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83-Steelers-43
03-27-2006, 08:43 AM
Ike likes Disney World

By Joe Bendel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, March 27, 2006

ORLANDO -- Ike Taylor did not win the MVP of Super Bowl XL, but he still went to Disney World.
And he hasn't left.

The Steelers cornerback arrived here four days after the Steelers' 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks to train with renowned conditioning guru Tom Shaw at the palatial Wide World of Sports at Disney World.

"I could have taken a break, but I didn't want to let myself do that," Taylor said Sunday, his lone day off here. "The way I look at it is -- there's a draft every year, and in that draft, there's a guy who wants to take my job. I want to be the best. I don't want anybody taking my job."

Taylor trains a minimum of five hours a day, six days a week with Shaw, who's developed 77 first-round draft picks and is working with Steelers linebacker James Farrior, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Shawn Barber and safety Darren Sharper of the Minnesota Vikings, among others.

Taylor's grueling regimen consists of speed and conditioning drills, lifting weights, training in state-of-the-art swimming pools and working on football-specific movements. The sparkling training facility is used by the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Taylor has not missed a workout since completing a 2005 season that saw him tie for the NFL lead in pass breakups with 25, while also contributing 95 tackles (the most by a Steelers cornerback since Rod Woodson in 1992). He also held 18 of the 20 wide receivers he faced without a touchdown, and two of his three interceptions (counting the postseason) occurred in the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl.

One of Taylor's missions this offseason is to improve on his interception numbers. He estimates he dropped up to 12 last season, which is why he catches 100 or more passes a day out of a JUGS gun.

"There are days that I'd rather not do this, just like I'm sure there are days for people in the business world when they'd rather not get up and go to work," said Taylor, who was clocked at 4.34 seconds immediately after the season. "But you have to be focused; you have to be hungry. That's where my thoughts about the draft come in. I know I need to keep getting better."

Taylor, 6-foot-1, 191 pounds, signed a one-year, $1.55 million tender as a restricted free agent with the Steelers earlier this month. That assured the Steelers that they would receive a first-round draft pick as compensation if another team signs Taylor to an offer sheet and the Steelers decide not to match it.

There is interest in Taylor around the league. Kansas City and New England are two franchises that would like to fortify their cornerback position and could risk a first-round draft pick -- they select 20 and 21, respectively -- for a player of Taylor's skills.

No team, however, has made an offer. And history suggests that it could remain that way. The most recent time a team signed a restricted free agent with a high tender such as Taylor's was in 2003, when the Washington Redskins signed wideout Laveranues Coles from the New York Jets.

The deadline for Taylor to sign an offer sheet from another team is April 21.

Taylor would like to receive a long-term deal from the Steelers at some point, but he appreciates the business side of the NFL.

"It's a great feeling to know that I'm in a position that another team, maybe, would be willing to give up something to try to get me, but I'm not worried about that," Taylor said. "I want to be a consistent football player and known as a great cornerback.

"I love the coaching staff in Pittsburgh. I love the Rooney family and coach (Bill) Cowher, and his staff has been great to me. I have no reason to leave. But it's definitely a business, and that's how you have to look at things."

Taylor's agent, Scott Smith of X-A-M Sports, said Taylor has set his sights on staying with the Steelers, but he added that "we have received inquiries from several teams about Ike as a free agent."

"I don't like to deal in speculation, but we are hopeful and optimistic that Ike can reach a long-term agreement with the Steelers this year," Smith said.

Shaw, who works around the clock here, began working with Taylor when the latter was a middle-school student in New Orleans. Shaw said Taylor is one of the more unique players he's trained, not only because of his on-field skills, but how he conducts himself away from the game.

"He wants to win another Super Bowl; he has that drive in him," Shaw said yesterday from the Wide World of Sports facilities. "I was with the Patriots the last six years, and players from other teams would see those guys coming in right after the Super Bowl and say, 'They're starting already?'

"Well, the players on the Patriots learned what it takes to come back and (repeat). After they won that first Super Bowl, there were guys saying, 'We were just here; now, we have to do it again?' But after they went 9-7 following that first Super Bowl, they learned they had to work harder and sooner. That's when they won another one, and that's when we had no problems getting back to work.

"That's the way Ike and James Farrior are approaching this. They want to get right back to the Super Bowl."

83-Steelers-43
03-27-2006, 09:01 AM
"Taylor has not missed a workout since completing a 2005 season that saw him tie for the NFL lead in pass breakups with 25, while also contributing 95 tackles (the most by a Steelers cornerback since Rod Woodson in 1992). He also held 18 of the 20 wide receivers he faced without a touchdown, and two of his three interceptions (counting the postseason) occurred in the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl.".

A fews reasons why I don't consider Ike Taylor "overrated".

Room for improvement? Sure. His INT's in particular. As for his tackling.......above says it all.

Overrated? I can't say that.

melroseplace
03-27-2006, 09:07 AM
glad to see Ike isn't taking anything for granted and is putting some hard work in. hopefully he (and we) will see it pay off next season

Ambridge
03-27-2006, 09:23 AM
It's great that Ike has a dedicated work ethic but I hope he does take some time to let his body rest and recuperate.

