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fordfixer
10-10-2009, 03:58 AM
Taylor develops into elite cornerback

By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, October 10, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 47348.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_647348.html)

At the time, the request seemed unimaginable.

There was Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker and captain Joey Porter seeking and receiving an audience with then-coach Bill Cowher prior to the start of the 2005 season. Porter suggested a lineup change he believed would enhance what was already a championship-caliber defense.

Porter requested Cowher replace veteran cornerback Chad Scott, a first-round draft pick selected after the team failed to re-sign Rod Woodson, with a little-known fourth-round draft pick who didn't become a defensive back until his final college season.

What appeared to be an uneven exchange at the time -- replacing a proven player with an unproven one -- now looks like a stroke of genius.

Since taking over for Scott in 2005, Ivan "Ike" Taylor has become a rising star in the NFL and arguably the Steelers' best cornerback since Woodson left following the 1996 season.

Among the league's elite corners, a group that includes Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha, Dallas' Terence Newman, Denver's Champ Bailey and former Pitt standout Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets, Taylor is the only player who isn't a first-round draft pick. Taylor's success was unexpected.

In retrospect, Porter said Taylor was exactly what the Steelers needed in winning two Super Bowls in four years.

"At that point, we had some guys that weren't getting it done. Chad Scott and Dewayne Washington were getting older. It was starting to show in their play," said Porter, now with the Miami Dolphins. "Ike was shutting down guys in practice. He showed us time after time he was ready to start. His confidence was always big to me. That swagger, you love to have that in a corner. He would ask to play man-to-man on the best receivers. Most young guys don't do that."

Porter said he used his status as a team captain to make a case for Taylor.

"I just felt like I had a personal relationship with Cowher to where I felt the guys were comfortable with Ike," said Porter, who is fourth in Steelers history with 60 sacks. "(Cowher) just wanted to know we were going to be comfortable with the move. We were having problems in the secondary. We had a dude I felt was ready to play and the other guys felt was ready to play."

Truth be told, the Steelers made an even bigger gamble when they drafted Taylor from Louisiana-Lafayette.

Taylor was the 125th player selected in the 2003 draft -- and 16th among cornerbacks.

Steelers pro scouting coordinator Doug Whaley said Taylor, a converted college running back who was an all-district defensive end at Abramson High School in New Orleans, needed time to develop.

"When I saw him, he had everything physically you were looking for in a corner," Whaley said. "The reason why he was drafted where he was, he didn't have the technical skills of a corner. It was sort of a gamble.

"You don't see a lot of guys making that switch at this level with limited experience, but special guys can."

The Steelers made Taylor their third overall draft pick, after popular first-round selection Troy Polamalu and second-round bust Alonzo Jackson. The Steelers traded their third-round pick that year so they could move up in the first round and take Polamalu.

Taylor said his selection wasn't popular with fans or the local media.

"Nobody expected me to start. When they drafted me, some people wrote this guy will be a hell of a special-teams player," said Taylor, who averaged 22.5 yards on 37 kickoff returns as a rookie.

It took Taylor only three years to make the prodigious leap from small-college corner to a starter with one of the league's most storied franchises.

The story becomes more remarkable when Gary Bartel, Taylor's college defensive backs coach, recalls how his pupil made the switch from running back.

"I tried to get Ike on defense. I talked to the head coach but he wanted him to return kicks and be a running back," Bartel said. "The spring before his senior year, they made a coaching change. I needed a cornerback, so I went into the coaches' office where we had our depth charts and took Ike's name off the running back list and put it over with the cornerbacks.

"We sat down as a staff and went over the personnel boards. When we got to cornerback, Ike's name is up there. I said that Ike was a gifted athlete and had a lot of skills and I thought he would be a natural at cover corner.

"It worked."

Taylor was discovered by longtime talent evaluator Dave-Te' Thomas. In previewing the 2003 draft, Thomas called Taylor the most gifted athlete since Deion Sanders.

"When Ike was a senior, everyone was going to Louisiana-Lafayette to see Charles Tillman (drafted by Chicago in the second round that same year). I arrived during spring camp and saw Ike running sprints while scouts were looking at Tillman," said Thomas, currently the director of operations for NFL Scouting Services. "I asked Ike to run a 40(yard dash) for me. He said he would run after practice when he could take his equipment off. I told him to run with the equipment on. He ran a 4.35 on my stopwatch. After practice, he ran without equipment and clocked a 4.21. Right then and there, I put him on my radar."

