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Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – CB Ike Taylor


By Matthew Marczi

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Ike Taylor

Position: Cornerback

Experience: 11 Years

The 2013 season for Ike Taylor may have indeed been his worst. I doubt that many here would disagree. Generally speaking, that’s probably a fair assessment of any season in which a player leads all cornerbacks in yards allowed, having been the only player to allow more than 1000 yards on the year.

Based on Pro Football Focus’ record keeping, Taylor was targeted a whopping 113 times last season—indicating that opposing quarterbacks are more comfortable going after him than they used to be—giving up 71 receptions for a completion percentage against of 62.8.

That’s a dramatic increase from last season, when he led all qualifying cornerbacks in allowing just 44.1 percent of his targets to be caught. His opposing quarterback rating when targeted in 2012 was 84.5, which is more than respectable. That climbed to 110.6 in 2013, among the bottom 10 in the league. Part of that involved allowing six touchdowns while accounting for no interceptions.

Most worrying, in my opinion, was Taylor’s uncharacteristically poor tackling. This season, he tied with the team lead with 13 missed tackles (with Ryan Clark)—nine more than he missed in 2012, though he did miss much of that season.

Taylor had a particularly bad stretch during the middle of the season. From Week Eight to Week 14, he was targeted 49 times, giving up 31 receptions for 579 total yards, surrendering all of his six touchdowns in that span.

The worries about Taylor’s future are many. While he may be a workout warrior, nobody is as relentless as Father Time, and he’s seen fit to slow Taylor down some as he approaches 34 years of age.

This is corroborated by the number of occasions in which receivers got behind Taylor’s coverage this year, regardless of how often that receiver was ultimately targeted or actually made the catch. This is certainly an increasing occurrence, though not as easily quantifiable as his increase in missed tackles.

In addition to leading the team in missed tackles, he also led the team in penalties, drawing six of them that were accepted, while an additional two were either offset or declined. That’s actually an improvement from last season, but he is still penalized too often for a top cornerback.

The Steelers are obviously aware that Taylor is not what he once was. That is why they changed it up by the end of the season, leaving him on one side of the field rather than moving him all over in order to follow a specific assignment. While it may not be in the team’s best interests to part ways right now, given the depth at the position, negotiations involving reducing his cap hit should be a priority in the coming weeks.

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Emmanuel Sanders
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – TE Heath Miller
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Marcus Gilbert
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G David DeCastro
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – G Ramon Foster
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – T Kelvin Beachum
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – RB Le’Veon Bell
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – C Fernando Velasco
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – FB Will Johnson
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Brett Keisel
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – NT Steve McLendon
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – DE Cameron Heyward
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB LaMarr Woodley
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – OLB Jason Worilds
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Lawrence Timmons
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – ILB Vince Williams

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Steve

    Knew Ike’s had a bad year but didn’t know it was this bad. Time to get a replacement for Ike and hang it up. Can’t tackle, can’t catch, too many penalitys, time to quit.

  • dgh57

    I’ve said this before that if he’s back he needs to realize that with declining skills comes declining pay and therefore accept a pay cut! When you consider Clark having a bad year at the same time, Troy having to play out of position, 2 rookies at ILB, J. Jones learning the system at OLB it’s no wonder our defense saw a big drop off in performance last season.These are correctable problems if we end up drafting the right players in one of the top CBs and FS in this draft(or through FA)because it has become a top priority to FIX this defense!

  • WIINGY

    reduce his cap hit all the way. Cut him and sign a veteran Cornerback.

    Time to move on.

  • Jacob Dixon

    It would be nice if the steelers got Bryd but that is highly unlikely

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I’ve been saying this all along

  • Brendon Glad

    Wow! Those stats just kinda jump up and smack ya in the face, don’t they? Yeah, the dearth of ints we had come to accept from him definitely can’t dance arm in arm with those opposing WR/QB stats…Probably time to shake his hand and part ways.

  • 70′s Fan

    Agree. I don’t see how reducing his cap hit makes him play any better.

  • alex

    yeah, really caught between a rock and a hard place w/ Ike…zero CB depth and little money to play in FA and him sitting on a fat contract year in 2014…

    amazing to see how quick players lose it (:

  • sean mcmartin

    sadly, another Great Steeler needs to be let go. As 70′s fan said below, reducing his pay won’t make him a better player. For years he was an excellent CB. Time to go with a player who won’t give up 1000 yards in a season. and has speed and hands,,Secondary should be addressed before a tall WR. if the defense can’t stop the run and cant stop big plays again next season. 8-8 might go down to 7-9 or worse. I really hope the team can rebuild before ben retires.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    They never get anyone that is first tier as far as FA’s go, and Byrd wants to be the highest paid safety in the league. Can you say, “No way in hell!”.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    And pushing out contracts can leave you “Up shit creek.”

  • Jacob Dixon

    I was hoping to cut Woodley to use that money on Worilds and cut Taylor to get Bryd

  • dgh57

    Most likely the money they save when they cut ties with Levi Brown and Clark will be used to pay for Worilds. Woodley will be a post June 1 decision to save on his cap hit. Bryd is a unlikely signing because we pick up whats left over from the FA pile.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Time catches up with even the best conditioned…in response to reducing his pay won’t make him better…it won’t…but, imo there are no ready to start CBs in this draft (not on a playoff caliber team)…Taylor back @ a cap friendly #, can help bridge the gap this year in a learning capacity with whomever is picked would be valuable.

    That said, I think will come down to Troy or Ike…I don’t see both returning.

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