The utter frustration that Steelers fans across the country felt last season as Ike Taylor allowed big play after big play and jump ball after jump ball will have a shot to be redeemed in 2007. That is because new head coach Mike Tomlin is going right back with Taylor, a player whose confidence seemed shot last season when players like Javon Walker made him look awful in giving up killer plays week after week. Tomlin has given Taylor, a player that former coach Bill Cowher benched last season, his starting corner job back, and this time Ike says he’s gonna make it right. “We all go through things. What makes the person the person is how they respond,” he said.
Taylor is a likable player that seems to give it his all when he’s out there. The issues of 2006, like for a lot of other Steelers players that didn’t play up to the Super Bowl level they showed in 2005, are over now, and with a new look and new voice, the future for a player like Ike should be bright. “There is no difference in him. He just went back to the drawing board,” said secondary coach Ray Horton. Taylor will be back at the left corner spot, playing against the best receivers that other teams have. A tall order for someone who was benched last season, but an order that he can carry out if he returns to that form that made him a huge part of the Super Bowl run of two years ago.
You have to like the attitude of Taylor, who signed a five-year deal before last season. He knows that last season he could have played better, and it seems like this year he is ready to prove a point that he is worth that $22.5 million he got before the 06 disaster. “It hurt,” Taylor said. “I wanted to be out there with the 11 guys. But last year is last year, it’s over with.” Ike wants to be one of the elite corners in the league, and so far Tomlin and the team appear ready to give him that shot. I wouldn’t bet that this time he will not be able to follow through on it.
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