Oh, but those hands. A defensive player throughout high school who had 18 receptions in his only season as a college running back, Taylor struggles to catch the ball and has dropped numerous interceptions.

"It's those dropped-ball interceptions," Taylor said of why he believes he hasn't made the Pro Bowl. "But looking at everything I can do, I think it's kind of overrated."

As the top cornerback for the defending Super Bowl champions, Taylor is assigned to cover the opponents' best receiver each week.

In his past two games against Cincinnati and San Diego, Taylor held Chad Ochocinco (five receptions, 54 yards) and Vincent Jackson (four receptions, 56 yards) in check.

"People think we double Chad. But we just put Ike on him," safety Tyrone Carter said. "He's been doing a great job on him through the years."

Next up for Taylor, who leads the Steelers with seven passes defensed this season, is Sunday's head-to-head matchup with Detroit Lions big-play receiver Calvin Johnson.

"Ike has a desire to be great," coach Mike Tomlin said.

That, of course, is what Joey Porter imagined in 2005.

stlrz d
10-10-2009, 07:22 AM
Swaggin' is the prime example of a project player taken by a good team who pays off when given time to develop.

For all the complaints about guys they miss on (some just a "tad" premature) it's guys like Ike who more than make up for it. No one hits on every pick but when you get a corner like Ike in the 4th round it really helps to ease the sting.

But of course nothing eases the sting of a Jamain Stephens or Troy Edwards. :D

birtikidis
10-10-2009, 10:53 AM
remember all those posters on the trib board who dogged Ike every chance they got? Same ones who would be dogging timmons, troy p, parker, mendy, etc

Shoe
10-10-2009, 05:38 PM
But of course nothing eases the sting of a Jamain Stephens or Troy Edwards. :D

A S-W-I-N-N-N-G and a miss!
Ike's work ethic is his best trait.

bostonsteeler
10-10-2009, 09:23 PM
Didn't know the bit about Porter pitching for Ike.

Thanks, Joey!

RuthlessBurgher
10-11-2009, 12:13 AM
But of course nothing eases the sting of a Jamain Stephens or Troy Edwards. :D

Take into consideration that the Stephens pick was in 1996, and the Edwards pick was in 1999 (both prior to the arrival of Kevin Colbert...they were Donahoe specials). That means we didn't have a first round pick completely flame out in a decade. That's an incredible run.

Compare that to the Browns since they re-entered the league in 1999. Their first 4 first round draft picks (three of which were in the top three overall) were outright busts (Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, and William Green). The next three first rounders are no longer with the team (Jeff Faine, Kellen Winslow, and Braylon Edwards). The only first rounder they drafted that is a true impact player in the past decade is Joe Thomas (the jury is still out on Kamerion Wimbley and Brady Quinn, and it is too early to judge Alex Mack).

In that same period (picking much later in the draft, by the way), we got Burress, Hampton, Simmons, Polamalu, Roethlisberger, Miller, Holmes, Timmons, Mendenhall, and Hood. The only ones not here are Burress (stupidity) and Simmons (diabetes plus injuries). But we did win a Super Bowl with Simmons as a starting RG, and Burress won a Super Bowl with the Giants with a late TD catch. The difference is outright staggering.

stlrz d
10-11-2009, 12:21 AM
But of course nothing eases the sting of a Jamain Stephens or Troy Edwards. :D

Take into consideration that the Stephens pick was in 1996, and the Edwards pick was in 1999 (both prior to the arrival of Kevin Colbert...they were Donahoe specials). That means we didn't have a first round pick completely flame out in a decade. That's an incredible run.

Compare that to the Browns since they re-entered the league in 1999. Their first 4 first round draft picks (three of which were in the top three overall) were outright busts (Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, and William Green). The next three first rounders are no longer with the team (Jeff Faine, Kellen Winslow, and Braylon Edwards). The only first rounder they drafted that is a true impact player in the past decade is Joe Thomas (the jury is still out on Kamerion Wimbley and Brady Quinn, and it is too early to judge Alex Mack).

In that same period (picking much later in the draft, by the way), we got Burress, Hampton, Simmons, Polamalu, Roethlisberger, Miller, Holmes, Timmons, Mendenhall, and Hood. The only ones not here are Burress (stupidity) and Simmons (diabetes plus injuries). But we did win a Super Bowl with Simmons as a starting RG, and Burress won a Super Bowl with the Giants with a late TD catch. The difference is outright staggering.

