NFL Q&A: Ike Taylor

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor faces the opponents' top receivers each week. And he and the Pittsburgh secondary have allowed the least passing yards in the league to date. He talked to's Ed Thompson about the season, last week's matchup with Braylon Edwards and this week's game against the Jets.

Ed Thompson: You have to be excited about how this season is going for both you and the Pittsburgh Steelers

Ike Taylor:  Oh yeah, I can't complain. Defense is playing well, offense is playing well.

Thompson: You're on pace to tie your single-season tackles record. What's going on that's putting you around the ball so much?

Taylor: I'm just playing within the defense. I'm trying to get better every game, coach put me in some good situations, put the secondary in some good situations.  And we're just taking it from there.

Thompson: You have seven passes defended already despite usually matching up with the opposing team's number one receiver each week. How do you feel about going up against that level of talent week after week?

Taylor: That's something you look forward to, it comes with the territory. That's a challenge week-in and week-out, just trying to be a complete corner. If I can help my team, that's what I'm going to try to do.

Thompson: You're on pace to set a career best single-season interception record. Is there anything that's coming easier to you out there or that you're doing differently?

Taylor: Coach has put me in good positions. So I just make plays when I can.

Thompson: Pittsburgh's defense is leading the league in so many categories, including fewest passing yards allowed.  That's a real credit to what you and that Steelers secondary is accomplishing out there on the field.  What's been the difference this year?

Taylor: We're hungry.  There's really no other big difference. Everyone just came in with a little bit different attitude and a sour taste in their mouth from last year. We have a new coach and we just want to get back to where we were two years ago.

Thompson: You recovered a fumble against Cleveland last week. Talk about what happened on that play…

Taylor: I just ran to the ball. Coach always emphasizes run to the ball, eleven guys to the ball. James Harrison knocked the ball out and I just picked it up.

Thompson: What did you do that helped you shut down Braylon Edwards, holding him to just one catch last week?

Taylor: Just a lot of film study. I'm getting wiser and learning a little bit more each and every game we play. It's just putting it all together and trying to go out there on Sunday and put it on tape.

Ike Taylor forces a fumble by Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
AP Photo/Paul Connors

Thompson:Your head coach Mike Tomlin made this comment about you this week, "He's willing to do on a day-to-day basis what's needed to become a great player." You two have obviously connected…

Taylor: Yes sir, from when he got the job I talked to him the first day. And he told me some things I needed to work on and what he'd expect from me. I took that in stride and I've just tried to make myself a better person and better player.

Thompson: With the success of your defense, you and some of your teammates have to be thinking that you'll get strong consideration for the Pro Bowl this year.

Taylor: Hopefully the fans (with their votes) will help get me there, but at the same time, it's my play that has to get me there. But honestly, as long as we're winning games it really don't matter.

Thompson: You have the Jets this weekend. What's jumping out at you about their receivers?

Taylor: Laveranues Coles, of course. Their quarterback is bringing another dimension to the offense —  he's a lot more mobile than we thought he was. We have respect for how they play.  Other than their game with New England, they've been in just about every game.

Thompson: What about their running attack? What will you have to be watching for?

Taylor: Big plays. The way they run the ball, they stick their feet in the ground and get one cut and try to get the big explosion. That's what we have to work on and understand. Like I said, the film shows how many games they've been in. 

Thompson: Is there anything you'd like to pass on to the Steelers fans at this point in the season?

Taylor: I want to tell everyone, for the Steelers and myself, I love you all. The Steelers nation is a big nation and worldwide.  I heard about it before I came to Pittsburgh, but now I've seen in person how many fans we have. And I just want them to know I appreciate it.

Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the network and are syndicated through You can contact him by email through this link.


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