It's sad, I'm a lifelong 'Skins fan (I know right now they're underpaid and underachieving, but given this senseless tragedy, it just doesn't seem important now).
It really did seem like he was gradually cleaning up his life off the field and to some extent his behavior on the field. I really think his couple nasty spitting incidents years ago came from entering the draft early and generally playing like he had a chip on his shoulder. He still hit hard this year, but I don't recall any of the hits-to-the-head penalties like year's past and he seemed to enjoy being a more pass-defense oriented free safety this year. He had a penchant for missing tackles and coverage sometimes in years past but he was really playing smart this year.
Every time I hear about someone in their teens or 20s dying, esp. in violent crimes, I just hate that their family and friends don't get a chance to see them grow, mature and become whatever they were going to be. I would've liked to have seen Taylor finish his career with the 'Skins, grow paunchy with grey hair. He'd come back to FedEx field on "old timer's day" and maybe tell a self-effacing joke about what an immature punk he was when he first came out of college. We'll never get to see that.
I know around here pundits are saying "Why do I feel bad about Sean Taylor and not all the other youngsters getting killed by gun violence?" I think any loss just hits harder when it's someone you rooted for and were used to seeing on TV every week. I don't think any fan should feel like a hypocrite that they're upset about his death.
I don't think he was a saint, but I do think he was heading in the right direction with his life, and that's really the tragic thing, more so than the Redskins losing their linchpin on defense.