View Full Version : McFadden's stellar play likely to keep Taylor a backup

12-05-2006, 12:36 AM

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It has been two games since cornerback Ike Taylor was demoted as a starter and there's no sign he's getting his job back from Bryant McFadden or Deshea Townsend.

Taylor was the Steelers' starting left cornerback since the start of the 2005 season. Cowher threatened to demote him for a game against New Orleans Nov. 12, but did not. He waited until Nov. 26 to make the switch in Baltimore. McFadden moved up to start at right cornerback and Townsend moved over to Taylor's spot at left cornerback against the Ravens.

Sunday, Townsend was back at right cornerback and McFadden moved over to the left side. Taylor plays in the nickel and dime defenses.

"I'm sure he probably doesn't like it, but he's accepted it and he understands it," Cowher said.

McFadden did something against Tampa Bay that Steelers cornerbacks have had trouble accomplishing this season. He not only successfully defended a fade pass against a tall receiver, he intercepted the ball in the end zone. He also, unofficially, was credited with a team-high eight solo tackles and two passes defensed.

Townsend dropped an interception he could have returned for a touchdown but recorded career sack No. 13.5 and had five solo tackles.

The downturn in Taylor's play this season was surprising. He often was assigned the opponent's best receiver and the Steelers showed what they thought of him when they signed him to a contract extension the week before the season began -- a total of five years for $22.5 million, including a $6.4 million signing bonus.

"I don't get caught up with contracts," an agitated Cowher replied when he was asked about Taylor in light of his big contract and big-time assignments. "I don't get caught up with what people make. My job is to put the best people out there to give us a chance to win and that's the protocol I use."

Ike's confidence is gone, and he's clearly struggled all year long. If he can make the best of his nickle and dime opportunities it will go a long way towards next season. I still look for Ike and Bryant to be the starters next year.

12-05-2006, 12:46 AM
Ike needs to break out of this slump. I agree Matt. I see Ike and Bryant being our guys next year.

K Train
12-05-2006, 01:02 AM
Ive always thought Mcfadden was gona break out soon, he picked off leftwich in the endzone last year and kept the colts from winnig the playoff game last year with his amazing coverage on Wayne...he fights for every pass thats thrown his way...what a good use of a second round pick IMO

Ike will be fine, he should be working extra hard to come back, but he seems to struggle when our pass rush isnt all there.:dunno:

House of Steel
12-05-2006, 10:17 AM
I like all three of them. They just need to work hard and go after the ball. Playing corner isn't all that difficult of a position to play. I have played corner for fun and in the games in HS. I might be 5'10 and going up against 6'1 to 6'4 receiver, My arms are long and I will guarantee you 9 out of 10 times I will swamp that ball down or pick it off. In practice one summer at training camp for Toledo, I played a corner in a 12 on 12 scrimmage Blue verus Gold. I picked off possibly 4 passes, 2 ran back for a TD. The coaches was wondering if I should been placed at CB instead of third stringer QB. Damn, I would of loved to compete for the starting position on the secondary. I was lightening fast and had long arms to downplay my height. I don't know why to this day, they didn't move me to corner. All my teammates was wondering, HEY SAURER deserves to play Corner. I had a ball covering receivers at practice, there have a many occassions I have had 1 or 2 interceptions at practice. Hell, I picked Gradkowski off many times in practice. He was a freshman at the time I was a Senior. I miss those days.

12-05-2006, 11:37 AM
Ike is just in a slump this year... once he snaps out of it he'll back to the Ike that earned a big fat contract!

As for McFadden... I really like this dude! He has shown some great stuff over the past couple of years. For example, in a game earlier this year (can't remember which one) he got like 2 pass interference calls in the red zone but then he responded with an interception! That is awesome, especially to put the PI calls behind him and then to pick the ball off to get his team out of the jam he got them in!! :cope:

12-05-2006, 11:45 AM
I agree. I think Ike will snap out of this funk he is in. Maybe he just let last year go to his head and needed this wake-up call.

12-05-2006, 11:51 AM
The whole team needs a wakeup call this year, and Ike is no exception. I think Im going to write this whole year off as an apparition.