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83-Steelers-43
02-19-2007, 11:06 AM
Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, February 19, 2007


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.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_493827.html

DJfan
02-19-2007, 11:15 AM
I like the attitude! Even if Tomlin did nothing more with him, he had done a lot already. This is the fire we need!

83-Steelers-43
02-19-2007, 11:23 AM
I hope Tomlin can do something with him.

He wasn't given that new fat contract for what he has done in the past. He's getting paid for what the Rooney's believe he can do in the future. Last season wasn't a step in the right direction. Ike needs to step up BIG TIME this year.

tony hipchest
02-19-2007, 11:30 AM
Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

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.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_493827.html

ive heard alot of bad things about our secondary, people suggesting ike is a dog, who cant compete, and even should be cut. granted we were all hoping for him to break out last season and he had some disappointing games, but i love his work ethic and desire to get better. it may be a year to late, and it may just be wishful thinking but i really feel he can still achieve all the potential he has shown.

i like the leadership he is showing getting his team mates involved in his off season work outs and the tutoring he is doing with eventual rookies of the league. hes acting the part, now he just needs to play the part in 07.

Fid
02-19-2007, 11:39 AM
Ike did look like a rookie last season as compared to his previous. However, this article about his off-season work ethic is not the first I have read. I don't think Coweher used him as a scapegoat either. Ike just had a rough season. Expect him to bounce back and excel with the help of Coach T.

clevestinks
02-19-2007, 11:46 AM
How about you turn yourself into a ProBowler!

Atlanta Dan
02-19-2007, 12:01 PM
The scapegoat story and the contention that other Steelers played just as poorly last year have appeared in several articles - I think the source of those recurring claims is Taylor.

Taylor got benched after he was beaten deep several times in the Denver game, which followed poor coverage on shorter routes in at least the Jax and first Cincy games. IMHO Taylor probably was not doing well in practice and blowing assignments for Cowher to bench him.

Taylor had a bad year after signing a fat contract - he should just do his job and quit implying his rotten year was due to coaching.

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-19-2007, 12:19 PM
If getting "beat" was the criteria for Taylors benching..then someone PLEASE tell me how Deshea kept his starting position...Taylor had a off year for him..but he LED THE LEAGUE in passes defended the year before...
Taylor has all the skills and athleticism we are looking for...and if we would have had a decent secondary coach...1) they would have helped him correct any percieved problems...2) We wouldnt have spent a season watching highlight reels of whatever WR was the Train engine to Desheas caboose!!!
Taylor was strongly (and rightly) criticized for not catching balls that he was in position to catch ...which may have turned games around....But how many times do we have to watch Deshea dive and miss ...so not only does he not get the pass defense..but now we get the privilidge of watching him get up and chase another WR!! Short and slow is not the hallmark of a starting CB...Lets not give Taylor a pass on bad hands...but who among us would want Deshea starting this next year over Ike??!!

Atlanta Dan
02-19-2007, 12:29 PM
By bashing Taylor I am not defending Townsend and, in fact, posted several times in November and December that since the future corners were McFadden & Taylor those two should be starting. However, something significant put Taylor in Cowher's doghouse - I think it was more than the coverage mistakes that resulted in catches and I certainly do not think it was Cowher needing a scapegoat.

yinzer-inseattle
02-19-2007, 01:19 PM
How about you turn yourself into a ProBowler!

I think the writer just used those words for the title. (at least from the article) It does not appear that Ike said he wanted or was waiting for Tomlin will turn him into a PB.

Looks like this is a self motivated attitude adjustment by Ike. Good for him.

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-19-2007, 02:59 PM
By bashing Taylor I am not defending Townsend and, in fact, posted several times in November and December that since the future corners were McFadden & Taylor those two should be starting. However, something significant put Taylor in Cowher's doghouse - I think it was more than the coverage mistakes that resulted in catches and I certainly do not think it was Cowher needing a scapegoat.

I agree with you 100% and have seen you say that Ike and McFadden would be starting next year..(Which I also agree with) ..and I dont think it was Cohwer either...From what I read..It was Perry who had more of a problem with Ike...I have been trying to find the article where Cohwer referred to Perry not being happy with Taylors performance...

memphissteelergirl
02-19-2007, 03:09 PM
IMO, I think Ike is going to surprise some folks next season. He will step up his game and not just be a leader on defense but be a team leader as well.

polamalufan43
02-19-2007, 03:25 PM
IMO, I think Ike is going to surprise some folks next season. He will step up his game and not just be a leader on defense but be a team leader as well.

:iagree:
which is something we need on the team right now.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

ChronoCross
02-19-2007, 03:56 PM
Every player has a down season are two in there career and sometimes really gets hammered for it. Ike is no different, he like most had a bad season like this last season. It was not a good year for the team at all. And head hunters are out wanting this player cut and this player cut. Some people do forget that the year before Ike was considered one of the top corners in the league so with the benching and not playing so well he knows he needs a good bounce back season. I think Ike and McFadden will have a great year. Desha probably be on the team but as depth and play on dime and nickel packages.


Sorry posted this in the same subject that someone doubled up in on the forums so ill put it in this one;

I really like Ike's approach here and it really impresses me that he is getting started early. I really think that Cowher benching him woke him up and said hey I cannot take it easy and if I relax I will sit and it looks like it hurt him and he does not want that to ever happen again. Ike has so much talent and could be a HoF corner.

As for Ben I think he should still rest another month. He really needs time off to get fully back into health and start a good off season workout to get him back to 100% back into the game. A Healthy Ben means a lot to the team.

I am looking so forward to this upcoming season its great. I think this last season really had a affect on the boys and I do not see them playing like that again.

Stlrs4Life
02-19-2007, 04:20 PM
Guess I can kinda forgive Ike after I cussed his name a few times last season.