I really believe the proper rest and recovery "phase" after a long season is just as important to the body as the training and exercise in order to prepare for a season.

Midnightwriter1
03-27-2006, 09:36 AM
i dont , i want him to keep catching the Jugs machine

83-Steelers-43
03-27-2006, 09:38 AM
It's great that Ike has a dedicated work ethic but I hope he does take some time to let his body rest and recuperate.

I really believe the proper rest and recovery "phase" after a long season is just as important to the body as the training and exercise in order to prepare for a season.

I agree. I'm sure he has his training regimen planned. He will probably slow it down a few weeks or a month before the start of training camp.

rowedf
03-27-2006, 10:09 AM
Great article. I have replied to a lot of the threads on Ike being a "Must" sign, but I never said he was overrated .... I don't think anywhere here has said that. The only negative people have been stating is that you can't break the bank on a guy that has only started two seasons at his position. I do hope they can work something out before the season to keep him here for serveral more years. If he gets to test the FA market after this season, I highly doubt he'll remain a Steeler.

rowedf
03-27-2006, 10:14 AM
LOL, my bad, I just noticed the post put up yesterday about Ike being "overrated"

TasmanianTroy271
03-27-2006, 10:46 AM
lol Wish I would've known him and James have been at Disneyworld, I would've hunted them down 2 weeks ago when I was there!

benberger
03-27-2006, 11:03 AM
i dont , i want him to keep catching the Jugs machine

theres a maching that makes jugs!!!! where do i get one of those???

tony hipchest
03-27-2006, 11:19 AM
theres a maching that makes jugs!!!! where do i get one of those???:sofunny: maybe in silicone valley

Suitanim
03-27-2006, 11:27 AM
Nice read...love the dedication. We all know Troy is a film buff, and the new kid from the Skins is supposed to be super motivated, and now we learn that Ike's a serious dude when it comes to winning.

Really looking forward to next season...

Haiku_Dirtt
03-27-2006, 12:50 PM
The best way to avoid injury in training camp is to come in at 100%. And it means he can focus more on the mental rigors of the game.

Damn. Our secondary has come along so far.

clevestinks
03-27-2006, 02:30 PM
Nobody interested in Ike? Wonder why? Is it just the restricted free agent tag that keeps them away??

Mr. Clean
03-27-2006, 05:54 PM
Probably. Few teams like to lose a first round pick. With a good season, Ike can really cash in next year.

clevestinks
03-27-2006, 06:01 PM
Probably. Few teams like to lose a first round pick. With a good season, Ike can really cash in next year.
If he is the future of our team at corner, now would be a good time to up the cash, before he can get a good feel for his worth??

SteelerzGirl
03-27-2006, 06:09 PM
Nobody interested in Ike? Wonder why? Is it just the restricted free agent tag that keeps them away??

Well I don't trust those sneaky New England Patriots, and am keeping my fingers crossed they don't try and pull a fast one on us with Ike. :hope:

Suitanim
03-27-2006, 07:50 PM
If he is the future of our team at corner, now would be a good time to up the cash, before he can get a good feel for his worth??

I agree completely. The Steelers should try and play the game like the Indians do in the MLB...develop the talent themselves, then sign them to GOOD money long-term before the sharks can come in and sign them to HUGE money.

CantStop85
03-27-2006, 09:30 PM
Ike Taylor's probably my second favorite cornerback in the league...behind of course, Deltha O'Neal. :bouncy:

Stlrs4Life
03-27-2006, 10:25 PM
Man, I no longer am willing to take any 1st rounder for this guy. I want to see him locked up for a few years!

tony hipchest
03-27-2006, 10:35 PM
Man, I no longer am willing to take any 1st rounder for this guy. I want to see him locked up for a few years! totally agree. do we want teams to sprad us out with 4 wide sets? or do we want to be able cover this strategy with ike, deshea, colclough, mcfadden, and polamalu? all 5 conviniently happen to be very phisical and really good in run support too.

advantage: steelers

WWIIOwheelz
03-27-2006, 10:49 PM
*SIGH*

I remember saying, for YEARS, the biggest weakness the Steelers had was the secondary.

Don't mind me.

*sniff*

Midnightwriter1
03-28-2006, 06:44 AM
The secondary is still our biggst weakness on our defense, in part because so young. I was all over our secandary this year because we didnt play bumb and run, and we constantly allowed teams to throw in front of them ( hence Taylors 95 tackles ). Some of my buddies say it is because we didnt have much of a pash rush until later in the season when we started using Troy more at the line. But for whatever reason, time and time again throughout the year, teams could throw on us on third and long and complete it. We had one of the worst ( if not the worst ) percentages in the league in that catagory ( allowing teams to get first downs by pass .. was close to 50 percent, maybe in 40's i cant remember exact ).

Sio either ****ie L needs to do something a lil different to clean that up or else we will go through same thing next year and remember guys, we barley sneaked into the playoffs because other teams lost K.C and S.D.

I am not syaing we will do this, but dont be suprised if we take a guy like Hester ( Miami) late in 3rd or first pick in 4th. He can cover and is fst.. but he is light and isnt much of a hitter but we need to definately improve on that stat i mentioned.