I agree totally man...but dayum did those two picks stink! Pee-U!

RuthlessBurgher
10-11-2009, 12:32 AM
You can play the same game with our opponents this weekend. Their drafts since 1999:

1999 Chris Claiborne and Aaron Gibson. Busts.
2000 Stockar McDougle. Bust.
2001 Jeff Backus. Solid Career. Not great, though.
2002 Joey Harrington. Bust.
2003 Charles Rogers. Bust.
2004 Roy Williams and Kevin Jones. At least they were able to finagle some quality draft picks out of Jerry Jones in exchange for Roy.
2005 Mike Williams. Bust.
2006 Ernie Sims. He's a starter (when healthy). But he's not great. And he's currently injured.
2007 Calvin Johnson. Awesome talent. Has the potential to be one of the greats. But the only reason that they got him was because Al Davis was stupid enough to take JaMarcus Russell #1 overall ahead of Calvin. Read that sentence again, and you will know all that you need to know about Al Davis. And if that doesn't say enough about Davis, I will tackle his draft prowess next.
2008 Gosder Cherilus. He's a starter. But he's not great.
2009 Matthew Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew. Too soon to tell.

In the same time period where we got cornerstone players like Ben, Troy, Heath, Santonio, and Casey, plus numerous other contributors (and no outright first round busts) the Browns only got one potentially great player (Joe Thomas) and the Lions only got one potentially great player (Calvin Johnson) with first round busts galore for both teams. It is simply incredible. It is no wonder that the Steelers have won 2 out of the last 4 Super Bowls while Cleveland and Detroit have been historically bad over the past decade. Remarkable.

Same thing goes with Al Davis' Raiders. Among a decade's worth of mostly garbage first round picks (Matt Stinchcomb, Sebastian Janikowski, Derrick Gibson, Napoleon Harris, Philip Buchanan, Tyler Brayton, Robert Gallery, Fabian Washington, Michael Huff, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Hayward-Bey), they lucked into one first round gem just like the Browns and Lions did (in their case, it was Nnamdi Asomugha). It is remarkable that Colbert is able to hit his first round pick out of the park year-after-year while these other teams are lucky to fall into just one single elite talent in an entire decade.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-11-2009, 09:50 AM
Remember that guy SFL (DVS) who used to post on the Trib board? He was an ex-Arena League player who was a self-proclaimed football expert. He predicted that Ike would never be more than an "average" NFL CB. Even up until last season, he was trashing Ike, saying he was a liability to our defense.

I always figured he was jealous of Ike's success, or something like that.

NorthCoast
10-11-2009, 08:38 PM
Without Ike, this secondary would be toast every single weekend (worse than they are). The truth is we never have to worry about Ike's side of the field no matter who he is matched up against. The value of that cannot be overstated. I just hope he stays healthy all season.

DrCalculus
10-11-2009, 09:25 PM
You can play the same game with our opponents this weekend. Their drafts since 1999:

1999 Chris Claiborne and Aaron Gibson. Busts.
2000 Stockar McDougle. Bust.
2001 Jeff Backus. Solid Career. Not great, though.
2002 Joey Harrington. Bust.
2003 Charles Rogers. Bust.
2004 Roy Williams and Kevin Jones. At least they were able to finagle some quality draft picks out of Jerry Jones in exchange for Roy.
2005 Mike Williams. Bust.
2006 Ernie Sims. He's a starter (when healthy). But he's not great. And he's currently injured.
2007 Calvin Johnson. Awesome talent. Has the potential to be one of the greats. But the only reason that they got him was because Al Davis was stupid enough to take JaMarcus Russell #1 overall ahead of Calvin. Read that sentence again, and you will know all that you need to know about Al Davis. And if that doesn't say enough about Davis, I will tackle his draft prowess next.
2008 Gosder Cherilus. He's a starter. But he's not great.
2009 Matthew Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew. Too soon to tell.

In the same time period where we got cornerstone players like Ben, Troy, Heath, Santonio, and Casey, plus numerous other contributors (and no outright first round busts) the Browns only got one potentially great player (Joe Thomas) and the Lions only got one potentially great player (Calvin Johnson) with first round busts galore for both teams. It is simply incredible. It is no wonder that the Steelers have won 2 out of the last 4 Super Bowls while Cleveland and Detroit have been historically bad over the past decade. Remarkable.

