Police Suspect Random Burglar Killed Sean Taylor

Police investigating Sean Taylor's death say they've found no indication the Washington Redskins safety was targeted or knew the assailant who broke into his home.

Miami-Dade police director Robert Parker called it "more like a random event."

"There's nothing that indicates thus far that there's some kind of involvement on the victim's part," he said Wednesday.

Evidence indicates one or more intruders barged into Taylor's home in an affluent Miami suburb early Monday, Parker said. After a confrontation inside the house, the 24-year-old was shot once in the upper leg and died early Tuesday after losing a tremendous amount of blood.

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Police said they had no suspects, and were still investigating a possible link to a Nov. 17 break-in at Taylor's home, during which they said someone pried open a front window, rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.

"We have no reason to think this was anything other than a burglary or a robbery involving an intruder," Parker said.

Taylor's funeral will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Pharmed Arena on the campus of Florida International University in Miami. Redskins owner Dan Snyder is making arrangements for the entire football organization to attend.

At Redskins Park on Wednesday, Taylor's family and teammates came together to privately share tears and memories. Taylor's father, Pedro Taylor, and girlfriend Jackie Garcia both addressed the team.

"Many of these guys were wondering, 'How in the world am I going to go out and do this on Sunday?'" said Brett Fuller, the team chaplain. "And when Mr. Taylor stood up and said go out and win these next five and make it to the playoffs, we felt a surge in the room, that he almost gave us permission to play well."

Taylor's father didn't state the team should win in honor or memory of his son, but many players adopted that feeling nonetheless. The Redskins (5-6) are in contention for a playoff berth despite three straight losses.

"We all know that's something Sean would want for us," defensive end Andre Carter said. "You've got to keep on moving forward."

The team then began to attempt to focus on preparations for Sunday's home game against the Buffalo Bills. Players went to their game-planning meetings — which were shorter than normal — and later held a quieter-than-usual afternoon practice.

"Nothing was normal about today," linebacker London Fletcher said. "We had the meetings, but it wasn't the normal type of meetings. Practice, it was practice, but it just wasn't the same type of feeling, so to speak. We tried to make it feel the same, but I found myself thinking about Sean and imagining him out on the football field playing free safety for us."

Taylor's locker remained untouched, but the Redskins made the uncomfortably necessary move of dropping him from the official roster as part of a series of personnel moves.

The NFL announced that every player league-wide will wear a No. 21 decal on his helmet at this weekend's games to honor Taylor. Redskins players will wear the decal for the remainder of the season.

Carter was coping with the loss of a teammate for the second time in three years. He played for the San Francisco 49ers when offensive lineman Thomas Herrion died of a heart attack after a preseason game in September 2005. 49ers coach Mike Nolan called Gibbs on Tuesday night to offer sympathy and advice.

"I've experienced the death of two teammates," Carter said. "No person wants to say that."

While players found it difficult to stay focused on Xs and Os in the meetings, the physical nature of the practice was somewhat therapeutic.

"Unfortunately, these guys don't get bereavement leave," Fuller said. "They've got to work through it. They have to live through it. Football is a passion game, and if your soul's broken, if your soul's hurting, it's tough to go out there and give it all."