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mesaSteeler
06-26-2009, 10:28 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers' Ike Taylor returns to where the hard work started
Posted by Tammy Nunez, The Times-Picayune June 26, 2009 8:23PM
http://blog.nola.com/tpsports/2009/06/pittsburgh_steelers_ike_taylor.html

John McCusker / The Times-PicayuneNine-year-old Cierra Synegal of New Orleans takes a picture of Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor during Taylor's Face Me Ike youth camp in Gretna on Friday.

Many nights, when Ike Taylor was living with his Uncle Herman and Aunt Judy in Harvey, he would rouse from the sound of Herman going to work.

His uncle woke up before daylight to clean buildings for the family janitorial business -- which the couple still runs today.

"He taught me a lot about hard work, " Taylor said before heading into a gym to run his fifth annual Face Me Ike youth camp at Arden Cahill Academy in Gretna on Friday. "He woke up 2 or 3 every morning. I didn't know what was going on then, but I did know he worked hard, and I would, too."

There are more luxuries today thanks to Taylor's success at cornerback for the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers. He took his family and friends out to a local upscale steakhouse Thursday evening, and even his uncle slept in Friday morning -- sort of.

"I got up at 4 a.m. this morning, " Herman said. "I had a lot of work to do, and I have to go to work after this (camp)."

Taylor said it's that background that helped propel him through the rigors of walking on at Louisiana-Lafayette and then through the NFL to win a starting position in 2005. Taylor, who prepped at Abramson, had 63 tackles and one interception last season.

"My mom (Cora) worked so hard, too, " Taylor said. "It's more my family and their hard work that have been a backbone for me."

Herman said Taylor would fill in for him on nights he couldn't work, and he made sure Taylor wouldn't be a stranger to sweat.

"If I had to get up early and get to work, he was going to work, too, stripping floors, cleaning, whatever, " Herman said.

As the kids filed in through the stormy Friday afternoon weather, Taylor stood by his uncle, who would point out whose family this child is from and whose son that child is.

Taylor said he gets a kick out of seeing the same kids return year after year, and spotting new faces in the bunch.

"You see them grow up year to year, " Taylor said. "They really enjoy it, and it's all for them. Everybody here is my family, this is my home though I live in Orlando (Fla.) now."

It isn't until one of the campers asks questions about the NFL or wants to see his rings that he realizes how far he's come in his career.

"That's the only time I think about it, " Taylor said.

On Friday, Taylor was excited to show off the latest hardware -- his newly issued 2009 Super Bowl ring.

"It's beautiful, " Herman said. "It's big, almost too heavy."

Some of Taylor's teammates and NFL friends also were in attendance, showing kids how to shuffle or lift knees high on speed drills. James Farrior, captain of the Steelers' defense, was a big hit with the kids, goofing it up during dull moments and chatting with the little ones. This is one of about six camps Farrior does during the summer.

Former Brother Martin football coach Jay Pittman and several of his players ran the drills Friday, something that is a pleasure, Pittman said.

"Ike's been coming down for five years and doing this, " Pittman said. "We've got to give back to these youngsters, too. What Ike does is show these kids that anything is possible, with him you're going to get that message across."
. . . . . . .

Tammy Nunez can be reached at tnunez@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3405.

(I like Ike! To borrow a very old political slogan. - mesa)

Men of Steel
06-27-2009, 03:08 AM
:thumbsup: great read.... ive come to the realization... the greatest players, have had the toughest roads to cross and toughest lives growing up. whether it be cuz of poverty... family problems... or just oldschool hard, hard work day in and out. or all of the above.

that same work ethic carries on.. onto the football field. :tt03:

Galax Steeler
06-27-2009, 07:24 AM
Thanks Mesa nice read. Taylor seems like a down to earth guy. We are lucky to have someone like him.

Rek
06-27-2009, 10:06 AM
I like IKE! Better than some of the cornerbacks we've had in the past (cough cough Chad Scott cough). Wait.....come to think of it, I think a blind-in-one-eye raccoon with one leg could cover receivers better than Scott did.

mulldog24
06-27-2009, 11:09 AM
You gotta love Ike's dedication to those kids and to the Steelers! Ike has great character and work ethic and I'm proud to call him a Steeler!!!!!!!!!

pancake
06-30-2009, 05:02 PM
Just think if he could catch... With that said, I like Ike.

Preacher
06-30-2009, 05:26 PM
Just think if he could catch... With that said, I like Ike.

:laughing:

CB's that can catch. . . are called wide receivers!!

Seriously, that is the only big flaw in his game. But it is definitely a flaw I will take over anything else.

pancake
06-30-2009, 05:39 PM
:laughing:

CB's that can catch. . . are called wide receivers!!

Seriously, that is the only big flaw in his game. But it is definitely a flaw I will take over anything else.

I agree, maybe he could use some stickim... lol

Dino 6 Rings
06-30-2009, 05:45 PM
Just think if he could catch... With that said, I like Ike.

Its so funny how many of us laugh at the fact he can't catch well at all.

How many times do we see him miss an INT in a game, its got to be at least once a game. He'd be a HOF for sure if he could catch just half those dropped balls.

STEELtownHAVOX
06-30-2009, 06:06 PM
I swear every time Ike does get a pick in a game, it's always in crucial times and big games.

Godfather
06-30-2009, 06:51 PM
Yep. He couldn't afford decent training equipment so his uncle picked up an abandoned tire and sat in it. Ike used that as a weight sled by tying a rope around his waist.