Same thing goes with Al Davis' Raiders. Among a decade's worth of mostly garbage first round picks (Matt Stinchcomb, Sebastian Janikowski, Derrick Gibson, Napoleon Harris, Philip Buchanan, Tyler Brayton, Robert Gallery, Fabian Washington, Michael Huff, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Hayward-Bey), they lucked into one first round gem just like the Browns and Lions did (in their case, it was Nnamdi Asomugha). It is remarkable that Colbert is able to hit his first round pick out of the park year-after-year while these other teams are lucky to fall into just one single elite talent in an entire decade.

And even more stunning is that the Browns & Lions were routinely picking in the top 10.

Burress was in the early teens, Hampton & Simmons were in the late 20's, Ben was #11, Troy we needed to trade up to get, Heath was #30, Holmes we needed to trade up from 32 to get, Timmons was mid-20's, Mendy was late 20's, Hood was 32. To get almost all of that talent at the end of the first round when teams like Cleveland, Detroit, Oakland, New Orleans, Buffalo are regularly drafting in the top half of the round and picking bust after bust is really mind-boggling.

steelblood
10-11-2009, 10:03 PM
Ike is very good, but I don't know about elite. Ike usually has safety help over the top.
He isn't the type of corner you put on an island like Bailey, Revis, or the dude out in Oakland. Ike also has terrible hands for the pick. The rest of his game is rock solid. He is great in a short area and awesome against the run. I'd put him in the 2nd tier or cornerbacks in the league. He is very good talent, but I don't feel he is quite in the elite group.

stlrz d
10-11-2009, 10:05 PM
Ike is very good, but I don't know about elite. Ike usually has safety help over the top.
He isn't the type of corner you put on an island like Bailey, Revis, or the dude out in Oakland. Ike also has terrible hands for the pick. The rest of his game is rock solid. He is great in a short area and awesome against the run. I'd put him in the 2nd tier or cornerbacks in the league. He is very good talent, but I don't feel he is quite in the elite group.

But that's exactly what the Steelers have been doing with him.

steelblood
10-11-2009, 10:12 PM
Ike is very good, but I don't know about elite. Ike usually has safety help over the top.
He isn't the type of corner you put on an island like Bailey, Revis, or the dude out in Oakland. Ike also has terrible hands for the pick. The rest of his game is rock solid. He is great in a short area and awesome against the run. I'd put him in the 2nd tier or cornerbacks in the league. He is very good talent, but I don't feel he is quite in the elite group.

But that's exactly what the Steelers have been doing with him.

Not really. There is usually safety help over the top. I was at the Bengals game, and watched the safeties. Ike had safety help with ochocinco about 90-95% of the time. They use him to mirror the top WRs on other teams, but he usually has help over the top. I think he has played well and is getting better every season. I just don't think he is quite in the elite group yet.

stlrz d
10-11-2009, 11:15 PM
Ike is very good, but I don't know about elite. Ike usually has safety help over the top.
He isn't the type of corner you put on an island like Bailey, Revis, or the dude out in Oakland. Ike also has terrible hands for the pick. The rest of his game is rock solid. He is great in a short area and awesome against the run. I'd put him in the 2nd tier or cornerbacks in the league. He is very good talent, but I don't feel he is quite in the elite group.

But that's exactly what the Steelers have been doing with him.

Not really. There is usually safety help over the top. I was at the Bengals game, and watched the safeties. Ike had safety help with ochocinco about 90-95% of the time. They use him to mirror the top WRs on other teams, but he usually has help over the top. I think he has played well and is getting better every season. I just don't think he is quite in the elite group yet.

Well that's not what I've seen...and there seem to be lots of writers writing about Ike taking the best man on his own...and lots of talking heads (former players) mentioning it too.

JTP53609
10-12-2009, 07:30 AM
yea and the best part is he does not do that wrestling guys move anymore when he waves his hand in front of his face after each play.....

_SteeL_CurtaiN_
10-12-2009, 09:07 PM
Ike is very good, but I don't know about elite. Ike usually has safety help over the top.
He isn't the type of corner you put on an island like Bailey, Revis, or the dude out in Oakland. Ike also has terrible hands for the pick. The rest of his game is rock solid. He is great in a short area and awesome against the run. I'd put him in the 2nd tier or cornerbacks in the league. He is very good talent, but I don't feel he is quite in the elite group.

