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Redskins, League Reaction On Sean Taylor

At Redskins Park and around the NFL on Tuesday, league and team officials, coaches and players took time to comment on the passing of Redskins safety Sean Taylor:

-- Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder

"Obviously, we're going through a real tragedy right now. Our hearts, our prayers, our thoughts are with Sean Taylor's family, his father Pedro, his 7-year girlfriend Jackie and his 18-month old daughter. We really are so saddened by what has taken place.

"We really will miss Sean. For Joe (Gibbs) and I, it was our first draft pick together, four seasons ago. For me personally and all of us here at Redskins Park, we got to know him so well.

"Over the last two years I got a chance to really see him grow as a man off the field. He became very important to me, our organization and Coach Gibbs.

"I think that this obviously is very difficult for all of us. We just want to reiterate that our hearts, our prayers, all of our thoughts are still with them. I spent the last two days with his family, as well as a small group of us that went down there to Miami.

"We thought we had some hope Monday night. We were told by a couple of the surgeons that he had made good progress and was responding, but still in obvious extreme critical condition. This morning a little after 5 a.m. I received a phone call from Drew Rosenhaus telling me that we have lost him.

"This is a terrible tragedy and we're going to miss him very, very much."

-- Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs

"The thing I wanted to make you aware of with Sean, over the last year and a half Sean really matured. To give you a little feeling, he was in every chapel service that I can remember. I think his life and the way he dealt with everybody showed the real maturity.

"His child had a lot to do with that. He had a real love for his family and for his child. There were times here in the building where people would say, 'Hey, Sean is in, he has his baby girl with him.'

"Just this morning, I heard of people talking about him at the shopping center where she was playing and he would be there looking over her. I saw, over the last year and a half, which happens with a lot of young guys you're coaching and you see young guys come in here, and then they grow up and they mature.

"I certainly think, in Sean's case, his life exemplified that and what I don't believe, that you can do that on your own. He had a growing relationship with the Lord and the reason why I say that, I didn't spend a lot of time talking to him about that, but I witnessed his life, and Brett Fuller, who is one of our chaplains, did.

"I want everybody here to know that we have the greatest group of guys working with us. We have Brett, Lee (Corder) and Jerry (Leachmen) working with the coaches and then the players. Brett had spent a lot of time with Sean over the last couple of years.

"Brett has handled the coaches here when he came and spoke to us earlier Monday, his feeling is that Sean had a great relationship with the Lord and he feels like he has gone home.

"It is so hard for us because we are here and we are going to miss him. I'm not talking about as a player; I'm talking about as a person. He was a real leader for us.

"His teammates had voted him as part of our leadership council, the group that I meet with that gives us suggestions and helps direct the Redskins. Sean was a big part of that. His teammates had voted him that. I felt like he was a real leader.

"For me, personally, the way that I'm going to deal with it is the fact that God tells us that it is going to take 1,000 years to begin to appreciate heaven and that our life on earth is really a puff of smoke compared to the time that we get to spend eternity with Him, if we have a personal relationship with Him.

"I'm convinced through Sean's life and listening to Brett that is the case. It is going to be a tremendous loss for us and the football team, as we go forward this is a tragedy.

"The thing that brings this back to me is how fragile life is and for me personally what has touched me is that we need to enjoy each and every day and each and every minute."

-- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

"The entire NFL is deeply saddened by the death of Sean Taylor. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Sean's family, friends, teammates, and the Redskins' organization.

"This is a terrible tragedy involving the loss of a young man who leaves behind many people struggling to understand it. Our office is staying in close contact with the Redskins to provide all appropriate support to the club and Sean's family.

"We also are working to determine the facts surrounding this tragic event. We will honor the memory of Sean Taylor at all games this weekend."

-- Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell

"Sean was a dear friend to all of us. We're all like a family and it's like we lost a family member. Through this tragedy we all have to try to pull together, stay strong for each other.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, his girlfriend, his little girl. It's a tough situation right now.

"Sean was a great person. I just wish that everyone had the opportunity to get a chance to know him because if you just sit down and you talk to Sean one-on-one, he's a special person, and you know, he's a great person and he had all the intentions of trying to do the right things for people in the community.

"If you just look at him from the way that he's changed in the last year, it's just been outstanding to have the opportunity to spend time with him because he's just a special person.

"He will truly be missed by all of us, we'll hold him close to our hearts, and it's just a tough situation right now."

-- Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss

"I had a made a comment that I don't know if I can compare this guy with this guy, but he was my modern day Ronnie Lott. That was a safety that I loved to watch growing up and I think Ronnie Lott could probably look at him and say some of the things Sean was doing that he probably wouldn't be able to do.

"Sean was one of those kinds of special safeties. I remember my first year here Sean gave me a couple of comments on how I run routes and he got up there and lined up against me.

"I laughed about it at first because I was just like, 'It's a safety,' and I was looking at myself like, 'Don't do it,' but as I went out there and carried on my route and saw how close he stayed with me the whole time.

"The only way I separated was when I made my cut and he came back and told me, 'That was the best route I've seen someone run on me,' and I'm sitting there saying to myself, 'That was the best I've ever seen a safety cover.'

"For him to be a safety, it's just amazing. The guy was unreal and that's why I say he's going to be well missed. He was a good guy all around."

-- Redskins running back Clinton Portis

"You think about Sean and you think, he gave it his all. He fought. He held on as long as he could.

"The thing you accept, the thing that you realize in this is there was not anything Sean could do. You can't beat God and God felt like He needed to bring him [Sean] home and that's what he did.

"Down here, there is no more criticism. There is no more pain. There is no more hurt. We are all sad that we don't have him as a teammate or as a friend, but at the same time God brought him to where he needed to be.

"He is going to rest in peace and we are going to keep his memory alive."

-- Redskins linebacker London Fletcher

"Since coming in here and meeting Sean back in April, he has embraced me. We have had some conversations about football and about things in life.

"From the Sean I know, I see a player and a person who has grown so much. You have heard things about Sean being standoffish, but he hadn't been like that with me at all. I was just starting to get to know him on a personal level."

-- Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington

"In the offseason, some days I would come over [to Redskins Park] in the evenings and Sean would be finished with his workout. He would be at his locker putting on his clothes after showering, and he'd ask me, 'What are you doing?'

"And I told him I was going out to work on pass rushing against the [blocking] dummies. And Sean would say, 'I'll go out with you.' And I'd be like, 'Didn't you just take a shower?' He'd just say, 'It's all right, I'll work with you.'

"I'll miss his passion the most. He played the game with so much ferocity, it was unreal.

"The thing I always got a kick out of is when I would introduce Sean to my friends and family after a game. He would take the time to sign autographs and he would be so attentive and so caring.

"They would be surprised. They'd say, 'That was Sean Taylor?' And I'd say, 'Yeah, that's how the guy is.' He played the game with so much passion, but off the field he was so generous."

-- Redskins safety Reed Doughty

"I talked to Sean right before I left for the [Tampa] game. He just offered a lot of words of encouragement and told me to go play my best. He always believed in me.

"The shock of it right now is the hardest part, especially after there were encouraging words [Monday] night. I heard the news [Tuesday] morning and it was real hard to handle.

"You just take it an hour at a time right now."

-- Redskins defensive end Andre Carter

"Sean took pride in working hard for this organization and working hard for his teammates. He loved the game so much and cherished every moment that he stepped on the field.

"Sean has been such an inspiration in our lives, Just not to have his presence, it was very disapppointing. Knowing him and his mentality, we want to keep pushing and moving forward, and know that he is with us in spirit."

-- Redskins left guard Pete Kendall

"I got a chance to know Sean a little bit. In fact, he was one of the first guys to say hello and introduce himself to me when I was traded here.

"The thing that stood out to me about Sean was after our first game here, the home opener against the Dolphins, we were in the player's parking lot afterwards and I have three young kids and my two boys are big football fans and they were really struck and impressed with Sean Taylor and to actually meet him.

"Sean actually spent some time [with them]. He didn't just sign a book and send them on their way, but talked to them. As a father that stood out to me. That made probably the biggest impact on me.

-- Eagles head coach Andy Reid

"We are saddened by the news about Sean Taylor's death. Although I did not know Sean personally we have competed against him for the last several years. He was a good football player who played the game with great energy and passion.

"I listened to the respect and remorse that Coach Gibbs and James Thrash had and felt for Sean. These are two people I know and respect greatly.

"Sean's passing will have an impact on the Washington Redskins organization and the entire NFL community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sean's family, friends, and teammates, including our own Jerome McDougle, who played with Sean at the University of Miami."

-- Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma

"Sean has been a close friend of mine since our days at the University of Miami. He was a great teammate and an even greater person.

