Steelers CB Ike Taylor Loves Stats & Hates The Media

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.

As much as I love stats, I accept that they can be easily cherry picked, and can more times than not lie to you. Taylor went out of his way on Tuesday to point out that the Steelers overall pass defense is ranked 3rd on ESPN.com and 4th on NFL.com. That stat of course is for passing yards allowed only and is as bland of a stat that there is.

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.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • http://twitter.com/PopsYoda Andy Motto

    Statisticly good Dfense > dominant D

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Ike getting his game straightened out would be HUGE for this team. I know there has been a LOT of discussion in places about how this team lacks the talent, but in all honesty I think most of our issues can not be glossed over that way. We have VETS who are not performing the way they need to.

    Clark, Troy, Harrison, Foote, Timmons, Hampton, Keisel, Hood, Woodley, Ike…that is 10 starters. Who of that group has not been around long enough to know what to do? None of them. Keenan Lewis was left off as this was his first year starting. There are other vets out there as well…Mundy, W. Allen. Our depth is very young, I get that and the injuries don’t make that any easier to deal with, but come on these guys have enough talent to get it done….they just aren’t.

  • Brendon Glad

    Ike shouldn’t want to “go there” by pulling stats. In 146 games he has 13 int and 111PD. Yet I think the “media” in particular the Pitt media has been very fair in looking past stats and acknowledging Ike as a good or even very good CB. Because Steeler media and fans trust “the eye test” just as much if not more than stats. And fact is neither Ike nor the defense is passing MY eye test nor many othetlr people’s. Little discouraging that he’s hanging his hat on a stat that doesn’t account for penalties nor many other things like turnovers and third down %. I HATE that “the #1 def in league” has always been judged only by that stupid yardage stat.

  • Brendon Glad

    I don’t need to look at one state line to know that the Chicago bears are easily the best defense in the league this year. And they probably wont get the bequeathed “title” of number 1 because they do tend to give up yards. But watch a game ans theyaffect games much like the Steelers did in 2008. This unit is a far cry from either at this point

  • Chris92021

    Ike Ike Ike…go back to Denver, go find Bay Bay Thomas, get your swag back.

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    I think they may have a lack of conditioning. They play well at times but seem to tire out, get injured ect…

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Seattle is right there with them in my mind.

  • Matt Anderson

    I love Ike and am a huge supporter of his. But here is some additional stats for him to chew on:

    Ike Taylor has a QB Rating of 118.4 in passes where he is targeted. 8th worst out of all CB’s in the league who play at least 50% of their defensive snaps.

    Ike Taylor has given up 373 passing yards. 5th worst out of all CB’s in the league who play at least 50% of their defensive snaps. (And Steelers have had a bye week, meaning he’s played 1 less game than most)

    Ike Taylor has given up 4 touchdowns. 2nd worst out of all CB’s in the league who play at least 50% of their defensive snaps. (And Steelers have had a bye week, meaning he’s played 1 less game than most)

    Only stat Ike Taylor has going for him right now is his allowed completion percentage which is 57.1%, which is right around league average.

  • Brendon Glad

    Im wwith ya. Watching games helps. Seattle d causes headaches, the 08 Steelers caused headaches. The 09 Steelers let every team hang around, never got off the field…the 12 def looks way more like the 09 def. But the 09 def still got a good “ranking” yeah whatever right? The 2 weren’t even remotely close for people that watch games

  • Brendon Glad

    Do your numbers count the penalty yards too? Cuz he’s been on a rampage there as well. And I know those don’t go against the def yards for some stupid reason. Its taken 10 years, but other teams have finally figured out that his ball-skills are so poor, that throwing to a well-covered (cuz Ike does cover well) Ike receiver is not risky at all. Flag on Ike, completion, or incimpletion are the 3 options. And 2/3 ain’t bad

  • JT

    My favorite stat right now?

    Two teams in the AFC with a winning record.

  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    Having a non existing pass rush is murder on team that plays zone Defense. That’s been a stable for the Steelers since the 70s, even during the 80s when they were bad they could get after the QBs. When offensive & defensive linemen say “it all starts up front” its true the best NFL teams have a steady O-Line and a front 7 that can get some kinda pressure up the middle. Ike is kiillin the team on penalties every ineeda results into a 1st down. He’s having to stay in coverage longer because the line can’t rush. So a lot of the blame should go to HOOD,HAMPTON & KEISEL

  • SteelSpine

    I’m surprised/impressed how many posts including all at RSS nailed it on this topic, tellin it like it is. Ike’s having a bad year & he needs to look at his own game.

    Apparently Ike is HOPING everyone focuses on stats insted of what they see on the field. Stats shmats, media actually watches games & so do we. This year I saw opposing QBs were able to routinely:
    – can get 9 yard completions on Ike all day,
    – & there’s no risk throwing further downfield at Ike because this year Ike will do pass interference, & as with previous years there’s never been isk of Ike intercepting.
    A good CB woulda picked off a few of those, & a veteren CB would not have continued make that many penalties at that age in their veteren career.

    Ike has time this year to turn his game around & he has the talent to do it. Right now he needs to get with DB coach plus I suggest he meet with retired CBs to tutor him. If Ike would be insulted by that then tell Ike the meetings with retired CBs is just to “brush up”. Now he needs to do that insteda caring about stats & recording songs.