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Old 11-05-2008, 08:53 AM   #1
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Default We still like Ike

From the Steelers Beat: We still like Ike
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 11:35 PM EST

There are 153 players in the National Football League who have something Ike Taylor doesn’t. That’s an interception.

At the midway point of the Steelers’ season, he’s a rarity. He’s a shutdown cornerback without a pick.

So unless he goes on an interception binge, there’s no way Taylor will fulfill his prediction of making it to the Pro Bowl this year. Corners who make it to the NFL’s annual all-star bash in Hawaii are typically those who rank high on the league’s interception list.

But just because he’s yet to swipe a pass, don’t think that Taylor is struggling in pass defense. On the contrary, he’s been outstanding.

Much ado is made of the fact that the Steelers’ top-ranked defense leads the NFL with 32 sacks. But pressure on the quarterback is only half of the equation. Coverage in the secondary is paramount, too.

And it’s the defensive backs who deserve their share of the credit for the Steelers leading the league in fewest yards allowed per pass attempt (5.5).

In Monday night’s 23-6 win in Washington, the Steelers were the first team this year to intercept Redskins QB Jason Taylor (cornerback Deshea Townsend and free safety Tyrone Carter got the picks).

But it was Taylor who was most responsible for shutting down Santana Moss, the Redskins’ best wide receiver. With Taylor shadowing him, Moss caught just two passes for 14 yards.

Last week in a 21-14 loss to the New York Giants, Taylor was manned up on Plaxico Burress and held him to just three catches for 15 yards.

Granted, Burress and Moss have been battling injuries lately. But they both played. And in both instances, they were totally shut down by Taylor.

NOT SO FAST

At 6-2, the Steelers have the second-best record in the AFC. But coach Mike Tomlin refuses to reflect on what has been a terrific start.

“I prefer to be 8-0, no doubt, but 6-2 is what it is,” he said. “We are not going to be deep thinkers at this point … we are just going to continue to live one week at a time.”

Tomlin is wise to think that way. Of course, recent history reminds him that the true test is yet to come.

Last year, the Steelers also started 6-2. But they lost all their first-half momentum by finishing 4-4 and losing a wild-card playoff game at home.

The Steelers’ remaining schedule may not be as tough as it looked before the season started. But in what figures to be a wild second half in the NFL, the Steelers still have several tough challenges.

ROAD ADVANTAGE

It is no secret that no team in the NFL has an away following as strong as the Steelers.

No matter where they play, there’s sure to be a bunch of Terrible Towel-waving fanatics cheering them on.

Such was the case again Monday at FedEx Field.

What was surprising about all the black-and-gold clad fans was the fact that this was a Monday night game in our nation’s capital on the eve of the presidential election. And the Redskins were a second-place team in the NFC East trying to improve to 7-2. Politics and the ‘Skins had the town buzzing.

Yet, thousands of Steelers fans managed to get tickets and nearly out-cheered the home crowd.

Even Redskins coach Jim Zorn was impressed. He said it reminded him of the Super Bowl three years ago in Detroit. Zorn was the quarterbacks coach in Seattle when the Seahawks lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL.

Because of the proximity of Pittsburgh and Detroit, Steelers fans came out in droves and gave the AFC champs an obvious home-field advantage.

It was almost like that Monday night in Washington.
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...8131970198.txt
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: We still like Ike

I agree . . . Ike had at least two great PDs yesterday, and Santana Moss is no cupcake. Even if he still can't catch, Ike has really improved under Tomlin.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: We still like Ike

Ike has improved over the last two season when he was benched after the Broncos game and he devoted himself all camp to become one of the best and he has done an amazing job.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: We still like Ike

ike's the shit.
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Old 11-05-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: We still like Ike

ike has just been getting better over the yrs and what not.. as long as we play stellar def, i could care-less if he gets a pick
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: We still like Ike

Ike is a hell of a CB. He basically cuts the field in half, which is a huge advantage for our D against the pass!

I also like the fact that he is not one of these pansy CB's. He is willing to come up and stop the run also!
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: We still like Ike

Ike is okay with me
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: We still like Ike

But KC Joyner doesn't like him!

keep doing your thing ike, you may go unnoticed, but you are one of the best
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: We still like Ike

Ike quickly eliminated memories of Charred Scott. He's an excellent corner, even if he can't catch.

It seems the days when the Steelers had an awful secondary are forgotten.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: We still like Ike

You're the man, Ike! Maybe you'll get an INT sometime this year, but in the mean time, keep shuttin' down all these high-profile recievers!
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