Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and I apparently have something in common. We both love stats. Taylor has made his affection for stats known several times this season on his weekly show on Trib Live Radio and he made a point to start off his show Tuesday, which you can watch below, by rattling off some of the rankings for the Steelers defense.
To Taylor\'s credit, he doesn\'t skip over the fact that the defense has allowed 23.0 points per game, which he points out as totally unacceptable. I think we will all agree that we would rather the defense be ranked last in passing yards allowed if the result was the defense allowing 6 fewer points a game.
Taylor made it a point to call out the media during his opening rant on Tuesday. "Give these people the facts," said Taylor after calling out the media. "I can understand opinions, so I\'m about to give you my opinion. If you\'ve got something to say, say it with the facts." Taylor later continued, "If you want to give these people the stats and the facts, give it to them."
Being as Taylor likes stats and takes them as facts, here are a few stats that are a lot more meaningful that he should be aware of. The Steelers defense has allowed a 49.15% conversion rate on 3rd downs so far this season, which ranks them 31st overall in the league.
On 3rd downs in the second half so far this season, the defense is allowing a 70% completion rate and a 57.1% conversion rate. Now I don\'t have those rankings handy, but I guarantee that you that both of those stats are near the bottom rank wise.
Being as we are talking about passing stats, the Steelers defense has a 1.24% sack rate through the first five games and that is good for a 29th ranking.
Taylor is certainly frustrated right now as he has had an awful start to the season. Instead of looking at stats and worrying about what the media or bloggers say or write, he should worry more about bettering his game on the field. Is Taylor the sole reason why the defense is struggling this year? Absolutely not. It takes 11 players on defense and he is just 1 of those 11.
Outside of the AFC Wild Card game, Taylor had a good season last year. His problem right now is probably a confidence related one and as a result his play has been very undisciplined and his technique very inconsistent.
The cornerback position is a very unforgiving one that requires a player to have a short memory. Taylor has said this himself many times over the course of his career as well. Moving forward the Steelers cornerback needs to practice what he has preached. Not only does he need to use that short memory trait to forget about what has happened so far this season, he also needs to use it to forget about the stats and rankings in addition. Leave that to the media and bloggers to worry about.
The only stat that Taylor should concern himself with is the Steelers win and loss record as that stat trumps all other stats and it also doesn\'t lie.