McCune's motivating memories

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

CALGARY - It's officially NFL season again, meaning a steady serving of fresh four-down football highlights on the flatscreen.

Robert McCune prefers to watch film from years past.

Prior to every outing with the Calgary Stampeders, the CFL sophomore watches footage of his fallen friend and former teammate Sean Taylor.

“He was just a good dude and a great hard-nosed football player that I looked up to,” McCune said of Taylor.

“I watch his highlights before every game, just in memory of him. Just the way he attacked and the way he played, it gets me going.

“I have highlights on my iPad that I watch before every game. The way he ran around and made play after play after play, it just motivates me and it also makes me just think about the opportunity that we have out here playing this game that we all love and how it can just be gone in the blink of an eye.”

Taylor and McCune were teammates with the Washington Redskins from 2005-06.

Taylor, a former University of Miami Hurricanes standout and two-time Pro Bowler in the pros, was in his fourth season with the NFC East squad when he suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his leg during a robbery in November 2007 at his home in Florida, where he was rehabbing a knee injury. He was 24.

In 55 career NFL tilts, Taylor racked up 299 tackles, a dozen interceptions, eight forced fumbles and two quarterback sacks, leaving McCune with no shortage of highlight-reel material to watch before games.

“He produced a lot of them,” McCune said. “I’ve got enough to last for decades.”

With all-star Juwan Simpson still sidelined by a sore knee, McCune will make another start at middle linebacker when the Stamps try to avenge their lopsided loss to the Edmonton Eskimos in Friday’s Labour Day Replay at Commonwealth Stadium (7 p.m., TSN, QR77).

Meanwhile, the 2011-12 NFL campaign kicks off Thursday with a marquee matchup between the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints.

The Redskins will get started with Sunday’s meeting with the New York Giants in the Big Apple.

Taylor, who was showing signs of maturity after a couple of arrests before his death, likely still would have been in the prime of his gridiron career.

“Every time I see the Redskins play, I think about Sean Taylor and the things he did out on the field and the guy he was starting to be,” McCune said. “He had just had a little girl, and he was just starting to tune into what was really important in his life. He was just a great guy.

“RIP, Sean Taylor.”

EXTRA POINTS

Stamps CB Geoff Tisdale missed Wednesday’s practice session at McMahon Stadium, with S Demetrice Morley sliding into his usual spot for first team reps ... As expected, MLB Juwan Simpson (knee) and DL J’Micheal Deane (ribs) skipped Wednesday’s practice and are unlikely to return for Friday’s game.


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