As coach and player, Gregg Williams and Sean Taylor bonded immediately. So it was with a heavy heart that Williams spoke with reporters about Taylor's shooting injury on Monday, in an emotional media session at Redskins Park.
"It has been a pretty long, difficult day for all of us," Williams said. "Most people came in thinking about how to get over a tough loss, a real hard-fought loss down in Tampa, but things like this put things in perspective in hurry.
"I haven't had much sleep. As a father, as a coach, you don't like getting those very early morning calls with news like [Taylor's situation].
"I have been documented many times on how I feel about Sean personally and my admiration for him and the closeness that he and I have. I think any of the players that I get to coach, I always think about them as one of my own.
"Obviously with Sean being the first draft choice I was involved with bringing [to Washington], he always has been a little bit closer to me and my heart. Sean is not much older than my oldest son.
"He and I have come a long way together. Some of the maturation that he has taken here--I am very proud of some of the things he has been able to accomplish since I have been here.
"You all have been able to see him grow. You haven't been able to see him behind the scenes because he hasn't been as forthcoming to the press as he is with us.
"You see his growth as a teammate, his growth as a player, his growth as a leader on this team. When your teammates vote you to the leadership council that meets with Coach Gibbs, that means his teammates have spoken about how they feel about him.
"Sean has taken that role very seriously. Of all those things that are said, and with what the public gets to see on game days, where I've seen him mature the most is as a father. It really changed him.
"Some of the conversations that I have had with him in the past, to possibly have an impact in some changes
"From a fiance standpoint and him being engaged, from a son's standpoint, from a grandson's standpoint in his own family's eyes, for me I have had an inner smile go on with me as I have seen him grow here and see him change dramatically for the good.
"The power of prayer is very powerful and all of us here, Redskins fans, the media, all of us--we need to get on our knees and say a prayer for him.
"Whether he plays again, I don't know. If he does, great. If he doesn't, great. I just want him to recover. I just want him to be all right."