Taylor's death on Bills minds in preparation to face Redskins Print
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Wednesday, 28 November 2007 13:56
NFL Headline News

 ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -As the Buffalo Bills gathered for their weekly meeting, coach Dick Jauron understood it was not a normal Wednesday.
Redskins safety Sean Taylor had died, a tragedy that affected everyone in what is a tight-knit NFL fraternity. And the emotional weight was made heavier because the Bills' next game is Sunday at Washington.
So Jauron, who's not known as a ``rah-rah'' coach, broke from his low-key routine and delivered what was described by Bills players as a poignant speech on how special life is.
``He told us to try to shine bright from our small corner of the earth,'' is how linebacker Coy Wire described it.
It wasn't much, said Jauron, how has never been one to draw attention to himself.
``Certainly, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his friends and his teammates and the whole Redskins organization,'' Jauron said. ``It's a terrible tragedy. There's not a whole lot else to say about it. It leaves you almost speechless.''
As the Redskins tried to make sense of Taylor's death Tuesday morning, a little more than 24 hours after he was shot in the bedroom of his suburban Miami home, so did some Bills players.
There were those who were once Taylor's teammates, such as guard Derrick Dockery, and those who had never met him, such as safety George Wilson.
``It was my last thought when I laid down last night. It was my first thought when I woke up this morning,'' Wilson said. ``I didn't know him personally. But just the thought of losing a teammate, losing a father, some parents lost a son ... it was very tragic and unfortunate for something like this to happen.''
Having spent the previous three seasons as Taylor's teammate, Dockery took it especially hard.
``I'm deeply saddened,'' said Dockery, who signed with the Bills as a free agent in March. ``At first when I heard he got shot, it was a shock. Then they said he was doing a lot better, and to find out he had passed away was a horrible thing for me.''
Obviously, Dockery's mood had changed, the excitement of playing his former team replaced by memories of Taylor and how difficult it will be to keep his emotions in check come game time.
``It was supposed to be a fun time. But this makes it difficult,'' Dockery said. ``You might shed a tear here and there.''
Taylor's death dominated most of the discussions at the Bills practice facility, overshadowing the team's latest quarterback switch - J.P. Losman has been benched for a second time this season in favor of rookie Trent Edwards - and how two teams with 5-6 records need a win to stay alive in the playoff race.
``It reminds you how precious life is,'' linebacker Angelo Crowell said. ``You have to value every day.''
The Bills have experienced a near-tragic situation only three months ago, when tight end Kevin Everett sustained a life-threatening spinal cord injury during the season opener.
Everett, however, has shown remarkable improvement, defying initial fears that he might never walk again. Now moving his arms and legs and able to stand with some assistance, Everett was recently released from a rehabilitation facility in Houston.
``We can still send video messages to Kevin. We could still talk to him on the phone,'' Wilson said. ``But the Redskins can't call Sean Taylor. They can't express to him how much they care about him.''
Dockery recalled how Taylor, even as a rookie, befriended and encouraged him when Dockery was struggling as the youngest starter on the Redskins offensive line in 2004.
``He was real, man. And just to see how he played the game with the energy and the enthusiasm, the tenacity, how fearless he was. I loved the guy,'' Dockery said. ``He's probably one of the best teammates I've ever had.''
 

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