Steelers CB Ike Taylor Says Rookie S Shamarko Thomas Has Spark And Spunk

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is as honest as they come when it comes to talking to the media and on Saturday he was asked to give his thoughts on rookie safety Shamarko Thomas.

Being as the Steelers defense is pretty complex, the learning curve can be tough. Taylor was asked about that learning curve and if Thomas was having a problem with it.

“Not at all, he picks up things real well,” Taylor said. “The good thing about Shamarko is that he wants to learn. So why not learn from a Ryan Clark and a Troy Polamalu? He sees that and he understands that. In meetings he\’s asking questions, so that\’s a good thing.”

Taylor says he isn\’t sure how much longer both Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark will play, but having them both around as long as possible to mentor the Syracuse product is a great luxury to have.

“Just having those two guys back there, you know what you\’re going to get,” Taylor said. “One is a Hall of Famer, both are Pro Bowlers, but having a young guy coming in like Shamarko, with a little spark, with a little spunk, there\’s nothing wrong with that.”

Until Thomas is ready to play a few snaps on defense, he will be expected to contribute on special teams. Bringing that spark and spunk to that area of his game is surely needed and I suspect new special teams coach Danny Smith is more than happy to have him on those units.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • dgh57

    Thomas has the all around physical tools, great teammates, and you couldn’t ask for better coaching to succeed at his craft. I expect great things from him starting on Special Teams then later on defense! His physical style of play is perfect to wear the Black & Gold!!!

  • Ahmad

    I heard that, physically, Thomas was one of the best looking guys out there yesterday. I’m glad he’s packing on the muscle because with his style of play, he’s gonna need it.

  • Kyle

    He’s my favorite player in this draft. Has alot of Troy in him… both good and bad. I like what i saw of him in Syracuse in terms of coverage skills too. shut down Robert Woods.

  • Dale the Raven

    I’m from New Rochelle, NY, Ray Rice’s hometown-he grew up down the street-and I watched Shamarko play at Syracuse as a big east, Rutgers fan, and you Steeler fans have gotten a guy PERFECT for the Steelers! Physical tough tackler that will find his way into old time Steeler fans hearts due to his physical play. He is a tough kid. You got a gem! Classic 40 time at the combines, which he sloughed off by the way. He’s built like a brick, 28 reps at the combines. More than some lineman!

  • sgtrobo

    dude is a damn tank! I looked at him and I couldn’t help but think “uh, Shark…you weren’t supposed to wear a flak jacket to camp…”

  • Madi

    Agreed. He is extremely heavy for his height (just under 5’9″, and 213 lbs.), put up 28 reps of 225, and still runs a 4.4. That was the best bench and the best 40 time for all safeties at the combine. He was also the best vertical jumper and just one inch short of the best broad jump. His speed/power combo is special.
    He’s going to be a beast on special teams, and the sooner he wraps his head around the defense so we can put him out there, the better.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Huge ‘cuse fan, dude is definitely special. I almost cried when the Steelers went with Wheaton in the third…to get him later for next years third (3/96) was incredible!!!!