Steelers CB Ike Taylor Helping Rookie LB Vince Williams Learn How To Cover

After the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted linebacker Vince Williams in the sixth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, linebackers coach Keith Butler made it clear what he needs to see out of the Florida State product come the start of the season.

“He runs at the ball well,” said Butler. “He gets off blocks well. He destroyed Gutierrez. We try to stay away from players who are not going to be physical. We think that he is all those things. He can get to the ball and he can hit you when he gets to the ball.

“We’ll see how in training camp if he has the ability to cover running backs and stuff like that. Obviously if he is not going to be a three-down football player in college then he is not going to all of a sudden step to the National Football League and be a three-down player. That is something we have to determine in training camp.”

Williams reportedly showed during the offseason practices that he was able to grasp the defense fairly well and cornerback Ike Taylor was asked last week during his show on Trib Live Radio if he thinks the linebacker will be able to contribute some on defense during his rookie season.

“He could,” said Taylor. “The thing with Vince, we got to see if he\’s an every down linebacker, meaning first, second and third down. Can he cover on third down? That\’s what I\’m working on with Vince. Yeah, first and second down, you know he\’s going to knock somebody\’s head off. That\’s already the understanding. Third down, now it\’s time to cover.

“So we all got stuff we need work on, and I think that\’s one of the things we can work on with Vince. And I\’m sure about the time we head to training camp, and he gets all the reps as far as like third down during training camp, when the preseason comes, everything\’s going to be smooth.”

Taylor also mentioned during his show that Williams is one of several Steelers players training with him down in Florida at the Wide World of Sports Complex for the remainder of the offseason under the watchful eye of renowned trainer Tom Shaw and that certainly is a good thing. The biggest knock on Williams heading into the draft was his lack of ability to change directions quickly, so hopefully he can improve that a little by working with Shaw.

During his time at Florida State, Williams was usually pulled on third downs in lieu of an extra defensive back, so he doesn\’t have a lot of experience covering one-on-one or dropping into to coverage as a result.

While Taylor is optimistic that Williams will be able to contribute some on defense during his rookie season, I doubt that he will unless a few injuries hit. Instead, Williams will be asked to put that hitting ability of his to use on special teams with hopes that he can eventually replace Larry Foote in 2014 as the starter next to Lawrence Timmons.

  • Dom

    Don’t you just love Ike?

  • 75

    Ike is awesome. I also love the Williams pick. At worst you got a special teams guy for years.

  • 2443scott

    i am not a fan of taylor he holds to much and draws flags when ever hes beaten thats one of the stats that effect why steelers passing def is off when judgeing it …he isnt beaten because he gets flaged ….he also isnt a hitting cb thats another reason i am not a fan his thats his tackleing …plus what help can he give a lber when he is running away from the lbers ..

  • SteelersDepot

    Scott, Please don’t take this wrong, but you are out of your damn mind. Are you trolling? If you are, please go elsewhere.

  • CW

    Really happy Ike is working with the rookie on pass coverage even if it means Vince Williams almost never makes an interception in his career.

    Can anyone else see Ike as another potential former Steeler player turned defensive coach in a couple of years?

  • Matt Searls

    I love that all these guys are training together. Even the oline wearing matching shoes and now shamarko Thomas and Williams both getting mentored? I dare someone to say that our locker room presence is lacking. (In your face mike Wallace)

  • JC

    We need a young Buck linebacker to eventually take over for Larry Foote. Hopefully Vince Williams becomes that guy.

  • Jason

    Truly one of the most misguided comments I’ve read on here. Everyone is entitled to thier opinion but at least base it on facts.

  • dgh57

    What are you talking about? I don’t recall Ike having problems with flags being thrown his way!! I’m with Dave on this one!!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    He’s my favorite current Steeler.

  • dgh57

    I like Ike very much mainly because he’s a positive influence on other players when it comes to staying in shape! He said a while back he feels he still has 4 or 5 years still left in him! I believe him because being a workout warrior should extend his playing career.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Can you at least use complete sentences when saying such ignorant statements? Your spelling and grammar is atrocious.

  • 2443scott

    sorry if you took this wrong way but i said he wasnt one my fav ..and no i aint trolling …this is from the bleachereport part of my defence on commenting on what i was trying to say and them talking about 2012…This year, things are far different for Taylor. He’s now ranked 162nd out of 166cornerbacks, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics, has given up 24 catches out of 42 targets, including four touchdowns, hasn’t pulled down a single interception (was wrong he had 1) and opposing quarterbacks have a 118.5 passer rating when throwing his way. He also has seven penalties to his name, by far the most flags handed out to any single Steelers player…..i know some like him and thats ok i just didnt know i had to be one them i am sorry if i made a comment that wasnt only my opinion…

  • Jason

    One of the bleacher report’s mock drafters had the Steelers taking NC St Qb Mike Glennon in the first round in this years draft so take that site for what it’s worth. You don’t have to be an Ike fan just as I’m not a Woodley fan and never have been. But for some joker to say there are only 4 Cb’s in the NFL worse than Ike is hogwash.

