During training camp last summer, in a rare media session, Sean Taylor discussed how he had a new perspective on football--and on life, for that matter.
Taylor readily admitted that one of things that changed his outlook was his first trip to the Pro Bowl last year in Honolulu.
"Hawaii was definitely an experience I will never forget," he said at the time. "I'm glad I got to meet players from different teams and just know that it was something different from football.
"When we had our time off, we hung out and talked about totally different things other than football."
A quiet man by nature, Taylor got to know his NFL brethren on a different level, just as he was emerging into a star himself.
On Tuesday, the NFL announced that Sean Taylor will be honored posthumously with another Pro Bowl berth.
The 24-year-old Redskins safety, who was murdered in his own South Florida home back on Nov. 27, will be an honorary NFC starter in this year's game, set for Sunday, Feb. 10.
It's a nice gesture among NFL coaches, players and fans to add to Taylor's legacy in terms of a Pro Bowl spot.
They all recognize Taylor's talents on the football field, but they also watched him grow as a man.
In nine games this season, Taylor had 46 tackles (34 solo) and five interceptions. He was leading the league in interceptions at one point.
Last year, you may recall, Taylor got to go to Hawaii only after Philly safety Brian Dawkins pulled out due to an injury.
Taylor couldn't help the NFC win, as the AFC emerged 31-28. But he did plant a memorable hit on Buffalo punter Brian Moorman.
This year, Taylor had assumed the mantle as an elite safety in the NFL.
It was thought that Taylor would be a fixture at future Pro Bowls. But the horrific events of late November in Miami told a different tale.