Ike Taylor isn't jumping to any conclusions, but what he's seen and heard so far has him jumping for joy.
New Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's first NFL job was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary. Pro Bowl cornerback Ronde Barber credits Tomlin with his development.
Taylor can't wait to go to work for his new coach.
"I'm very fortunate," he said.
Taylor is a cornerback with Pro Bowl potential entering his fifth season, his third as a starter.
He's looking to bounce back following a disappointing year that resulted in him not starting five games because, quite frankly, former coach Bill Cowher needed a scapegoat for missing the playoffs, and Taylor was it.
Taylor will be the first to admit that 2006 wasn't his best season, but a lot of Steelers could say the same thing.
For the first time since cracking the starting lineup, Taylor gave up some big plays in the passing game. But, truth be told, the Steelers' lack of a consistent pass rush left Taylor -- the team's top cover corner -- alone on an island far too often.
Not starting those five games afforded Taylor plenty of time to analyze what he did wrong, but also to not lose sight of those things he did right.
Following a couple of positive conversations with Tomlin, Taylor said he had never felt better about himself.
"We talked, and it was good. It wasn't really football talk. We were just trying to get to know each other," Taylor said. "I know what I can do. Coach told me he knows what I can do.
"He's been with Ronde Barber; he knows what it takes. I need to just start dominating."
Taylor is in Orlando, Fla., training with conditioning expert and speed coach Tom Shaw at the Wide World of Sports at Disney World. The two have trained together since Taylor was a middle-school student in New Orleans.
Last year, Taylor began training four days after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. This year, Taylor, who recently made Orlando his offseason home, has been extremely intense in his workouts.
"The feeling I had last year, sitting all those games, I don't ever want to have that feeling again," Taylor said.
Said Shaw, who has developed 80 first-round draft picks and also is working with Steelers cornerbacks Ricardo Colclough and Anthony Madison: "Ike's never complained. He just said he's got to do a better job. He hasn't lost a step. He might have gotten faster. He's a workaholic."
A quiet leader, Taylor's offseason commitment has carried over to several of his defensive teammates. In addition to Colclough and Madison, cornerback Bryant McFadden trains with Taylor, and linebackers Joey Porter and James Farrior (another Orlando regular) also are expected to attend.
Next month, Taylor will participate in the Steelers offseason program, where he will finally meet face-to-face with Tomlin.
Taylor is honing his coverage skills against some of the top college receivers in the upcoming draft -- players such as Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson and Florida's Dallas Baker, who are preparing for the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis.
Taylor's one-on-one battles with Johnson, a projected top-five pick in the draft, have been the talk of Shaw's camp.
"There's only a few like him," Taylor said. "He reminds me of Plax (former Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress). He's big, but he's fast. He's right up on you before you know it."
Johnson said Taylor had helped him immensely.
"He tells me what I'm doing wrong and to be under control at all times. He's helping me get better as a receiver," Johnson said. "He's so polished. You don't see cornerbacks like him in the college ranks."
A little coaching can go a long way. That's why Taylor is so looking forward to getting acquainted with Tomlin.