  • dgh57

    Your comment makes me wonder why Tomlin & Co. would put Taylor on the other teams best WR every game if those stats you list are true! I would think the Steelers would keep every stat imaginable themselves on each player on the roster so they would know what they have as a player.

    So I guess the best thing to do is: DON”T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ!!!

  • Showboogie

    Im waiting on my official Ike Taylor jersey now.

  • Jason White

    Ike is easily one of the most underrated if not the most underrated starting cornerback in the league. His biggest knock is his lack of interceptions which isn’t as important as some like to make it. If I was a defensive coach in the NFL I’d want Ike on my team for the simple fact that he shuts down the opposing number one receiver and does it consistently. Sure he has had some times where he isn’t playing his best. I still would want him on my team just for the fact that he plays at his very best more often than not.

    I’d take him over Revis any day for the simple fact that Ike isn’t cryng for a new contract every offseason because he doesn’t think he is getting paid enough. Ike is a very humble guy which is what you want cause he isn’t gonna settle for what is, rather he desires to be better no matter how well he is playing. He is a workout warrior and he’s durable. He has every trait I could want in a cornerback. The interceptions unfortunately are always gonna be what probowl voters look for and he will always get snubbed because he doesn’t rack them up like other corners do but if you look at the amount of catches those corners give up because they are always going for the big play you’d have a higher appreciation for Ike and what he does for Dick LeBeau and the rest of the defense.

  • Shea Fahr

    Just for that comment, I am going to give you my mint Bubby Brister Rookie card…for FREE…

  • sgtrobo

    1. PFF has him ranked 33rd overall
    2. PFF has him targeted 68 times, giving up 30 receptions (that’s under 50% completions, for those keeping track at home)
    3. PFF has opposing QBs with an 84.6 passer rating when throwing at Ike
    4. Ike wasn’t even the most penalized CB (that was Keenan Lewis) and Willie Colon had nearly twice as many penalties as Ike.

    So bottom line, you’re a liar.

  • steves

    Scott – I am and always will be a Steeler fan but I am not a Ike fan, so I am with you on this. I can’t understand half of what he says on his show. He is a maniac at working out but has cost us games over the years as in Denver. I enjoy listening to Clark. I can understand him very well and I think he can make it in the booth someday. Wished Ike would let his actions speak instead of him wineing about why he is not in the Pro Bowl every year.

  • Brendon Glad

    I love Ike…and am thankful he is a Steelers starting CB…I’d be willing to push for him doubling as strength and conditioning coach as well. (When you go with Ike in the spring, you usually do OK…when you don’t, you…well…yeah…I’ll leave that unsaid)

  • Brendon Glad

    Ike is the best tackling CB since Rod Woodson in a Steelers uniform. He is an elite cover man.
    His only problem is he can’t catch. I think it’s an undetected vision problem…or it could be completely mental at this point. But anyone who doesn’t like Ike is simply WRONG…not putting you down…you just are wrong. I’ve been wrong too.
    I thought that kick-returner from FSU was gonna be something special about 8-9 years ago…whiffed on that. But you are wrong on Ike. An elite performer…I hope he mans the CB position until about 2017.

  • Brendon Glad

    Here’s my deal with Ike…and this is the dumbest post ever if not for Steelers History…

    I am adamant that Ike Taylor has a STILL undetected vision problem. HAHA!!!! Brendon you are stupid…that CAN’T HAPPEN!!!!
    OH YES IT CAN!!!!
    See Charles Johnson and Limas Sweed. If they can make it through 1 or 2 years under the Steelers medical with serious vision-issues then Ike can make it 10. I hope Ike reads this.

    Because I think Ike could be the best corner in the league…but all you have to do is see him completely shut-down A.J. Green…then give up that slant route for the TD in perfect coverage to see SOMETHING BIGGER IS GOING ON! And it’s about the EYES!

  • Brendon Glad

    Measuring Ike by stats is a dangerous game. I prefer to look at a new bit of evidence (since Ike never misses games)…the evidence of how they fared without him. Not well…(and that’s with me LOVING how Cortez Allen stepped up)…in my opinion we are set with Allen/Ike manning the corners for a significant time.

  • Brendon Glad

    Because 2443scott…I respect your opinion, but you are ignoring the fact that Ike is one of only 2 CB’s who consistently travels with the best opposing WR(Revis is the other). THAT IS HUGE…and can’t be measured by stats.
    I’m not going to belittle your opinion, because it was well-thought and even researched…but I’m just asking that you re-consider your opinion….that’s all

  • walter mason

    The only time I remember Ike being excessively flagged was the replacement referees and it was bs…

  • walter mason

    …or the hands

  • 2443scott

    i am sorry i made so many you angry over my comment about taylor .

  • dgh57

    That’s okay! Steeler Nation holds players like Taylor in high regard just like they do Big Ben, Polamalu, Miller, and so on. So you or anyone else is sure to receive the ire of Steeler Nation if spoken of in a negative tone! Hope that helps!