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Old 02-24-2014, 10:41 AM   #111
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

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Because he's going to be another year older. The wheels fell off last season, and there are teams that we're going up against this next year like the Falcons, Saints and Houston that possess two quality receivers that I'm not sure Ike will be able to keep up with. Using Houston as an example, even if Cortez does a great job against Andre, on the other side Ike would be matched up one on one against Hopkins. Hopkins has that burner speed, and how often did we see Ike get beat deep this year?

I love the idea of Kony Ealy in the first round, but my head says it has to be Dennard or Gilbert. Ike just can't do it anymore.
It's not a long term fix but if we want to address other needs we'll have to make a sacrifice some place else. Though a lot of teams now have two number one receivers or one number one and one on the cusp of getting there, the majority of them still don't have that versatility. It'll really have to be scheme change depending on who we're playing.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:44 AM   #112
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

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And this is why, sadly, Ike is going to be back.
I hope not but probably so - it is a business but as he gets older Dan Rooney appears to have regrets that players like Franco Harris were let go (which I thought was unfortunately the correct decision - Franco was done) and may be letting that impact whatever role he has in personnel decisions
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:45 AM   #113
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

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It's not a long term fix but if we want to address other needs we'll have to make a sacrifice some place else. Though a lot of teams now have two number one receivers or one number one and one on the cusp of getting there, the majority of them still don't have that versatility. It'll really have to be scheme change depending on who we're playing.
Which is fair, but we're still staring his cap hit right in the face. Even if he cuts it in half (which still isn't enough) his obvious and rapid decrease in play was startling. I keep harping on this, but Cortez held Gordon without a catch in the last game. Ike and Gay allowed 6 catches for over 60 yards. Not to mention the first game when Ike allowed 200+ yards to Gordon.

Even if he is our number two corner, what price tag would anyone be comfortable bringing him back with?
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:49 AM   #114
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

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I hope not but probably so - it is a business but as he gets older Dan Rooney appears to have regrets that players like Franco Harris were let go (which I thought was unfortunately the correct decision - Franco was done) and may be letting that impact whatever role he has in personnel decisions
I know that Dan Rooney is a folk hero in Pittsburgh, so I'll refrain from saying what I think about his ideology about player personnel.

I think you said it in a nicer, more respectful way than I could have.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:52 AM   #115
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

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Which is fair, but we're still staring his cap hit right in the face. Even if he cuts it in half (which still isn't enough) his obvious and rapid decrease in play was startling. I keep harping on this, but Cortez held Gordon without a catch in the last game. Ike and Gay allowed 6 catches for over 60 yards. Not to mention the first game when Ike allowed 200+ yards to Gordon.

Even if he is our number two corner, what price tag would anyone be comfortable bringing him back with?
If he cuts his base in half, his cap hit becomes 8.5 million compared to his current dead money as almost 5 million. I don't think they'll cut him, so slashing the base is the best bet. There's also exploring if we he could play safety. That would mean a CB mid-late round this year who'd be learning or a high draft pick next year.

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Old 02-24-2014, 01:21 PM   #116
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

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If he cuts his base in half, his cap hit becomes 8.5 million compared to his current dead money as almost 5 million. I don't think they'll cut him, so slashing the base is the best bet. There's also exploring if we he could play safety. That would mean a CB mid-late round this year who'd be learning or a high draft pick next year.
I'm not sure if I feel confident enough in Ike's ability to tackle to convert him to safety.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:52 PM   #117
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Default 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).
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:26 PM   #118
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers: Latest Combine News and Rumors

By Curt Popejoy , Featured Columnist Feb 23, 2014

Scout.com writer Jim Wexell tweeted out on Sunday that the Steelers intend to meet with Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert:

James C Wexell @jimwexell:

No surprise, #Steelers to meet with CB Justin Gilbert tonight. He thinks he might run a 4.2 Tuesday.
23 Feb 2014


This should come as no surprise to anyone as Gilbert is regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in this draft class and a certain target for the Steelers with their first-round pick. How good is Gilbert? According to Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller, Gilbert is the No. 10 player in the draft on his big board.

Gilbert to the Steelers makes perfect sense. His size is ideal and his speed is elite. Along those same lines, Gilbert's skill set fits very well with what the Steelers do on defense. He excels in off-man coverage and has exceptional ball skills.

Gilbert isn't great in run support, but this is something that can be coached up. In terms of fit, his strengths are a near-perfect match, especially if cornerback Ike Taylor is released.

If Gilbert is there at No. 15, the Steelers will have some decisions to make. His talent level is elite, and he would be an immediate starter on that Steelers defense.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...-rumors/page/2
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:50 PM   #119
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

It's true that Ike has declined rapidly, but it's also true that he's never been close to a #1 caliber CB. Every team has an Ike Taylor or two, and they're not #1's. The CB position has been a weak point in Pittsburgh for a long time.

It's time to get serious about CB, whatever it takes.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:47 PM   #120
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Default Re: Ike Taylor's future with Pittsburgh Steelers

Top CB prospects solidify their standing

February, 25, 2014
By Scott Brown | ESPN.comBy Scott Brown | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Two cornerbacks who should interest the Pittsburgh Steelers cemented their standing as the top two players at their positions on the final day of the NFL scouting combine.

Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert posted blazing times of 4.35 and 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash Tuesday morning, while Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard checked in with times of 4.42 and 4.46.

The times are unofficial -- the official one for each player is likely to be higher -- but both Gilbert and Dennard showed that speed won't be an issue when it comes to their pre-draft evaluations.

The bigger question is did each help himself enough at the combine to move out of the Steelers’ range at No. 15?

At least one team ahead of the Steelers -- the Lions at No. 10 -- has a glaring need at cornerback, and the position has taken on even greater importance with teams increasingly using three cornerbacks to counter pass-centric offenses in the NFL.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Gilbert and Dennard ranked No. 16 and No. 18, respectively, on his list of the top players in the draft. Kiper has said the two should jockey for the top position at their position all the way up to the draft.

Dennard, who won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2013, which is given to the top college defensive back in the country, is the more physical of the two players. He recorded 62 tackles and intercepted four passes last season.

Gilbert intercepted seven passes last season while playing in the pass-happy Big 12, and he said playing in a conference where cornerbacks can do anything but hide should help him make the transition to the NFL.

“I think that Big 12 defensive backs are some of the best DBs in the country and college football,” Gilbert told reporters in Indianapolis. “Sometimes we're overlooked because we give up plays, but at the same time we have way more plays coming at us instead of say, for instance, the SEC. They have a lot of run attacks where the corners are not being a lot pressured. So we have a lot to live up to.

History says that neither Gilbert nor Dennard will be the Steelers' first-round pick in May.

The Steelers have not used a first-round pick selection on a cornerback since 1997, when they chose Chad Scott. Also, the draft appears to be a deep one at cornerback, and the Steelers should be able to fetch a couple of quality prospects in later rounds, something they did in 2011 when they picked Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen in the third and fourth round, respectively.

On the flip side, if there is ever a year for the Steelers to take a cornerback in the first round -- this is it.

They only have three experienced cornerbacks on their roster, and 11th-year veteran Ike Taylor is going to have to accept a big pay cut to return to the Steelers. Allen is the only cornerback on the roster with any upside, making it a must that the Steelers add young talent at a position where general manager Kevin Colbert has said the team is lacking depth.

Dennard over Gilbert or Gilbert over Dennard?

It would be real interesting to see what the Steelers do if they are in a position to make that choice.

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...their-standing
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