Honoring JCU alumni’s fallen teammate, Sean Taylor


Bryan Allison

Sean Taylor’s legacy was honored by the Washington Football Team on Sunday, Oct. 17 by retiring his number.

Ashley McCall, Staff Reporter

London Fletcher. Just saying that name at John Carroll University summons an image of the Blue Streak football legend that played 16 successful seasons across three different teams in the National Football League. 


If you say the name Sean Taylor, does the same image come to mind?  


Taylor was Fletcher’s teammate for a single season on the former Washington Redskins team, now Washington Football team, before he was gunned down and killed in his home on Nov. 27, 2007. 


Taylor was a first round pick for Washington in the 2004 draft and had a successful three and a half seasons with the team playing as number 21 on the field. 


As a free safety, Taylor had the same fire and competitive spirit that many individuals attribute to Fletcher as both players dominated on the defensive end of the field. 


“I thought he could have been the best safety in the history of pro football,” said Fletcher. “He was 6-3, fierce, a hard-hitter, a great cover guy, great speed for a guy his size, great ball skills, incredibly instinctive and had a great passion for the game.”


Taylor was shot in November 2007, when four men came to his house with the intention of robbing the Taylors. A confrontation occurred and Taylor was shot in the upper thigh, damaging his femoral artery, leading to massive blood loss and his passing. 


With this tragedy occurring in the middle of the 2007 season, it was hard to cope with the loss and determine the best way to honor the late teammate. 


Almost 14 years later, Washington decided to honor Taylor with the retirement of his number. 


Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, during halftime of the week six game versus the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington sent Taylor’s No. 21 jersey up into the rafters to join Sammy Baugh’s No. 33 and Bobby Mitchell’s No. 49 jerseys to continue respecting their memories. 


While many fans were outraged by the obviously rushed ceremony, there was still a level of respect for Taylor’s legacy as a Washington player, as Taylor’s number will always be acknowledged next to some of the organization’s best athletes to step on the field.  

“You saw his instincts and his talent on the football field,” said Fletcher. “I’m looking at this guy like, ‘Man, this guy, he’s going to be a Hall of Fame football player.’ So Sean goes into that list … as far as some of the best-talented football players that I’ve ever played with.”