During a recent visit to Redskins Park, former Redskins running back Clinton Portis took some time to reflect on the playing style and athleticism to his friend and former teammate Sean Taylor.
Portis likened Taylor’s athletic abilities to that of super-hero—if that does it justice.
“He did anything he wanted as an athlete,” Portis told Redskins Nation. “I think Superman is an understatement when you’re thinking of Sean T.”
Portis recalled a number of moments where Taylor would accomplish a feat that he had never seen done on football field before, like line up near the line of scrimmage before the snap, and finish the play defending a pass deep downfield.
“I’ve never seen anyone on the far hashmark get to the pylon in the other endzone and make a pick, as he did in Green Bay," he reminisced. "Just the way he delivered upon impact.”
Taylor and Portis were college teammates for one season at Miami and for another five with the Redskins, until Taylor’s tragic passing in 2007.
Portis believes that even as NFL players become bigger, faster and stronger, we may never find another athlete with Taylor's combination of size, skill and ferocious playing style.
“I don’t think that in today’s society, that you’re going to find too many athletes’ that instill fear in the next man,” Portis said. “I think in the direction that the game is going, Sean Taylor was the last of his kind.”
With the NFL’s emphasis on player safety and hitting zones, Portis says that Taylor was built to play in past eras that allowed for more violent contact. He then compared him to the likes of Hall of Fame defensive back, Ronnie Lott.
“You think of Sean T. and you say he should’ve played with Jack Lambert, back in the day when the Raiders were nasty, with the Steelers defense,” Portis explained. “You don’t think of him in a modern day system, a Ronnie Lott type.”
Even as an offensive player, Portis smiled when he thought about Taylor’s ruthless defensive style.
“You won’t see that again,” he said. “Especially with the rule changes.”
There is still time to vote for both Portis and Taylor in the ’10 for 80’ fan vote to determine the 80 Greatest Redskins of All-Time! Vote now at Redskins80th.com.