Former Redskins safety Sean Taylor, who died in 2007 after being shot by intruders at his Miami area home, will be featured in NFL Network’s “A Football Life” documentary series this fall, a network spokesman confirmed. The hour-long program about Taylor is tentatively scheduled to air on Sept. 26; the network typically follows up such documentaries with additional programming, including further interviews and discussion.
This is the third straight year the series will include a prominent former Redskins star. In 2012, the network aired a John Riggins documentary, and last year’s topics included former tight end Jerry Smith.
The series, a production of NFL Films, “examines the untold stories of the most influential NFL icons with unprecedented access,” the network says in its promotional materials. “Each film tells the story of how their legacy is forever intertwined in the fabric of NFL history.”
Fans began speculating about a Taylor documentary in recent days, after NFL Network started airing “A Football Life” promos that included famous footage of the safety leaping into the end zone.
Taylor, of course, remains beloved in Washington, with fans frequently wearing his jersey and otherwise celebrating his career. The return of Ryan Clark this season has also meant more stories about Taylor, with Clark wearing Taylor’s No. 21 jersey during practice, as he has for years.
“People in Pittsburgh knew about it, and if you hear a fan ask me why I had a different number on, people who were there, who were at camp a lot, would explain to them, ‘Well, Sean Taylor, he was his friend, he played for Washington,’ ” Clark told reporters during training camp. “And so it always made people talk about him, it always struck up conversation about the player he was, about the man he was becoming. And so that’s exciting.
“Wearing it here is difficult,” Clark said. “There are some fans who never met Sean who say I shouldn’t wear it to practice. But I understand. That’s why they call them fans; they’re fanatics and they’re not always right in certain situations, so I don’t mind that. I just try to wear it and honor him. I know I’m not the player he was or the athlete he was, but he was my friend and I want people to remember him.”
Clark also often wears towels that pay homage to Taylor’s name and number.
“I’ve done it since he passed,” Clark said. “I know a lot of people may think it’s something new that I do now because I’m a part of the Redskins organization, but nah, this is for me. And this is an opportunity for me to remember a friend, an opportunity to get other people to remember a friend, and that’s why I do it. I’ve got about seven of these towels actually, different colors, and it’s part of me. I made a vow that as long as I was playing, he’d be playing somewhere, too.”