Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor talked to Scout.com's Ed Thompson about what he's been up to during the offseason to get ready for the 2007 season, his thoughts on some of his teammates and new head coach Mike Tomlin and much more in this exclusive interview!
Ed Thompson: I want to ask you about one of your teammates, second-year cornerback Anthony Madison who I think is one of the truly good guys on your team. I've had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of times so far. Tell me what you appreciate the most about Anthony as a player and as a person?
: He has one speed, and that's to go fast. I like Anthony Madison. I kind of took him under my wing because he's a hard worker, he's an underachiever. I have a two-bedroom condo in Pittsburgh and I actually let him stay there, no rent or anything because I know coming in like he did as a free agent, it's hard to save money, it's hard to live not being a first-rounder. It was hard for me my first year as a fourth-rounder. So with him being a free agent and having the extra stress of trying to make the team, trying to do good and worrying about if he'd have money during the offseason, I didn't want him to go through that. So I just put him up at my place, and he really appreciated it. I'm hard on him all the time, I pick on him all the time. But I just want nothing but the best for him.
Ike Taylor breaks up a pass intended for Braylon Edwards
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)ET: When you say you pick on him, what kinds of things do jab at him over?
IT: Just things like if he drops a pass, I tell him he's dropping money. I tell him that's one million you just dropped. And if someone catches a pass on him, I tell him that he can do better. But you know, it's all because I want the best for him. I had that done for me, so I'm now doing the same for some of these younger guys.
ET: Who helped you in that way when you were trying to break into the league, Ike?
IT: I had a good coaching staff -- Coach LeBeau, Coach Ray (Horton), Coach Darren Perry -- and during the offseason, Darren Sharper
and Coach Tom Shaw. That's who I train with in the offseason, Coach Tom Shaw, and he's helped me out tremendously. He's working been working with me on my technique. And even our linebackers, James Farrior
helped me out a whole bunch -- not just with cornerback, just being an NFL football player, period. Jerome (Bettis) sat me down a couple of times, Joey Porter
. I always liked being around the older guys because you learn from them. They've been through it all, they've seen it all. So I just try to pick their brains so that hopefully I can do as well as them.
ET: You mentioned your offseason work with Coach Tom Shaw, who I know has referred to you as a "workaholic" and who has a lot of respect for you. What have you been focusing on during this offseason to get ready for 2007?
IT: Eating right. And I didn't like to stretch, but I'm stretching more and lifting more weights. As far as running and speed, I feel I was blessed with that. I've been doing a little bit more sleeping. You'd be surprised how much sleeping and eating right how much better your body feels. Within four weeks, I felt a difference, so I'm just going to keep that up. And I'm going to pray every night, read a verse from the Bible every day, and try to maintain myself better.
Scout.com subscribers can listen to the rest of Ike's Scout Radio interview where he talks about what he did during the offseason, what he appreciates about new head coach Mike Tomlin, his thoughts on sixth-round pick
By Ed Thompson
Posted Jun 29, 2007