But that's exactly what the Steelers have been doing with him.

Not really. There is usually safety help over the top. I was at the Bengals game, and watched the safeties. Ike had safety help with ochocinco about 90-95% of the time. They use him to mirror the top WRs on other teams, but he usually has help over the top. I think he has played well and is getting better every season. I just don't think he is quite in the elite group yet.

What's a guy gotta do to get the respect. On any given play a corner may or may not have help. When you have a front 7 that plays like the steelers you have that luxuray. In the 2005 run to XL Ike took on and shut down Rod Smith, Marvin Harrison ,Chad Johnson and Darryl Jackson. Ike is an elite talent on par with Bailey, who I 'm sure NEVER get's help over the top.

steelblood
10-13-2009, 10:37 AM
[quote=steelblood]Ike is very good, but I don't know about elite. Ike usually has safety help over the top.
He isn't the type of corner you put on an island like Bailey, Revis, or the dude out in Oakland. Ike also has terrible hands for the pick. The rest of his game is rock solid. He is great in a short area and awesome against the run. I'd put him in the 2nd tier or cornerbacks in the league. He is very good talent, but I don't feel he is quite in the elite group.

But that's exactly what the Steelers have been doing with him.

Not really. There is usually safety help over the top. I was at the Bengals game, and watched the safeties. Ike had safety help with ochocinco about 90-95% of the time. They use him to mirror the top WRs on other teams, but he usually has help over the top. I think he has played well and is getting better every season. I just don't think he is quite in the elite group yet.

What's a guy gotta do to get the respect. On any given play a corner may or may not have help. When you have a front 7 that plays like the steelers you have that luxuray. In the 2005 run to XL Ike took on and shut down Rod Smith, Marvin Harrison ,Chad Johnson and Darryl Jackson. Ike is an elite talent on par with Bailey, who I 'm sure NEVER get's help over the top.[/quote:3my13296]

First, I never disrespected the guy. I simply see him as slightly below the best corners in the league. In fact, I have a ton of respect for him and see him as a huge contributor to this teams success.

Second, in 2005, Ike was a very good corner, but not a shut down corner. In the 2005 regular season game, Harrison torched Taylor for a long TD. From that point on, they were careful to give him help against top caliber receivers. I will readily admit that he was great in the playoff run and was a big part of shutting down those receivers. He has always done well against Chad Johnson.

Finally, using an aged Rod Smith and Darryl Jackson as a barometer for elite play is laughable. They were good receivers but hardly elite or even great.

RuthlessBurgher
10-13-2009, 12:53 PM
Finally, using an aged Rod Smith and Darryl Jackson as a barometer for elite play is laughable. They were good receivers but hardly elite or even great.

True, but they were the best WR's the other team had to offer in an AFC Championship Game and a Super Bowl, respectively, so he performed well given those pressures (and ol' margarine-phalanges even caught an elusive interception in that Super Bowl to boot!)

steelblood
10-13-2009, 01:07 PM
Finally, using an aged Rod Smith and Darryl Jackson as a barometer for elite play is laughable. They were good receivers but hardly elite or even great.

True, but they were the best WR's the other team had to offer in an AFC Championship Game and a Super Bowl, respectively, so he performed well given those pressures (and ol' margarine-phalanges even caught an elusive interception in that Super Bowl to boot!)

Certainly. As I said, He played very well. My point is that covering Darryl Jackson well doesn't make you elite.

AngryAsian
10-13-2009, 01:22 PM
To be elite you have to have the threat of being able to intercept the ball. But on the flip side to a lot of analysts Nnamdi Asomugha is the gold standard in shut down corners. He made the Pro Bowl last year with only 9 passes defended and 1 pick. He gets a lot of props.

ikestops85
10-13-2009, 01:41 PM
I'm sorry but I don't believe the steelers will ever have shutdown corners as long as LeBeau is the DC. It's just not his style. We could have Bailey, Osomsajdflajfaa (that Oakland guy) or Revis (whom many wanted us to draft) but they wouldn't have near the success here that they have had in their respective system. Where other systems try to deny the receiver the ball ours is to limit where the QB can throw it. Our corners allow them to catch the ball as long as we can tackle them short of the first down. We always try and keep the play in front so we don't give up the big one.

