D.J. Swearinger’s routine hasn’t changed since his junior year of high school. Before he ventures out to the field on game day, he watches the same blurry video, a montage that turns 10 years old this week. Swearinger even knows the length of the video by heart — it’s 3 minutes and 32 seconds of Sean Taylor wrecking NFL offenses, set to “Thuggish Ruggish Bone.”

Swearinger wasn’t even a teenager when he first became entranced with Taylor: with the range and the power, the verve and the visor. He was only 16 when Taylor was murdered, when he died 10 years ago Monday. But Swearinger got hooked, and now he won’t play football without watching that grainy montage of Taylor breaking things.

“Something about him [was] different; it stuck with me ’til now,” Swearinger said late Thursday night, after Washington’s win over the Giants. “He was the GOAT (greatest of all time) when he was playing. That dominant force that he played with was unmatched. Still unmatched. I’m trying to get there myself.”

In the days after the Taylor tragedy, it was obvious that his teammates would carry a scar for life. It felt clear, too, that Redskins fans would never give up on the Taylor mystique, and they haven’t. It sometimes feels like there are more jerseys of Taylor than of any current player in the FedEx Field stands, and the 10-year tributes on Thursday night — his number outside the stadium, a video on the big screen — brought on the expected emotions. Here’s something I never would have predicted in the immediate aftermath of that tragedy: that a generation of defensive backs would grow up idolizing a man whose pro career lasted just 55 games.