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.