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View Full Version : What really constitutes a shutdown corner? Ike Taylor?



BlitzburghRockCity
09-28-2011, 10:26 AM
Is it merely interceptions, or is it having such a reputation that the opposition won't throw in your direction?

Could it be having the assignment of defending the other team's No. 1 receiver on every snap, no matter where he lines up on the field? Or is it a combination of everything?

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor would like to know the definition, because if anybody in the NFL should be called a shutdown corner, he fits that description.
Through three games, Taylor has allowed three catches for 18 yards in the 20 times he has been targeted while being asked to cover Lee Evans, Mike Williams and Reggie Wayne - all No. 1 receivers.

Taylor will draw another top receiver Sunday when he will be matched against Houston's Andre Johnson.

"I don't see anybody better than Ike," Steelers receiver Mike Wallace said. "When it comes to covering, I'd put my money on him any day. People are sleeping on Ike Taylor."

Taylor blanketed Wayne last Sunday and allowed only an 11-yard catch out of 10 targets to Wayne, while Taylor was covering him.

"He is one of (the best in the league)," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "He is fast, he is strong, he is big and it really makes it tough. Guys are more recognizable than him name-wise, but as far as playing, I think he is one of the best."
What makes Taylor unique is that he covers the other team's top receiver no matter where that player lines up. And Taylor usually is playing press-man coverage with no help.

That alone makes Steelers safety Ryan Clark think Taylor is better than the preeminent shutdown corner in the league Nnamdi Asomugha and should be mentioned in the same breath as the Jets' Darrelle Revis.

"Nnamdi's stats compared to Ike's stats over the past three years aren't even close when it comes to production," Clark said. "It is about perception. Nnamdi wasn't playing cover-zero every play in Oakland, but you would think that because that's the perception."

Asomugha was targeted only 29 times last year while playing in Oakland, then signed a five-year, $60 million deal with the Eagles.

"Once people talk about you in a certain way, then that becomes your perception," Clark said. "Perception becomes reality, and then you go to Pro Bowls."
The perception about Taylor, who signed a four-year, $28 million deal in the summer, is that he is far from being considered a shutdown corner and maybe even further away from being a Pro Bowler.

A recent ESPN.com poll asked experts to rank the top cornerbacks in the league on a scale of 1 to 10. Taylor not only didn't make the top 10, he didn't receive a vote - 20 other corners in the league got at least one vote.

"I'll let you all deal with the stats. I just take it one play at a time," Taylor said. "It is just being consistent week-in and week-out for me."

Taylor was bypassed the first two weeks; he was targeted only seven times. Against the Colts he was thrown at 13 times, with the only two catches being quick-hitting pick plays at the line of scrimmage.

There's still that one issue when it comes to Taylor - his hands.
"The thing that keeps him from being mentioned with those guys is just catching the ball," Clark said.

Taylor had only two interceptions last year and never has had more than three in a season. He has only 11 picks in 128 career games.

Then again, neither Asomugha nor Revis had an interception last year and both made the Pro Bowl.

"I would love (a Pro Bowl) on my resume," Taylor said. "I'm going to get it just don't know when."

From the Trib (http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/Steelers%27%20Taylor%20measured%20with%20elite%20c orners%20-%20Pittsburgh%20Tribune-Review%20http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_759038.html#ixzz1ZFlnuNPy)

Ibleedblk&gld
09-28-2011, 10:33 AM
i was never a huge fan of Ike...he's slowly winning me over, but I hate the fact that the QB will throw 20 feet over the receivers head, and Ike will do that stupid "can't see me" thing w/ his hands...he does that dumb **** when he has nothing to do w/ the play being broken up...however, I'd rather have 2 of him over 3 william gay's

SteelJunkie
09-28-2011, 10:42 AM
I don't even want 1 William Gay let alone 3. Ike has been a nice steady CB for us for awhile. Now if only we could get someone on the other side, and anything other than gay for a 3rd I would be happy.

Lunchbucket
09-28-2011, 11:02 AM
Ike is as good as any so called 'shutdown' in the league.Most corners this good have an intresting attitude.So he can be forgiven for the antics.After all, he is from Swaggin' University !

TampaSteelGirl
09-28-2011, 12:04 PM
Wouldn't mind having another Troy Polamalu out there :greengrin:

Stone
09-28-2011, 12:12 PM
If he could just tackle my grandma.

If he could just stop the idiotic displays.

And last but not least..............if you could throw the ball toward Gay, why would you ever throw toward Ike?