While I think Ike COULD be a shutdown corner I don't think he rates it because that is not how we play. It is frustrating at times because I think Ike and Gay can play pressure man on man coverage but we are lacking that ability from the other DBs -- except for Troy of course.

Jigawatts
10-13-2009, 01:47 PM
I'm sorry but I don't believe the steelers will ever have shutdown corners as long as LeBeau is the DC. It's just not his style. We could have Bailey, Osomsajdflajfaa (that Oakland guy) or Revis (whom many wanted us to draft) but they wouldn't have near the success here that they have had in their respective system. Where other systems try to deny the receiver the ball ours is to limit where the QB can throw it. Our corners allow them to catch the ball as long as we can tackle them short of the first down. We always try and keep the play in front so we don't give up the big one.

While I think Ike COULD be a shutdown corner I don't think he rates it because that is not how we play. It is frustrating at times because I think Ike and Gay can play pressure man on man coverage but we are lacking that ability from the other DBs -- except for Troy of course.

All valid points, but don't forget Ike is assigned to cover the opposing teams best receiver
every week and he pretty much shuts them down. I would think that alone would qualify
Ike as a "shut down corner."

ikestops85
10-13-2009, 03:30 PM
I'm sorry but I don't believe the steelers will ever have shutdown corners as long as LeBeau is the DC. It's just not his style. We could have Bailey, Osomsajdflajfaa (that Oakland guy) or Revis (whom many wanted us to draft) but they wouldn't have near the success here that they have had in their respective system. Where other systems try to deny the receiver the ball ours is to limit where the QB can throw it. Our corners allow them to catch the ball as long as we can tackle them short of the first down. We always try and keep the play in front so we don't give up the big one.

While I think Ike COULD be a shutdown corner I don't think he rates it because that is not how we play. It is frustrating at times because I think Ike and Gay can play pressure man on man coverage but we are lacking that ability from the other DBs -- except for Troy of course.

All valid points, but don't forget Ike is assigned to cover the opposing teams best receiver
every week and he pretty much shuts them down. I would think that alone would qualify
Ike as a "shut down corner."

I agree he "pretty much" shuts down the oppositions best receiver. I think given the chance he would "completely" shut them down but that is my point. He is not given that chance just because of the system he plays in. He will give them 3 or 4 or even 5 catches averaging about 7 or 8 yards a catch. I'm not dissing Ike ... send him to Oakland and he will play as well as if not better than Osomaljdfksljf. The same if he went to Denver he'd rate right up there with Bailey.

Jigawatts
10-13-2009, 03:52 PM
I'm sorry but I don't believe the steelers will ever have shutdown corners as long as LeBeau is the DC. It's just not his style. We could have Bailey, Osomsajdflajfaa (that Oakland guy) or Revis (whom many wanted us to draft) but they wouldn't have near the success here that they have had in their respective system. Where other systems try to deny the receiver the ball ours is to limit where the QB can throw it. Our corners allow them to catch the ball as long as we can tackle them short of the first down. We always try and keep the play in front so we don't give up the big one.

While I think Ike COULD be a shutdown corner I don't think he rates it because that is not how we play. It is frustrating at times because I think Ike and Gay can play pressure man on man coverage but we are lacking that ability from the other DBs -- except for Troy of course.

All valid points, but don't forget Ike is assigned to cover the opposing teams best receiver
every week and he pretty much shuts them down. I would think that alone would qualify
Ike as a "shut down corner."

I agree he "pretty much" shuts down the oppositions best receiver. I think given the chance he would "completely" shut them down but that is my point. He is not given that chance just because of the system he plays in. He will give them 3 or 4 or even 5 catches averaging about 7 or 8 yards a catch. I'm not dissing Ike ... send him to Oakland and he will play as well as if not better than Osomaljdfksljf. The same if he went to Denver he'd rate right up there with Bailey.

I don't know if that's on LeBeau or Tomlin. It seems like LeBeau would be more agreeable
in letting Ike go after the ball more aggressively, while Tomlin is "calling off the dogs" in
order to deny the big play. I think that's been evident all season long as the defense
has sat on its heals as opposing offenses have shredded us in the fourth quarter.

Not that I agree with LasVegasGuy regarding Tomlin, but the last series against the
Lions, we finally got back to attacking, and it worked. I kind of got off track there,
but what I'm saying is our defense, including Ike, is much better when we attack.