Ike Taylor Might Get The Wrong Zero If Defense Doesn’t Produce More Turnovers

Having the top-ranked statistical defense last season is something that Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor always likes to bring up when he talks to the media, and he did just that on Wednesday.

“We keep trying to go from No. 1 defense to zero,” Taylor said, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press. “I don’t know if you can go from one to zero, but I guess we’re trying to go to zero.”

While having the top-ranked defense last season is all fine and good, the Steelers still managed to finish with an 8-8 record.

Whether or not Taylor wants to hear it, the Steelers defense simply didn’t help out the offense enough last year as they only produced 37 sacks and 20 total turnovers. If they don’t want to go 8-8 this season, those are the rankings that need to start moving closer to zero.

During the preseason, the Steelers defense registered 13 sacks and seven total turnovers, but it is hard to put too much stock into exhibition game stats. The regular season is where it counts.

The Steelers offense will begin the regular season without the services of Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth and Le’Veon Bell, so it would be advisable for the defense to provide the offense with a few short fields, which is something that they didn’t do enough of last year.

The lack of sacks and turnovers from the defense has gone on for two seasons now and there is no way the Steelers will compete for a championship in 2013 if they have another season similar to the last two. Sure, they very well could wind up being the zero ranked defense, but they will likely play in zero playoff games as well if they fail to help the offense more this season.

  • steeltown


  • Randy Neff

    The offense could help the defense by not putting the ball on the ground 33 times like they did last year. All three units need to help each other. The Steelers should trend upwards this year in turnover differential. It’s not just a mindset, focus or attention to detail. There is an element of luck involved here. The Redskins enjoyed some good luck last year. Quite a few teams lost twice as many fumbles as the Redskins, while putting it on the ground less often.Even some of the worst teams over the past 20 years haven’t posted -10 or worse two years in a row. In fact it happens very infrequently. Only one team has done it three years in a row.

    If the Steelers can stay healthy, I feel this team will surprise many of their critics.

  • joewalsh


  • walter mason

    Thats like saying a successful fisherman or hunter is lucky. You can create your own luck. Some fumbles may be luck but stripping the ball is not luck. James Harrison was one of our best players that could strip the ball successfully. Polamalu can do it well also. I often wonder if we practice stripping the ball enough. Even recovering a football is not just pure luck. I remember watching a Steeler offensive lineman just casually looking at a loose football. The other team recovered. After 2 bad years in a row, teams probably learn to correct the problem so it doesnt continue.

  • Randy Neff

    To say there isn’t luck involved is like saying your not looking at the hottest chick in the bar. There absolutely is a certain degree of luck. Anyone who says there isn’t hasn’t been watching football very long. Skill is definitely the strongest denominator, but it most definitely doesn’t end there.

    The teams that head and bottom out the turnover differential rate change almost completely every year.

    I sure LeBeau preaches it yearly. Doesn’t mean it automatically happens because you practice it.

  • walter mason

    Im sure I have been watching football longer than you lol because of my age. You just cant get through life counting on luck or blaming it for whatever goes wrong. Same in Football. I just think its a bad idea even though luck is involved in every aspect of life.. I am a big believer in creating your own “luck”. But you are entitled to believing as you wish. Take care.