight end, who was chosen by the Cleveland Browns with the draft's sixth pick.

Following his 2004 selection by the Redskins, Taylor signed a seven-year, $18 million contract with the team. Shortly thereafter, fellow Redskin LaVar Arrington hit Taylor in the face with a shaving cream pie during a media interview as a ritual rookie hazing.

On the field during the 2004 season, Taylor was successful, emerging as the Redskins' starting free safety by the third game of his rookie season. For the season, he had the team's second most interceptions, with four. In addition to his four interceptions, Taylor had 89 tackles, two forced fumbles and one sack. He started for the Redskins in 13 of the season's 16 games.

Taylor's short NFL career, however, has been overshadowed somewhat by controversy. He has fired two of his agents, walked out of a mandatory NFL rookie symposium for which he was fined, and was accused of spitting on Cincinnati Bengals player, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who later called Taylor "a punk," during a 2004 game at FedEx Field. However, after an investigation, the NFL found nothing to substantiate the spitting allegation.

Taylor continued his effective play in the 2005 season, finishing with 70 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble returned for a touchdown. In this year he became recognized as one of the hardest hitters in the NFL.

Taylor, along with fellow University of Miami and Redskins' teammate Clinton Portis, was fined $5,000 in the home game against the Philadelphia Eagles for violating the NFL dress code by wearing socks that did not match the Redskins' standard uniform. Portis was fined even more for further infractions.

Taylor had ups and downs during a January 7, 2006 wild card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although he scored a touchdown that proved to be the Redskins' margin of victory, he was ejected after allegedly spitting at running back Michael Pittman. He was subsequently fined $17,000, the amount of his game check.

The 2006 season was arguably the most inconsistent of Taylor's career. He finished the year leading the Redskins' defense with 129 tackles, 1 interception and 3 forced fumbles. However, Taylor often missed tackles due to his attempts at going for a highlight-reel quality hit. Taylor not having a safety to go along with him for most of the year did crush him throughout the season. Some backers of Taylor might say this was the culmination of Taylor being forced to make tackles near the line of scrimmage to help the struggling Redskins defensive rush unit.

Taylor had his best game of the season in week 12 against the Carolina Panthers. Though he played well all game, his presence was felt most sharply in the final minutes, making a key 4th-down tackle and intercepting a Jake Delhomme pass to seal the victory. He earned NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors following the game.

Even while playing on a struggling Redskins defensive unit, Taylor's impact on the field was recognized when he was named a first alternate to the NFC's 2007 Pro Bowl team. When the first choice for safety, Brian Dawkins of the Philadelphia Eagles, chose not to play in the Pro Bowl due to an injury, Taylor was named to the vacated spot, marking his first Pro Bowl appearance.

During the Pro Bowl, on a rudimentary special teams play, punt kicker Brian Moorman (Buffalo Bills) of the AFC conference decided to snap the ball and run on 4th down to try to pick up 3 yards and a 1st down. Taylor came from about 30 yards out of the defensive backfield and completely leveled Moorman horizontally, a play which became the hit of the game. In an act of good sportsmanship and respect after he took the hit, Moorman raced to midfield to congratulate Sean Taylor for making the big play.

On October 27, 2004, Taylor was arrested at 2:45am for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol following a birthday party for former Redskins' receiver Rod Gardner. A Fairfax County, Virginia judge later acquitted Taylor of the charges in March 2005, after viewing a videotape of Taylor's roadside sobriety tests that, according to the judge, failed to demonstrate obvious intoxication. Taylor was, however, convicted for refusing to take a blood alcohol test requested of him by a Virginia state police officer. However, when this case was heard on appeal in March 2005, Taylor was acquitted of refusing to take a BAC test, due to lack of probable cause for the request.

In May, 2005, Taylor, seeking a new contract with the Redskins, was the only Redskin who refused to appear for a Redskins' training mini-camp. Redskins coach Joe Gibbs acknowledged that the Redskins had had no contact with Taylor since he returned to Miami in January, 2005, and that he had failed to return repeated phone calls to him by Gibbs and other Redskins' coaching staff. Despite his legal and other difficulties, though, Gibbs has defended the drafting of Taylor, calling the preparation that went into his selection one of the "most researched things in the history of sports."

Taylor's agent is fellow University of Miami alumnus Drew Rosenhaus, widely considered one of the most aggressive agents currently representing NFL players. Rosenhaus currently is representing Taylor in his efforts to renegotiate his existing Redskins' contract.

* On June 3, 2005, Taylor was named publicly as a "person of interest" by Miami-Dade County police in regard to a Miami assault case involving firearms, and was being sought for questioning. "We need to speak to him, we don't know if he's a victim, witness or suspect," Miami-Dade police spokesman Mary Walters said. Taylor allegedly was present at, and possibly involved in, an incident on June 1, 2005 in Miami, in which bullets allegedly were fired into a stolen vehicle.

* On June 5, 2005, ESPN and The Miami Herald both reported that Taylor, accompanied by his lawyer, surrendered to Miami-Dade police at approximately 10pm ET on June 4 at Miami's Cutler Ridge district police station, where he was transported to Miami's Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility. He was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, a felony, and misdemeanor battery.

* On June 5, Miami-Dade police issued a statement indicating that Taylor had been arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm (a felony) and battery (a misdemeanor), for allegedly pointing a gun at a person over a dispute over two ATVs that Taylor claimed were stolen. Taylor then allegedly left the scene, but returned shortly and punched one person.

* The Associated Press reported on June 5 that Taylor was held in detention at Miami's Turner Gilford Knight correctional facility and released the evening of June 4 after posting bond of $16,500. The Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office announced that Taylor would soon be officially arraigned on the charges.

* The Washington Post reported on March 3, 2006 that Taylor's trial has been postponed until April 10, 2006. Days before that date, the trial was moved back once more, this time by a week, because of conflicts with Passover and Easter celebrations.

On January 28, 2006, the Miami-Dade County prosecutor announced that he was filing new charges against Taylor, which would have increased his potential maximum jail time from 16 years to 46 years.

The new charges include increasing his felony assault charges from one to three, which reflects the allegation that, on June 1, 2005, he brandished a firearm at three individuals who Taylor believed stole two all-terrain vehicles from him.

The trial was again postponed on April 17, 2006 (to May 8, 2006), after the prosecutor in the case asked the presiding judge to be removed from the case. The County prosecutor's request for removal from the case came as Taylor's defense lawyers argued that the prosecutor was using the case to promote his side-work as a disc jockey in South Beach. Defense lawyers for Taylor have entered a motion for the case's complete dismissal, due to prosecutorial misconduct.

On May 8, 2006, the prosecution requested and received yet another extension of the case, citing the new prosecutor assigned to the case and a need for additional preparation time. It was scheduled to begin July 10, 2006 in Miami. On June 2, 2006, however, the charges against Taylor were dropped as part of a negotiated plea bargain. Taylor will donate his time to various charities and make $1,000 donations to 10 southern Florida schools in scholarships and, in exchange, will avoid jail time and a felony record.

Taylor spends most of his off-season time in his hometown of Miami. He is the son of Pedro Taylor (Police Chief for the City of Florida City Police Department; the most southern and most politically/administratively corrupt city in Miami Dade County) and Donna Junor. At the age of three, his parents divorced, and he was raised predominantly by his father and stepmother, Josephine Taylor, in the Richmond Heights area of Miami-Dade County.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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