Cortez Allen Hopes To Be Like Ike Taylor

For several seasons, it wasn’t uncommon to see Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor shadowing the opponent’s best receiver, but during the second half of last season, that happened a lot less. During a recent interview with Mike Prisuta of, fellow cornerback Cortez Allen said that he hopes to follow in Taylor’s shoes when it comes to covering the best in the league.

“Ike’s done it before me,” Allen told Prisuta. “Hopefully, one day I’ll be in that position to be the level of player that he is. It’s a day-by-day process. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him and the guys around me.”

2013 was expected to be a breakout year for Allen, but a knee injury suffered in training camp that was followed by an early season ankle injury really seamed to stunt his growth. As it turned out, Allen found himself playing behind William Gay for most of the season as the sub package cornerback.

“That’s part of the game, part of life,” Allen said. “Being able to keep your mind-set on what you need to get done and then if you attack those things, you’ll be all right. But you’re going to go through ups and downs, and it’s expected.”

Allen has been mentored by Taylor ever since he was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of The Citadel and the two even train together down in Florida under the watchful eye of renowned trainer Tom Shaw. The two have always edified one another for as long as I can remember.

The Steelers might try to lock up Allen long-term this offseason as 2014 is set to be the final year of his rookie contract. In addition, 2014 is likely to be Taylor’s last season in Pittsburgh, assuming of course the Steelers don’t make him a salary cap casualty between now and the start of the new league year.

Taylor has played eleven years in the league so far after several thought he wouldn’t last more than a couple. He is a good role model both on and off the field and it’s no wonder that Allen wants to be just like Ike.

  • dgh57

    Okay, you can be like Taylor except for the hands of stone part!

  • SteelerDave

    Cortez has the skills if healthy to be our long term number 1 CB and he has the potential to snag 5 to 7 interceptions a year. Sign him now to at least a three year deal at a decent price,

  • JohnB

    With all due respect, i hope he’s better.

  • steeltown

    Coming out of college Ike Taylor was very fast, he has that over Cortez, both are basically the same size 6’1 196lbs but where the biggest difference is I think Cortez has the big play ability that Ike Taylor seems to have lacked throughout his career. Taylor has only ever forced 2 fumbles in his career, Cortez had 3FF last season alone

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Barring injury I see him having a good year in turn driving up his asking price

  • John Hinton

    If he stays relatively healthy like Ike has, the difference will most likely be the big play ability of Cortez. He has all the tools to be one of the top corners in the league.

  • Steve

    Cortez can be better than Ike as a ball hawk making interceptions and forced fumbles. Ike may be a little quicker but them stone hands cost him tickets to the pro bowl.

  • Chad H

    I believe he has the ability to be great. Get him signed now.

  • Garrett Hunt

    The closing speed and hustle of Allen is impressive though

  • steeltown

    Yea he can lay some hits too

  • Aaron Green

    If Cortez wants to be like Ike then i suggest dipping his gloves into wet cement and let them dry. Ike is a great cover corner with some of the worst hands in the league

  • blackandgoldBullion

    If he plays up to potential and without injury for all of next year, the Steelers won’t be able to afford him. And if he’s playing great, it’s not like they can platoon him or take him out. They should think ahead here and sign him up, otherwise they may have to pay double the amount after next season.

    And, yes, I wanted him on the opponent’s best since the beginning of last year. Too bad the injuries slowed him at first. Lots of people immediately had no faith in him. Boy, lots of short memories out there.

    So who will be the new surprises and stars next year? My vote goes to Wheaton as I think he will explode next year.

  • steeltown

    I see a couple guys possibly having big years..Wheaton, S.Thomas and Vince Williams to name a few… Antwon Blake and Terence Garvin are two dark horses IMO


    Allen has better closing speed and hands than Ike…the only thing he needs now is reps to gain more experience.

    black&gold is right…it was a close race to determine the starter when he & Lewis…He was the best CB on the team the 2nd half of the yr…he certainly does need to be renewed early.

  • CrazyTerry

    Didn’t Allen have more INTs the year before this one than Ike has had in his whole career?

  • steeltown

    C.Allen has had 2INTs each of the last two seasons, back in ’07 Ike Taylor had 3INTs that season, but that’s not saying much. Think of it this way, C.Allens 5 forced turnovers last year (2INT, 3FF) is more than Taylor has ever accumulated in a season.

  • Nolrog

    I would take if he was like Taylor including the hands of stone. Those guys aren’t easy to find.

  • Nolrog

    Ike has elite speed. That’s one thing that’s helped him in his career.

