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Sean Taylor: What could have been

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Sean Taylor: What could have been

Most football fans went to bed on the night of November 26, 2007 thinking that Sean Taylor was going to be OK. There were reports that he had squeezed a hand in response to a question and that after a very difficult first day after having been shot in the leg during a home robbery, things were looking up. Taylor wasn’t out of the woods but he seemed to be on his way.

And then the next morning everyone woke up to the horrifying news that Taylor had died, unable to recover from the loss of blood from the wound to the femoral artery in his leg.

Suddenly, the player who was just beginning to turn potential into performance and had become the best player on the Redskins, the friend and teammate to Santana Moss, Clinton Portis and many others, the prized pupil of Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams, and, most importantly, the doting father to 18-month-old Jackie, was gone.

We don’t know just how good Taylor may have been on the field. He had made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and had done enough in 2007 to earn—truly earn—posthumous honors.

It seems certain that those would have been the first of many trips to Hawaii for Taylor. He was just 25 and the only question was if he would be one of the best ever to play safety for the Redskins or if he would become one of the league’s greatest of all time.

The affects of the loss of Taylor were far reaching and are still felt today. Looking at the on-field aspects of tragedy, the Redskins have never been able to find even a competent safety to take his place. LaRon Landry, who was going to team with Taylor to form a fierce safety combo for years to come, is a natural strong safety who struggled when moved to Taylor’s free safety position. Reed Doughty, Oshiomogho Atogwe and Kareem Moore have tried and have either moved on or, in Doughty’s case, moved into a backup role. Madieu Williams, this year’s free safety, is unlikely to be a long-term solution, either.

While it seems certain that Taylor would have enjoyed a high level of personal success with the Redskins, we don’t know if the team would have been substantially better. But the fans and everyone else associated with the team has to wonder what might have been and reacts to the fact that a punk with a gun deprived us of the chance to find out with a mix of sadness and anger. 

And of course, thoughts of what could have been. Earlier this season Sean's father, Pedro Taylor, addressed the possibility of his son playing on a squad with Robert Griffin III at the helm...

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Usher can't save Su'a Cravens from being booed off stage by Redskins teammates

Usher can't save Su'a Cravens from being booed off stage by Redskins teammates

Redskins safety Su'a Cravens might have thought an interception in Friday's practice would earn him good will for his rookie skit later that night. Boy, was he wrong. 

In a delightful tale relayed by ESPN's John Keim, Cravens was literally pelted with paper balls and booed off the stage as he attempted to perform "Confessions" by Usher. 

“Everyone likes Usher. I’m thinking this is easy money,” Cravens said. 

“The first two acts in front of me, they sung. Everyone let them go. I’m like, ‘OK, it’s going to be a smooth transition.’ Soon as I start it’s like, ‘Booooo!’… I started and I’m getting paper balls, boos and, ‘Stone him!’”

Stone him? What is this, ancient Greece? 

When asked what happened, Cravens pointed the finger at linebacker Will Compton. “Will had it out for me,” he told Keim. “He told everyone to boo me before I even started.”

Defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois didn't deny Compton was behind it. 

“All you see is paper balls flying across from everywhere. [Cravens is] trying to get it off. He wanted to use his music and he had strobe lights," Jean-Francois said. 

"Even people that did get a song off, all you saw is flying paper balls left and right. [Compton] was setting him up for failure. We wanted him to go up there to see how it feels.”

Is this sour grapes by veterans who don't appreciate a rookie showing off at camp?

Or do people genuinely not like Usher anymore? Yeah, nah. Usher is the best. 

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VIDEO: Niles Paul mercilessly beats Chris Baker with pads during CSN interview

VIDEO: Niles Paul mercilessly beats Chris Baker with pads during CSN interview

Chris Baker always seems to be the guy photobombing his teammates. This time, they exacted revenge. 

As Baker sat down with Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay, a parade of Redskins clowned in the background. The best was Niles Paul, who battered Swaggy with what look like foam bats used in ball security drills. 

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Is Tony Romo fat? An investigation

Is Tony Romo fat? An investigation

Is Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo fat? That's the question of the day on the NFL Internet. 

It all started with this photo of the 36-year-old jogging onto the field at the start of training camp. 

At first glance, yes, Romo does look quite porcine. The 6-foot-2 veteran has been listed at 230 pounds, significantly slimmer than this image would suggest. 

Could missing the second half of last season with a fractured collar bone have kept him from staying in shape? Twitter, of course, had jokes. 

Laughs aside, it's hard to determine from a single image whether someone has gained weight. Any number of factors can make a person look fat. Angle, lighting, the way clothes hang, etc. 

In this case, it seems some confluence of those forces created a misleading shot. Here's another from that same moment. 

Yeah, not so fat here. 

Cowboys alum Michael Irvin also insisted that he'd seen Romo recently and he looked "fine."

The verdict of our investigation: unflattering photo, nothing to see here. Let's all go back to picking at Eddie Lacy, shall we?