LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Today is a somber day for the Washington Redskins organization. Five years ago, on Nov. 27, 2007, Sean Taylor succumbed to injuries sustained while trying to ward off a group of intruders who broke into his Miami-area home, intent on stealing cash.
The bullet that struck Taylor’s leg damaged his femoral artery.
Former Redskins and University of Miami teammate Clinton Portis joined Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan to remember his fallen friend.
“You just wake up thankful and try not sit around and not let it weigh on your mind,” said Portis.
Photos: Remembering Sean Taylor
Portis was one of Taylor’s closest friends on the team. The recently retired running back recalled telling then-head coach Joe Gibbs, GM Vinny Cerrato and owner Dan Snyder to draft Taylor ahead of another college teammate, tight end Kellen Winslow.
“I go back to the trenches, and Joe Gibbs is thinking about drafting Kellen Winslow… and I went and talked to coach Gibbs, Vinny Cerrato and Mr. Snyder and telling them how special this kid would be,” recalled Portis.
It was a difficult decision as teams aren’t known to draft a safety in the Top 10. Meanwhile, Winslow was a record-setting tight end with the Hurricanes and Washington was in desperate need of help at the position.
“It didn’t take a lot to convince them. I just told them ‘I vouch for him’ … and I knew he was the right one,” Portis said.
Portis fondly recalled a story of the two racing from Miami to the Florida Keys when he was first in the NFL and his evolution as a player and a person.
“If you go back to those times and you see the film, you’ll see the entire offense on the sidelines watching him,” Portis said.
The Redskins offensive unit would often pass over sideline meetings in order to watch Taylor on the field. They knew he was always going to make a play.
Indeed, Taylor turned everyone into a fan. And their affinity for the fallen Hurricane is not forgotten.
Clinton Portis Audio