View Full Version : Steelers' Taylor around the corner

05-05-2008, 03:15 AM
Steelers' Taylor around the corner
By John Harris
Monday, May 5, 2008

Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor insists that it's no big deal -- a move that's less than meets the eye.
Taylor's switch from left cornerback to right cornerback in last year's playoff game against Jacksonville -- a position change that has continued through the Steelers' first organized team activity and recently completed minicamp -- is as dramatic as if Marvel Smith was switched from left tackle to right tackle.

Now try telling that to Taylor.

"You can't look too deep into it. We're not even in the season yet," Taylor said.

No, but a team plays the way that it practices.
Taylor has been the Steelers' starting left cornerback since the Super Bowl season in 2005. His move to right cornerback bears watching because it coincides with a league-wide trend featuring big-play receivers lining up opposite the right cornerback.

When asked about Taylor playing right cornerback in last year's playoff game, coach Mike Tomlin attempted to shrug it off.

"It was something for Jacksonville at that time," Tomlin said at the Senior Bowl in January. "Whether or not we continue to go down that road, that's something we'll determine."

Two weeks ago at the Steelers' organized team activity, Taylor was still at right cornerback.

Tomlin's response?

"We want to have flexibility where we play those guys wherever. Whether it's right or left, whether we match receivers. We're just giving ourselves flexibility."

For the record, Taylor, who started his NFL career on the right side, prefers left cornerback.

It appears that he'll play both corners, depending on the defensive package.

"Playing both sides, I'm just looking at being versatile, trying to better myself. It depends on what coach wants," Taylor said.

Tomlin wants what's best for his defense, which means playing his top cornerback where he can benefit the team most.

Taylor led the Steelers with three interceptions and 17 passes defensed in 2007. He finished second with 90 tackles. Considering that more teams are designing running plays to their left side, Taylor's position change makes more sense because of how well he forces the run.

Also stout against the pass, Taylor gave up two touchdown catches in man coverage last season. He set a team record against Jacksonville when he intercepted a pass in his third consecutive playoff game.

Playing right cornerback, Taylor will be matched against the league's elite wideouts. During the Steelers' minicamp, which concluded Sunday, Taylor was often matched against Santonio Holmes.

"Chad (Johnson) lines up a lot on the right side -- their left, our right," Taylor said. "There's Randy Moss. (Reggie) Wayne.

"We have matchups during the season. Depending on the formation, that's where they're going to put me."


Galax Steeler
05-05-2008, 03:39 AM
I hope taylor performs well this year and improves his play he isn't getting any younger.

05-05-2008, 06:42 AM
yeah galax.. its time for our secondary to play up to the rest of our front 7. I just like what I am hearing all-around about our defensive unit. Timmons playing lights out and Clark coming back strong as well, I just hope that Troy and Aaron Smith are coming along well also.

The Duke
05-05-2008, 06:59 AM

this is how you catch a football dumbass! :chuckle:

05-05-2008, 07:03 AM

this is how you catch a football dumbass! :chuckle:

:sofunny::sofunny: that is too funny...

05-05-2008, 09:29 AM

this is how you catch a football dumbass! :chuckle: