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Old 12-14-2007, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

Very good read on Ike.

Taylor solid for Steelers' top-ranked defense
By John Harris

TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 14, 2007

The Steelers remain the top-rated defense in the NFL -- No. 2 against the pass, No. 2 against the run. This despite Tom Brady's 399 yards passing and four touchdowns. The handful of defensive mistakes against a New England offense that at one point called 34 consecutive pass plays were costly but correctable.
The same can't be said about the Steelers' free-falling offense -- No. 3 and steady on the ground, but No. 24 and stagnant through the air.

Yet the performance of the Steelers' defense, particularly the play of the secondary, continues to be debated, analyzed and scrutinized -- ad nauseam.

Cornerback Ike Taylor, who has emerged as the Steelers' most indispensable defensive player this season -- indispensable because Steelers cornerbacks are asked to do so much, more than most NFL cornerbacks -- bears the brunt of the responsibility as well as the scorn.

"He's good, but it's hard to rate him because he's in a different type of defense," Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Johnson said of Taylor, his chief nemesis among cornerbacks. "A lot of corners that are rated are those that take chances, that take those opportunities to gamble outside of what their system tells them to do. He's a very disciplined corner within the system that he's in."

In a surprise move, Taylor was matched one-on-one against New England's Randy Moss for much of the game, following him from one side of the field to the other. Moss caught seven passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns.

Was Moss' big game Taylor's fault? Well, Taylor was assigned to guard Moss. But in the Steelers' defense, Taylor is responsible for playing the run first. Unfortunately, free safety Anthony Smith also played the run on Moss' 63-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

"We are an aggressive defense. As a secondary, we've got to support the run and play the pass,'' said Taylor, who's second on the team with 70 tackles along with a team-high 12 passes defended and two interceptions. "I was in Cover-2. I can jump on the run if I want to, knowing (Smith) is going to be back there and he can play the pass. But when you've got both guys like that (playing the run) -- he's hungry, he's aggressive, he's still got a lot to learn."

At least one observer gave Taylor credit for his effort against the Patriots.

"Ike Taylor did a pretty good job. He was all over Randy Moss when he caught his first pass (for 16 yards)," said CBS announcer and former NFL quarterback Phil Simms, who worked the Steelers-Patriots game. "When they double-teamed Moss once or twice, he definitely didn't get the help he was expecting.''

Taylor said he would play Moss the same way if the teams meet again in the playoffs.

"It's a lot of things ya'll don't see, there's a lot of things ya'll don't know, there's a lot of calls ya'll don't know when we're out there on the field," said Taylor, the top cornerback on the top-rated defense in the league.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_542672.html
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

you would think lebeau would have some sense and tell taylor to ignore the run. it's not like the patriots were attempting it.

sometimes i wonder if lebeau is getting too old.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

LeBeau is getting old?

My God. Anyway, this is a nice article, and again, explains a lot. If Ike gets caught looking in the backfield, the safety is definitely NOT supposed to be doing the same. I want to call my dog off Ike a little after reading this. The fact that we have CB's playing run first in certain situations is the exact same reason why we have the #1 or #2 run defense in the first place. Just like everything else in LeBeau's very complex defense, when you have a player unexpectantly playing a role (ie Taylor playing run) there has to be another player assuming his regular role (in this case Smith). Smith lacked discipline, got caught peeking in the backfield, didn't have Taylor's back and got smoked.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
you would think lebeau would have some sense and tell taylor to ignore the run. it's not like the patriots were attempting it.

sometimes i wonder if lebeau is getting too old.
WHAT!
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post

Smith lacked discipline, got caught peeking in the backfield, didn't have Taylor's back and got smoked.
Ike's certainly come along way from this time last year. Covering a top receiver like Moss is no easy task and if Smith had done his job on that play, Moss' stats for the game would not have been nearly as impressive.
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

Ike is one of the best cover corners in the league. He was becoming a GREAT corner Super Bowl year but then Cowher made him last years scapegoat and he regressed. Ike has looked great all year and is having a Pro Bowl season. He has no hands but hey, that's why he doesn't play receiver (Or running back anymore for that reason).
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

The way I see it, that is a huge coaching mistake. Why would you want to stop the run against the Pats? They stop the run on there own by throwing the ball 40-50 times a game. I understand Ike's discipline, but please change it to pass coverage as the top priority when you're playing these guys. Other than that, go Steelers!
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

Quote:
Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
sometimes i wonder if lebeau is getting too old.
I think I must have gotten the last good cup?
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

I like Ike.

But that "#1 defense" crap has gone to their heads.....and that "To win you have to run the ball and stop the run" has been exposed as obsolete....at least for this year.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Taylor Solid For Steelers #1 Defense

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I think I must have gotten the last good cup?
so you think he is getting young? hmmm...you sure you received a good cup?
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