SEATTLE - JANUARY 05: Washington Redskins fans hold up a Sean Taylor jersey before the Redskins take on the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card game at Qwest Field on January 5, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Sean Taylor was widely known throughout the NFL as one of the most ferocious hitters in football. His goosebump-inducing hits even earned him the nickname “Meast” from his Washington Redskins teammates, who endearingly described him as a “half-man, half-beast.”
The ferocious young defensive back didn’t get the chance to establish himself as the NFL’s all-time great players, though, as he was tragically killed during an invasion at his Florida home on Nov. 27, 2007.
Taylor, just 24 years old at the time of his death, played three-plus seasons in the NFL, but left a considerably impact on the game even in his short time. He was known as something of a cult hero in Washington D.C., where Redskins fans adorned him for his ferocity and hard hitting.
Taylor was also voted to two Pro Bowls, including one posthumously in 2007, becoming the first NFL player ever to be selected to the game after his death. In a mere coincidence, Taylor’s most memorable moment in the NFL may have also come during his lone Pro Bowl appearance in 2006.
In the middle of the third quarter, Taylor laid one of the biggest hits ever seen in any NFL game on then Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman. Moorman had decided on his own before the play to try and run the ball for the first down. But as the punter approached the first-down marker, Taylor, who started the play about 20 yards away in the secondary, rocketed down the field like a missile and lit him up keeping the AFC from converting the first down.
Taylor’s hit is still talked about today when discussing some of the most memorable moments in Pro Bowl history, and should be looked to as a prime example of a proper open-field tackle, especially as helmet-to-helmet hits continue to become a rampant problem across the league.
Check out Taylor’s bone-crunching hit in the video below, and remember the legendary player on the five-year anniversary of his tragic death.
Thumbnail photo via Facebook/R.I.P Sean Taylor