CrazySteelerFan
02-19-2007, 04:59 PM
[B]
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.

This is what i find interesting. Could he be doing some side work for tomlin?

Preacher
02-19-2007, 05:07 PM
What I like... Is how many Steeler players have followed him to the conditioning. That also means that they are working TOGETHER and building camraderie. Wouldn't it be a trip if the receiver fell to number 15 and we picked him up!!

He would be a big receiver, and already understand the Steeler mentality! I guess some things can only be dreamt for. After all, I still think we need to pick a LB or CB in the draft in the 1st round.

Dynasty
02-19-2007, 05:09 PM
Yeah.. it would never, ever, ever happen, but what if we took Calvin Johnson if he fell to our pick. It would be so outrageuos to happen, but if he has a bad combine..

WWIIOwheelz
02-19-2007, 07:03 PM
Ike got utterly scorched more times than I care to admit last year, and it had very little to do with the lack of a pass rush. He just got beaten, didn't look like the same player from 2005.

I like his attitude, though, and hope for a positive change. Last year he wasn't getting it done at all.

SteelCzar76
02-19-2007, 07:37 PM
Let me start by saying that though no man born of woman is perfect,.......either you have 'IT' or you don't. Ike is in near peak physical condition for his size and he has a great deal of ahtletic abilty. But,.....some things cannot be taught.
Things like instinct and awarness. Both of which he simply does not possess. Anyone can say what they like,.....but when it comes to onfield performance,....only YOU can make yourself the 'Goat' so to speak.
In regards to Dshea,....i'm actually surprised that anyone is shocked by his play last season ? All he has ever been was an average 'stop gap' quality corner at best. And now due to 'time' he's lost a step. (Keeping in mind he was limited in size, speed and ability since he came into the league in the first place)
And finally Ricardo,......c'mon i don't even need to explain if your familiar with his 'resume' going back to college. LOL
Bottom line,......perhaps the recent changes in staff will go a long way towards us actually drafting quality collegiate Cb's. As oppossed rolling the dice on the 'project' players. Hoping to find a 'Diamond in the rough'. (And paying for it dearly every year in regards to pass defense)

slashsteel
02-19-2007, 09:41 PM
Nice to see three CB's working with Tom Shaw. The more the merrier I say. I saw Ike the other day working out and damn he locked down the WR slated to go first in the draft. Bryant hasn't showed up yet. I think he will be down here in a few days.

SteelCzar76
02-20-2007, 01:17 AM
Nice to see three CB's working with Tom Shaw. The more the merrier I say. I saw Ike the other day working out and damn he locked down the WR slated to go first in the draft. Bryant hasn't showed up yet. I think he will be down here in a few days.


But let me ask this Slash,.......how confident are you that Ike will be able to perform this well against his peers whom are not rooks and are without any level of 'awe' for his 'game' whatsoever ?

Preacher
02-20-2007, 01:35 AM
But let me ask this Slash,.......how confident are you that Ike will be able to perform this well against his peers whom are not rooks and are without any level of 'awe' for his 'game' whatsoever ?

Hey hey hey!!!


Let us have some hope in the offseason!!

Edman
02-20-2007, 03:40 PM
Ike didn't have a great year last year. Then again, hardly anyone on the team played to their 2005 form. Ben, Hines, Troy, you name it. If you ask me, Only Willie was our only player deserving for the Pro Bowl. He was our true superstar in a crappy 2006.

At least Ike is trying to improve. You have to respect his work ethic.

Man_Of_Steel
02-20-2007, 05:58 PM
BEN is the one who should be working his ass off to get back into NFL game shape. Man was he slow and out of it last year. I hope Tomlin gets a hold of him and tells him he has alot of work to do, because he does.

Elvis
02-20-2007, 06:46 PM
BEN is the one who should be working his ass off to get back into NFL game shape. Man was he slow and out of it last year. I hope Tomlin gets a hold of him and tells him he has alot of work to do, because he does.
:tt02: :tt02: :tt02:
I Agree 100%
Big Ben must put some weight back and or should I call it muscle?
He did seem alittle slow to me also. But I think a normal offseason without all the excitement for Ben this time around
will help him more than anything.
As for Ike Taylor hoping that Tomlin will make him a
Pro Bowler... well doesnt everyone of us Steelers fans?
:helmet:

DACEB
02-21-2007, 10:32 AM
Hopefully coach Tomlin can have an impact on all the DB's and the overall play of the secondary. I'm glad to hear the DB's are working out together, that is leadership by example. I am also glad to hear Coke is working out and hopefully healthy, IMO the kid has potential. IMO that's not a bad starting DB lineup; Taylor, McFadden, Coke and Townsend. This time last year we were all stoked at that lineup, things didn't work out as most of us foresaw, well coach them up coach Tomlin.

stlrtruck
02-21-2007, 11:17 AM
I'm just curious though - shouldn't the player have his own motivation to do better and not have to rely on a coach or some other external motivational factor to get himself to be a Pro Bowl caliber player?

I've got a few suggestions for you Ike:

1 - Learn how to cover a little better down the field
2 - Stop with the damn 15 yard cushions on 3rd and 8's
3 - When you have an INT in your grasps - HOLD ON TO THE BALL!!!!!!!
4 - After securing the INT - run in the opposite direction the offense was heading - and score a TD
5 - After scoring a TD - act like you've been there before hand the ball to the ref (or keep it if you want) and walk off the field.
6 - Repeat all the steps until the opponents offense has been beaten into submission!!!

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-21-2007, 11:27 AM
I really believe that with a "real" secondary coach ....everyone is going to be gratefully surprised to see Ike flourish next year....Lets not all have short term memory loss to the fact that Ike SHUT DOWN the leagues best recievers just one year ago!!!