"It is so hard for me to fathom that I am not going to be able to pick up the phone to call him. My deepest condolences are extended to his family, especially his daughter and parents.

"Sean will definitely be missed and I hope for the best for his family."

-- Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey

"I first got to know Sean in college when he came in as a freshman and I was in my last year at Miami. He came in with Kellen Winslow.

"He was kind of a wild child, like myself, but life changed for Sean after he had his baby girl.

"Fatherhood really changed him. He grew up and matured. That baby (daughter Jackie) had transformed his life. Working out with him during the offseason, I witnessed a change.

"You could see it like night and day. I feel so bad for the family."

-- Giants wide receiver Sinorice Moss:

"It's a tough time for me right now. Sean was really like a brother to me. We were classmates and teammates at UM and he was a guy that just loved football and loved being around his friends.

"I feel for his family. I know his dad real well, and I feel for his baby girl. He was so proud of his little girl, and it's just so sad that he's no longer here and won't be able to see her grow up.

"The whole UM family is hurting right now. My prayers go out to his family because they are going to need our support."

-- Bills offensive lineman Derrick Dockery

"Just to be around Sean was a great experience. I got to know him off the side. He was growing as a player. On the football field, he wasn't making as many mistakes. He was becoming a leader of that defense, getting people in the right places, making big plays.

"Off the field when I would talk to him and just how much he really cared about his fianc�e, his daughter. He talked about the decisions he was making and the decisions he used to make. He wouldn't make those same decisions or mistakes anymore.

"As an individual, as a young man, you're going to go through those growing pains. You're going to have times you're going to make mistakes, but if you can learn from little mistakes and move on, that's a very good thing."

-- Ravens running back Willis McGahee

"Sean was a great player, but more importantly a special person. When a senseless tragedy like this happens close to home, it really makes you think about the people in your life. This is much bigger than football.

"Life is precious and you are reminded of that every day. I know he is in a better place, and my prayers are with his family."

-- Browns tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Sean Taylor's family. The University of Miamiis one big family, and we lost a brother today.

"Sean and I had a special bond.We came in to college together, we left for the NFL the same year and were drafted right next to each other.

"Sean's future was taken away from him by a senseless act of violence. I am at a loss for words to describe the pain I feel for Sean and his family right now."

-- Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle

Editor's note: Rolle and Taylor were close friends who grew up together in Miami and both played at the University of Miami:

"I sit back and think, 'This is my job, I am a professional.' And Sean wouldn't want me to sit out and mourn his death. He'd want me to go out and represent him. We started this thing together and we are going to finish it together, whether he is here or not.

"I am going to represent my '21' for Sean Taylor because we loved the game. And because someone took his life, he can't go out and do something he loves to do."

-- Cowboys safety Roy Williams

"It's tragic. I'm wearing a No. 21 on the back of my helmet for the rest of the season. He's a great dude. I met him at the Pro Bowl and was impressed with him on the field and off the field. He really will be missed.

"When we played the Redskins two weeks ago, I was looking for him so I could reach out to him and talk to him. I didn't know he was hurt. It's just things like that it's like I wish I could have said something to him."

-- Panthers linebacker Jon Beason

"I went to (The University of) Miami because of him. I weighed 218, a big safety, and I wanted to go to Miami and be the next Sean Taylor.

"It's just tragic to see it happen to someone so young with so much promise in his future. He's a good person. The guy was determined. He worked hard.

"He went to the Pro Bowl last year and it looked like he was going to make it again. The sky was the limit. The game won't ever be the same because I thought he was going to change it."

-- Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson

"It is very tragic. We lost a former teammate [at the University of Miami], a great person. Right now, I'm still in disbelief. I can't believe something like this has happened.

"I've talked to a lot of my former teammates. All of us played together at Miami and everyone is just in disbelief right now. We really don't know what else to say. Everyone is in a lot of disbelief."

-- Texans offensive lineman Eric Winston

"It's sad, a sad story. I guess it just proves how fragile life is and you remember, you just kind of start thinking back to all the days you spent with him and you there [at the University of Miami]. I wish I got to know him a little bit better.

"He was a quiet guy, kind of hung to himself and hung with a crowd from Miami, so I never really got to know him that great. It's just sad. You never want to see that happen to anybody.

"He was a great player, great competitor, a guy who just came to work every day and just worked as hard as he could. With all that talent, you don't see that a lot sometimes. He was one of the most talented guys you'll ever see play."

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