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Brian Moorman reflects on infamous Sean Taylor hit


No one wants to imagine themselves getting hit by Sean Taylor, but Brian Moorman got some first-hand experience of what that was like back in 2007.

Most Washington Commanders fans know the play by now. The AFC team attempted a fake punt from its own 48 yard line, and Moorman, who took the snap and sprinted for the first down marker, ran towards the right sideline before getting blasted by Taylor.

Taylor only played in one Pro Bowl during his career, which was tragically cut short, but he certainly made an impression. Fifteen years later, Moorman still has a vivid memory of the hit.

"It's certainly the hit that keeps on giving," Moorman said.

It took awhile for Taylor to be voted to the Pro Bowl, despite having standout seasons in 2004 and 2005. Over the course of those years, Taylor, who was a former first-round pick by Washington, recorded five interceptions, 27 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and 150 tackles.

But in 2006, Taylor finally received the Pro Bowl recognition he deserved. He only had one interception, but he did lead the team with 114 tackles. He had always been known for delivering big hits, but in the 2007 Pro Bowl, it took until the second half for the fans in attendance to see it.

There were about five minutes left in the third quarter when Moorman tried to weave through blockers and bring the offense back on the field. For a split second, it looked like Moorman had a chance of converting the fourth down…until Taylor came out of nowhere to level him. 

The announcer, and the crowd, let out a visible "ooh" as Moorman hit the turf.

"I just wish I could have gotten one more yard and a half so I could at least say I got the first down before he blew me up," Moorman said.

Moorman laid on the ground for a full two seconds before popping back up. But rather than jog back to his sideline, he made his way towards Taylor. Most people who ask Moorman about the hit want to know what he said to the safety. All he did was tap Taylor on the helmet and said, "Great hit." There was no other way to put it.

It likely wasn't the best feeling at the time, but Moorman now remembers the hit fondly. He actually has the jersey from the game framed frontwards -- it's the one in his collection that's presented in such a way -- because "his facemask was embedded in my shoulder."

"It ripped a hole in my jersey and left face mask paint on it," Moorman said. "It's probably the most cherished piece of memorabilia I have in my career."

Taylor, who was killed during the 2007 season, is still cherished by scores of current and former players. Although he only played professionally for four seasons, he's seen by many as an inspiration for how the safety position is played today.

And while plenty of people have a favorite memory from Taylor's career, Moorman is one of the few who can say he personally felt the impact of his influence.

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