  • Jacob Dixon

    As long as he can intercept passes I don’t care

  • Brandon James

    I think he also is talking about how Ike prepares for games, and how much of a respected player he is within the organization. Nobody prepares for the NFL season as hard and intensely as Ike. So in that respect, I hope Cortez can bring the same work ethic as ike has.

  • Michael Pearce

    Had elite speed. Not any longer.

  • Michael Pearce

    Would’nt we be in great shape if Colbert had only resigned Keenan Lewis last year and let Ike go. With Keenan and Cortez, I think we would have had a solid defensive backfield and would’nt be scrambling to fix the mess we have now(along with the aging safeties).

  • Shawn Winbush

    If Allen continues with the same work ethic as Taylor,I think he is more
    than capable of being a Pro Bowl caliber player. Allen has shown that he has big play ability.Those two factors will play a big on his development this season. I hope we get a nice deal with him done very soon.

  • Rob H

    Add Mike Adams to that, under Munchak I think he could have a breakout year at RT.

  • Callentown

    If Keenan Lewis was still on the team, Cortez would be looking to fit into a more appropriate #2 CB.

    It’s funny how many people jump on a particular bandwagon because of what they want to happen. So far no evidence at all that Cortez can play the 1 spot for an extended period of time.

    Truly hope he can because otherwise it’s going to be a long season on the defensive side of the ball.

  • Callentown

    Respectfully, you’re crazy 🙂 But wow what a story THAT would be.

  • Callentown

    Short memories of what, I’m wondering? Cortez is a promising CB, nothing more as of yet.

    He had a nice end of season two seasons ago. That’s far from playing the opponents #1 receiver week in and week out.

    I guess I need to see him put together some strong efforts before I can get on the ‘Cortez is the next Deion Sanders’ bandwagon. Just sayin..

  • Callentown

    I fully expect a bunch of down votes. But man, just tired of hearing this board inflate players based on a few games and hopes and dreams.

    Keenan Lewis was by far the best CB on the team in 2012. Allen did well as the #2 CB when we had injuries and showed good signs in short time. No doubt!

    Let’s see him play a year and cover Josh Gordon, A.J. Green (who Ike has OWNED), and the superstars like Calvin Johnson before we put him in the Pro Bowl.

  • Callentown

    Agreed. And in 2014, Keenan would be the #1.

  • Jazz

    Hey Cortez! Be better than Ike, make the pick. It wouldn’t hurt to gain a little muscle as well.

  • Callentown

    I like the Wheaton pick for potential breakout player. Second choice, but in the second half of the season is J. Jones.

    My black as night dark horse is Sean Spence.

  • Rob H

    After the horror story that was his performance at LT, I can understand your doubts, but I think a lot of people forget the job he did at RT his rookie year. The RT is a little more geared towards being a great run blocker, and although pass blocking is still very important, you generally don’t face the opposing teams best pass rusher the way you do at LT.
    Then you add to that the fact that one of Munchaks best things is supposed to be teaching players the fundamentals of footwork and hand placement, which were by far Adams biggest problems. I’ll be very surprised if he isn’t able to beat out Gilbert for the position in training camp.

  • Nolrog

    I’m sure he’s still plenty fast. He ran a 4.18 at his combine, so even a half step slower is still pretty fast.

  • Callentown

    They tried him at RT this year and he did not look good at all. Still, it will be an amazing call if that happens.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Crazy why? Mike is a R/T and better than Gilbert at R/T and doesn’t have the problems with staying in shape. Gilbert should be ashamed oh himself the way he came into camp this season,

    Mike, back where he belongs is a win/ win

  • Milliken Steeler

    He ran a 4.18? That was faster than Deon, Bo Jackson 4.21 and Darryl Green who was the NFL’s fastest man for many seasons. I need to check that 40 time.

  • Callentown

    I agree on Gilbert. I see him as a backup at best.

    My guess is 2014 will be Adams last year on the Steelers and he will be labeled a bust

  • Milliken Steeler

    Really Call? I was going to say I thought Gilbert might be gone after 2014 if he pulls that crap with Munchak. lol Ill have to watch this scenario closely.

  • Nolrog

    Yup. You can google Ike Taylor’s 40 time or look it up in his Wikipedia entry.

  • Milliken Steeler

    oops my bad. Bo’s 40 was 4.12 and Neon Deons was 4.21 4.12 is awfully fast for that big of a back.

  • Dutchess Hershberger

    kid has great potential, kills me that they would let keenan walk, those two could have been together for the next 8 years, easily could have afforeded keenan

  • Gregg Edwards

    Need to get more game before you get that job.

  • steeltown

    Oh man, I’d be so happy