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Old 02-19-2007, 10:06 AM   #1
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Default Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, February 19, 2007


Ike Taylor isn't jumping to any conclusions, but what he's seen and heard so far has him jumping for joy.

New Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's first NFL job was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary. Pro Bowl cornerback Ronde Barber credits Tomlin with his development.

Taylor can't wait to go to work for his new coach.

"I'm very fortunate," he said.

Taylor is a cornerback with Pro Bowl potential entering his fifth season, his third as a starter.

He's looking to bounce back following a disappointing year that resulted in him not starting five games because, quite frankly, former coach Bill Cowher needed a scapegoat for missing the playoffs, and Taylor was it.

Taylor will be the first to admit that 2006 wasn't his best season, but a lot of Steelers could say the same thing.

For the first time since cracking the starting lineup, Taylor gave up some big plays in the passing game. But, truth be told, the Steelers' lack of a consistent pass rush left Taylor -- the team's top cover corner -- alone on an island far too often.

Not starting those five games afforded Taylor plenty of time to analyze what he did wrong, but also to not lose sight of those things he did right.

Following a couple of positive conversations with Tomlin, Taylor said he had never felt better about himself.

"We talked, and it was good. It wasn't really football talk. We were just trying to get to know each other," Taylor said. "I know what I can do. Coach told me he knows what I can do.

"He's been with Ronde Barber; he knows what it takes. I need to just start dominating."

Taylor is in Orlando, Fla., training with conditioning expert and speed coach Tom Shaw at the Wide World of Sports at Disney World. The two have trained together since Taylor was a middle-school student in New Orleans.

Last year, Taylor began training four days after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. This year, Taylor, who recently made Orlando his offseason home, has been extremely intense in his workouts.

"The feeling I had last year, sitting all those games, I don't ever want to have that feeling again," Taylor said.

Said Shaw, who has developed 80 first-round draft picks and also is working with Steelers cornerbacks Ricardo Colclough and Anthony Madison: "Ike's never complained. He just said he's got to do a better job. He hasn't lost a step. He might have gotten faster. He's a workaholic."

A quiet leader, Taylor's offseason commitment has carried over to several of his defensive teammates. In addition to Colclough and Madison, cornerback Bryant McFadden trains with Taylor, and linebackers Joey Porter and James Farrior (another Orlando regular) also are expected to attend.

Next month, Taylor will participate in the Steelers offseason program, where he will finally meet face-to-face with Tomlin.

Taylor is honing his coverage skills against some of the top college receivers in the upcoming draft -- players such as Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson and Florida's Dallas Baker, who are preparing for the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis.

Taylor's one-on-one battles with Johnson, a projected top-five pick in the draft, have been the talk of Shaw's camp.

"There's only a few like him," Taylor said. "He reminds me of Plax (former Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress). He's big, but he's fast. He's right up on you before you know it."

Johnson said Taylor had helped him immensely.

"He tells me what I'm doing wrong and to be under control at all times. He's helping me get better as a receiver," Johnson said. "He's so polished. You don't see cornerbacks like him in the college ranks."

A little coaching can go a long way. That's why Taylor is so looking forward to getting acquainted with Tomlin.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493827.html
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

I like the attitude! Even if Tomlin did nothing more with him, he had done a lot already. This is the fire we need!
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

I hope Tomlin can do something with him.

He wasn't given that new fat contract for what he has done in the past. He's getting paid for what the Rooney's believe he can do in the future. Last season wasn't a step in the right direction. Ike needs to step up BIG TIME this year.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

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Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

A quiet leader, Taylor's offseason commitment has carried over to several of his defensive teammates. In addition to Colclough and Madison, cornerback Bryant McFadden trains with Taylor, and linebackers Joey Porter and James Farrior (another Orlando regular) also are expected to attend.

Next month, Taylor will participate in the Steelers offseason program, where he will finally meet face-to-face with Tomlin.

Taylor is honing his coverage skills against some of the top college receivers in the upcoming draft -- players such as Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson and Florida's Dallas Baker, who are preparing for the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis.

Taylor's one-on-one battles with Johnson, a projected top-five pick in the draft, have been the talk of Shaw's camp.

"There's only a few like him," Taylor said. "He reminds me of Plax (former Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress). He's big, but he's fast. He's right up on you before you know it."

Johnson said Taylor had helped him immensely.

"He tells me what I'm doing wrong and to be under control at all times. He's helping me get better as a receiver," Johnson said. "He's so polished. You don't see cornerbacks like him in the college ranks."

A little coaching can go a long way. That's why Taylor is so looking forward to getting acquainted with Tomlin.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_493827.html
ive heard alot of bad things about our secondary, people suggesting ike is a dog, who cant compete, and even should be cut. granted we were all hoping for him to break out last season and he had some disappointing games, but i love his work ethic and desire to get better. it may be a year to late, and it may just be wishful thinking but i really feel he can still achieve all the potential he has shown.

i like the leadership he is showing getting his team mates involved in his off season work outs and the tutoring he is doing with eventual rookies of the league. hes acting the part, now he just needs to play the part in 07.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

Ike did look like a rookie last season as compared to his previous. However, this article about his off-season work ethic is not the first I have read. I don't think Coweher used him as a scapegoat either. Ike just had a rough season. Expect him to bounce back and excel with the help of Coach T.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

How about you turn yourself into a ProBowler!
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

The scapegoat story and the contention that other Steelers played just as poorly last year have appeared in several articles - I think the source of those recurring claims is Taylor.

Taylor got benched after he was beaten deep several times in the Denver game, which followed poor coverage on shorter routes in at least the Jax and first Cincy games. IMHO Taylor probably was not doing well in practice and blowing assignments for Cowher to bench him.

Taylor had a bad year after signing a fat contract - he should just do his job and quit implying his rotten year was due to coaching.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

If getting "beat" was the criteria for Taylors benching..then someone PLEASE tell me how Deshea kept his starting position...Taylor had a off year for him..but he LED THE LEAGUE in passes defended the year before...
Taylor has all the skills and athleticism we are looking for...and if we would have had a decent secondary coach...1) they would have helped him correct any percieved problems...2) We wouldnt have spent a season watching highlight reels of whatever WR was the Train engine to Desheas caboose!!!
Taylor was strongly (and rightly) criticized for not catching balls that he was in position to catch ...which may have turned games around....But how many times do we have to watch Deshea dive and miss ...so not only does he not get the pass defense..but now we get the privilidge of watching him get up and chase another WR!! Short and slow is not the hallmark of a starting CB...Lets not give Taylor a pass on bad hands...but who among us would want Deshea starting this next year over Ike??!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

By bashing Taylor I am not defending Townsend and, in fact, posted several times in November and December that since the future corners were McFadden & Taylor those two should be starting. However, something significant put Taylor in Cowher's doghouse - I think it was more than the coverage mistakes that resulted in catches and I certainly do not think it was Cowher needing a scapegoat.
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Old 02-19-2007, 12:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Taylor hopes Tomlin turns him into a Pro Bowler

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Originally Posted by clevestinks View Post
How about you turn yourself into a ProBowler!
I think the writer just used those words for the title. (at least from the article) It does not appear that Ike said he wanted or was waiting for Tomlin will turn him into a PB.

Looks like this is a self motivated attitude adjustment by Ike. Good for him.
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