Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers
As always, the biggest issue with cutting Ike is there is nobody to replace his knowledge. I feel there were 3 factors hurting Ike this last season:
1. Age, he is older and has lost a step or 2. This is obvious and happens.
2. QB pressure, we had none. QB's could sit back in the pocket all day to find an open WR.
3. Overall scheme. Due to the loss of the ILB position and Troy basically playing LB, we simply did not have enough help over the top.
If we draft a solid CB talent early (I hope we do!) and we have some recovery at the ILB position, I think we could get by with Ike at least starting out the season as a CB. But we will need to adjust the scheme to provide over the top help. Hell, this might even improve his play as he will be able to jam WR's knowing he will for sure have over the top help at the S position. Our secondary seemed to shore up late in the season when they stopped putting him on an island on the #1's. He is just not this guy any longer. Unfortunately, unless they go get a very good FA CB, we will need him AT LEAST until a rookie has enough understanding of the defense to play the position. They either have to keep Ike or get a good FA to replace him. I am personnaly for keeping him for one more season, drafting his replacement and making sure the secondary coverage is in position to help him with the faster WR's he may have to cover. I don't think Cortez can shadow the #1 like Ike used to, just keep them on the same sides and provide safety help to cover up the problems we may have. It is an ugly fix, but it both helps the cap and gets us a solid CB tandem for several years (as long as the rookie pans out).