View Full Version : Taylor trying to adjust to new, lesser assignment

12-16-2006, 07:51 AM

Saturday, December 16, 2006

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This is the type of game in which they used to call his number.

This is the type of matchup they used to need his speed and coverage skills.

This is the type of assignment that used to require his special attention.

It wasn't that long ago that the Steelers would ask cornerback Ike Taylor to shadow the other team's top receiver. It was only a month ago when they wanted him to cover Denver's Javon Walker, just as he did earlier in the season when Taylor was assigned to follow Miami's Chris Chambers, Cincinnati's Chad Johnson and Oakland's Randy Moss.

This, though, would have been his biggest assignment: Follow Steve Smith, a two-time Pro Bowl receiver, when the Steelers (6-7) play the Carolina Panthers (6-7) at 1 p.m. tomorrow in Charlotte, N.C.

"Steve Smith is one of the best receivers in the game today, if not the best," coach Bill Cowher said. "He's the real deal."

Taylor, though, is no longer asked to shadow the other team's top receiver.

He isn't even asked to cover any of the opposition's starting receivers.

After getting a five-year, $22.5 million contract extension in September, Taylor has been benched for his poor play, all of which began when he gave up two touchdowns and two deep catches to Walker in a 31-20 loss to the Broncos. Taylor will not start against the Panthers, the third game in a row in which he has been replaced by Bryant McFadden. It is a dramatic change for Taylor, the fourth-year cornerback, and how he is employed in the Steelers' defense.

"It ain't even disappointing," Taylor said. "It's more than that. It's crazy. I can't even explain it. I don't know what's going on."

Cowher said a couple weeks ago that Taylor "understands and accepts his role," which is to be the third cornerback in the nickel and dime defensive packages. But the look on Taylor's face suggests that is not entirely the case.

He has been bewildered by his demotion and believes he has been singled out as a culprit for some of the coverage problems in the secondary. He has gone from being the team's shutdown corner to a sitdown corner, and the odyssey has left him, he said, frustrated.

"Darn right, it's frustrating," Taylor said, except he didn't use the word "darn."

Then, he added, "It doesn't even have anything to do with the contract. They said it is what it is. I don't know what that means -- it is what it is?

"I don't know what's going to happen. All I can do is play football. It's frustrating, it's very frustrating, but you deal with it. We all want to be that guy. We all go through tough times. I call it growing pains. We all go through them in life."

Ike hasnt been right this whole year and since they sat him down he seems to have gone downhill. His confidence is shot to hell, and he's frustrated. This could be a potentially bad situation come next training camp if he doesn't step up to the plate and regain his starting job. We're counting on him, so hopefully he's able to break out his funk with the rest of the team and get back to form.

12-16-2006, 07:57 AM
He needed to stop trying so hard and just played the game:2cents:

12-16-2006, 08:24 AM
I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt for this year, only because the entire team has struggled and he's certainly not the only one who's screwed up on defense this year and given up big plays. Perhaps the coaches are trying to send a message by benching him that no one is safe, or perhaps they just feel he is indeed pushing too much and not letting himself just play on instinct instead of thinking too much.

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 08:39 AM
All I can hope and pray that this coming Training Camp next season, they better be on fire and ready to work their asses off to get their jobs. Damn wish I was in shape to try out as a walk-on, trust me, I would be so fired up, I could take them all on. BRING IT ON!

12-16-2006, 08:55 AM
And then when you get steam rolled by Alan Faneca you'll wonder what zip code you're in !! :lol:

The main thing is with Ike, until he gets his confidence back he's not going to do well, so he needs to seize every opportunity he gets these last 3 games to step up to the plate.

12-16-2006, 09:01 AM
All I can hope and pray that this coming Training Camp next season, they better be on fire and ready to work their asses off to get their jobs. Damn wish I was in shape to try out as a walk-on, trust me, I would be so fired up, I could take them all on. BRING IT ON!
In shape or not, the only way you could make this team can be summed up in 1 word; WATERBOY!

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 09:05 AM
Waterboy my ***!!! Let's see your *** move against Porter. Dude, I can run if I have too believe me. Ask my wife.

12-16-2006, 09:10 AM
If Porter is chasing you, you better be running because WHEN he catches you, it's over !

12-16-2006, 09:11 AM
Believe me, I have and she said's there's no one in the house that can beat you to the dinner table

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 09:11 AM
**** it would take Porter no more than 2 seconds to level Capt. Me, I might have a chance and take it.

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 09:12 AM
You know something, cap :bigfinger: :bigfinger: You got a lot of room to talk according to your wife, I've heard a few things a little birdy told me.

12-16-2006, 09:16 AM
:hijack: :hijack:

How bout that Ike Taylor ! :lol:

12-16-2006, 09:19 AM
That's where you're wrong HoS, because I rather pay my wife's rent than here food bill! and the sad part about it is, she's still a freak'n twig

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 09:20 AM
I am not the ****ing idiot that hijacked this thread.

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 09:21 AM
Well, Capt. Enough with the jokes. I don't like to take nor give personal insulting jokes. I realize your a great friend and your wife is fun to talk too. Boy, she is a really good knowledgeable woman on sports.

Let's get back on the subject here.

So, what do you think Ike Taylor is going to do this offseason to boost his play? I wish he work out with one of the elite CBs in the NFL and learn off of him.

12-16-2006, 09:33 AM
As long as he doesnt get burnt half as much as he did this year we'll be ok ! :rolleyes: He's always seemed very confident and upbeat since he's been here but this year he's just been down most of the time so getting his confidence back will be the key for him, and if he does screw up, to not dwell on it and move on.

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 09:36 AM
I agree with you there. I am still stratching my head wonder what the hell happened to everyone this season besides the Super Bowl Hangover. It is nuts. The bright spot I can see is Willie Parker and Ben getting his groove going finally.

12-16-2006, 10:14 AM
He sucks, get rid of him.

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 10:18 AM
Why would you want to get rid of him after we shelled out money to renew his contract? Now what you just said was uncalled for.

12-16-2006, 10:33 AM
I believe Capt's comment can be interpreted as sarcasm :lol: , atleast I would hope so !

House of Steel
12-16-2006, 10:46 AM
He is boneheaded lately. Stubborn ***.

12-16-2006, 12:04 PM
They had given Duce a contract too...

Doesn't really matter how much you've paid someone, they can become a liability. I certainly hope that's not the case with Taylor--but in all honesty, it wouldn't matter if his contract were worth THREE times what it is--if he's makin us lose games, no amount of money's worth it--sometimes it's just better to cut your losses.

We'll just hope that his problems and lack of focus this season will get "fixed" come next season--same as a lot of the rest of them.