I'm not sure how many people here knew, but just a couple weeks ago was the anniversary of Sean Taylor's passing. For me, he was hands down the best defensive back I've ever watched or seen play. In his time on the field, he was better than Ed Reed, better than Darrelle Revis, better than Troy Polamalu and Champ Bailey. And just so you know I've only been watching football for eight years now.
Taylor had amazing range, he could makes plays from anywhere on the field, no receiver or running back was ever out of reach. And not only was he fast, he was big, standing at 6'2'' and weighing 230 pounds, he laid some of the biggest hits each week. Probably his most memorable one was during the Pro Bowl when he owned the punter on a fake punt.
The reason for this post is that when I was watching old highlights of Taylor, I couldn't help but think about Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner and compare them to Taylor. Now in no way am I saying that one of them is as good as Taylor, because they aren't. Taylor was a once in a generation safety, had he still been alive and playing, he'd be on his path to the Hall of Fame and would be in the Best Safety Ever conversation along with Ronnie Lott and others. The comparison that I think is fair to Taylor is that both Goldson and Whitner are extremely tough, and fearless hitters, like Taylor. No matter who it is, both of our safeties are going to lay the wood on them.
Both Goldson and Whitner have at least one or two huge hits (or throw downs) a game. It's gotten to the point where I expect Goldson to knock out a wide receiver every game. Even on run plays, you can always see Goldson come running in right before the running back is down and put a shoulder on him. Whitner is the same, I've seen him plenty of times smack big TE's to the floor, most recently Jimmy Graham. Our safeties have made a name for themselves, with most broadcasters always mentioning them as two of the biggest hitters and surest tacklers in the game.
The only question is whether other teams fear Goldson and Whitner. I know teams feared Taylor, he was bigger than most backs and receivers. Do you guys think the comparison is fair? Are our safeties sort of like mini Taylor's? Or do you totally disagree with me?
Here's a video of Taylor's highlights, my personal favorite, because it has the radio broadcast instead of silly music and boring announcers.
The Legend of Sean (via SeanTaylorGOAT)
I highly encourage anyone to go watch his highlights on YouTube, amazing.