The NFL’s Pro Bowl is not known for being the most-competitive sporting affair. It often has the intensity of a curling match, only you can’t drink beer during it.
Nobody told that to the late, great Sean Taylor, apparently.
The star safety only played in one Pro Bowl before his tragic murder at the age of 24, but Taylor made an impact like few have every made in the showcase game when he took the field in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2006.
When we say Sean Taylor made an impact, we mean that literally.
Sean Taylor’s 2006 Pro Bowl Hit
A native of Florida, Taylor first made a splash in college football with the Miami Hurricanes.
As a safety, he was named a Consensus All-American and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2003. Hey, remember when the Big East was a football conference?
In the 2004 NFL Draft, Sean Taylor was taken fifth overall. He was one of six members of the Miami Hurricanes to be selected in the first round that year, which set a record and ultimately tied by the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2021.
Taylor was selected by the franchise now known as Washington Football Team. He made his debut in 2004 and made a splash as a rookie, starting 15 games and making 76 tackles and four interceptions.
Taylor’s 2005 season was also good, but it’s his 2006 season that led to his lone Pro Bowl appearance as an alternate for Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins.
At the 2006 Pro Bowl, Taylor had one of the most-talked-about moments in history of the game.
Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman was running a fake punt for the AFC when Taylor arrived to make him have second thoughts about it. The Washington safety pancaked Moorman with a tenacious hit. It has never been more accurate to refer to a player as a missile as in that moment.
Fortunately, for modern, concussion-aware NFL fans, Moorman hopped right up and ran over to Taylor to congratulate him for the massive hit. When you roll over somebody like you are a truck in “Frogger” and they dap you up, you know you’ve delivered a hit for the ages. Even in a game that doesn’t count.
Sean Taylor was off to a torrid start to the 2007 season with Washington, with five interceptions in nine games. Sadly, Taylor was murdered in his own home in Miami that November.
He was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams by the NFL posthumously, and he is in the Washington Football Team’s Ring of Fame.
There were many highlights for Taylor with Miami and Washington, but somehow maybe the biggest highlight of them all came in Hawaii representing the NFC.