Ibleedblk&gld
09-28-2011, 12:19 PM
If he could just tackle my grandma.

our whole secondary needs to learn this...they'd rather lay a big hit, than wrap a guy up (especially ryan clark)...there have been numerous times in the past that small plays turned big b/c our guys would rather lay a hit than tackle

UKSTEELER
09-28-2011, 12:20 PM
Ike's a great one, he should have made the pro bowl on numerous occasions - he's having a great start to the season.

It's a pity we're so bereft of talent on the other side. Cortez Allen is the only other corner on the roster who fills me with any kind of hope. Bmac/Gay/Lewis are simply not good enough. Curtis Brown is an unknown quantity, so he could go either way, yet I get vibes that Cortez Allen could be the new Ike. Just get him on the damn field so we can see what he's made of!

No, . . . we'll hear, "he only went to tiny Citadel, where they don't concentrate on football blah, . .. blah", so we'll sit him on the bench all next season too!!

Christ, . . . 95% of the time all a corner has to do his shadow his man down field, or make the odd tackle in run support, it's hardly brain surgery!!

Ibleedblk&gld
09-28-2011, 12:22 PM
i wish we would have kept crezdon butler...

JShare86
09-28-2011, 12:58 PM
I thought Ike has always been a pretty solid tackler and he's always been physical. Ikes weakest part of his game in My opinion is his ball skills are terrible I know his hands are bad but his balls skills and actually being able to locate the ball stink. I do think he could lock down any wideout but the difference between him and Revis is revis' ability to make a play on the ball. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in on Ike (my favorite defensive player)

Stone
09-28-2011, 01:16 PM
our whole secondary needs to learn this...they'd rather lay a big hit, than wrap a guy up (especially ryan clark)...there have been numerous times in the past that small plays turned big b/c our guys would rather lay a hit than tackle

Most full backs could fake Ike out of his jock strap in the open field. How can he mirror a guy running a route but constantly get faked out of his shoes by a ball carrier? You're right, he's going for the big hit.

Rampage
09-28-2011, 01:20 PM
I really think Ike has improved over the last couple of seasons. He's never been a weakness in the secondary, but now I am beginning to look at him like a strength. If he had the ball skills to reel in a few interceptions every season, I would be a bit more confident calling him a shutdown CB.

That said, I think he is simply not thrown at due to the fact that the guys across from him are so weak. McFadden, Gay and Lewis aren't giving QBs fits. If they could get an above average CB to play across from him, the secondary would be vastly improved.

Although I'd have to think a pass rush would help just as much right now.

steelersbabex25
09-28-2011, 03:09 PM
Ike is definitely a shutdown corner. IMO, I can't really factor in interceptions to how good a corner is. Corners are not paid to catch a ball. That's what receivers are paid for. Sure, it's a plus to have a corner who has sticky fingers, but that doesn't make someone a shutdown corner. Hell, if a corner is good enough he shouldn't even have the chance to make many interceptions, cause the ball shouldn't be thrown his way very often.

Rampage
09-28-2011, 03:25 PM
Ike is definitely a shutdown corner. IMO, I can't really factor in interceptions to how good a corner is. Corners are not paid to catch a ball. That's what receivers are paid for. Sure, it's a plus to have a corner who has sticky fingers, but that doesn't make someone a shutdown corner. Hell, if a corner is good enough he shouldn't even have the chance to make many interceptions, cause the ball shouldn't be thrown his way very often.

I agree with that assessment; however, I think a corner who is not only hard to make completions against, but dangerous to throw at is the definition of shutdown. It's one thing to be good or great in coverage, it's another to take that side of the field away completely.

steelersbabex25
09-28-2011, 03:38 PM
I agree with that assessment; however, I think a corner who is not only hard to make completions against, but dangerous to throw at is the definition of shutdown. It's one thing to be good or great in coverage, it's another to take that side of the field away completely.

This is true. But Ike covers receivers like a blanket, and we have to take that as Steeler fans.

Rampage
09-28-2011, 03:41 PM
This is true. But Ike covers receivers like a blanket, and we have to take that as Steeler fans.

Absolutely. I am not going to nitpick Ike: He takes away the #1 receiver and that's what we need. I'd love for him to be a ball hawk, but he is a strength on defense as it stands. What would be really nice is if Lewis or Brown could step it up and play well across from him and that's where it would be nice to have a ball hawk: Throw all you want at that side, if they come away with turnovers and don't get burned, I am fine with that.

steelersbabex25
09-28-2011, 03:49 PM
Yeah. Ike's talent is somewhat useless if you don't have anyone worthy to play on the other side.