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Thread: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

  1. #1

    Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 81106.html


    Ike Taylor has made six interceptions since becoming a starter in 2005.
    The Steelers cornerback said that total should be closer to 25.

    "At least eight a year," Taylor said of how many interceptions he could have made the last three seasons.

    Exaggeration or not, Taylor went on the offensive to correct perhaps the one thing that has prevented the sixth-year veteran from taking the next step in a solid career. In an effort to improve the hands that have too often failed him, Taylor crossed over, if only briefly, to what has to be considered the dark side for defensive backs.

    Instead of shadowing Santonio Holmes during workouts that preceded the start of training camp, Taylor became the Steelers wide receiver's shadow.
    He ran the same routes as Holmes, joined the third-year man in various pass-catching drills and essentially trained as if we were a wide receiver.

    Holmes may be four years younger than Taylor, 28, but he became the latter's mentor when the two were in Orlando training with a handful of other Steelers players at the Tom Shaw Performance Enhancement center.

    "With Ike, I was telling him some of the keys and techniques I use as a receiver on attacking the ball, to never blink when the ball's coming at you," Holmes said. "Most DBs are taught to knock the ball down."

    Attacking the ball is simply getting one's hands out in front of their body instead of waiting for the ball to come to them. It does not come easily to cornerbacks simply because, as Holmes said, of the nature of their position.

    "(Taylor) always talked about how much trouble he had catching the ball," Holmes said, "so we just continued to have conversations about it."

    It is not uncommon for cornerbacks to have trouble catching, and not just because suspect hands landed more than a few of them on the defensive side of the ball.

    When cornerbacks are in coverage, they are usually watching a receiver and not the opposing quarterback. As such, they might not see a ball until well after it has left the quarterback's hand.

    Catching such balls, consequently, is comparable to trying to catch them in the dark.

    That explains a drill that is part of Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend's offseason training regimen.

    Townsend, who starts opposite Taylor, will stand with his back to someone holding a football. When he hears "Ball!" Townsend turns around and tries to catch the football that has been thrown. He never knows whether it is going to be high or low or left or right, and Townsend said it simulates the adjustments cornerbacks often have to make in games.

    "A lot of us don't catch many balls," Townsend said, "so we've got to get out there and work to make our hands better."

    Taylor said too many balls have bounced off his hands in recent seasons.

    That is why the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder worked so closely with Holmes and why he has been focusing on pass-catching fundamentals such as watching the ball all of the way into his hands.

    "It will take care of itself," Taylor said of his struggles with dropped balls. "I promise you that."

    If it does, Taylor, who led the Steelers in interceptions (three) last season and finished second in tackles (90), could snag a Pro Bowl selection.

    "I expect big things from him," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "He's a veteran, but he always comes out here looking for a winning edge."



    Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

  2. #2

    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    on one hand, I'm really tired of getting up hope that stone hands will ever be a threat to pick off the ball consistently... but on the other, as dumb as he is, he's really got a great attitude and work ethic concerning this issue and realizes more than anyone that he's got to figure out a way to catch the ball. With his measurables, if he miraculously turns into a turnover threat this season, our chances of going deep into the playoffs multiplies.

    in another humble gesture, I chew silently on crow as holmes not only flourishes as a dominant receiver in our lineup, he's taking OLDER vets under his wing and doing all he can to improve the team.


    I had serious reservations about his selection in the draft, especially with the arrests and whatnot. looks like I was wrong, and medguy (sigh) was right.

  3. #3
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityrules!!
    on one hand, I'm really tired of getting up hope that stone hands will ever be a threat to pick off the ball consistently... but on the other, as dumb as he is, he's really got a great attitude and work ethic concerning this issue and realizes more than anyone that he's got to figure out a way to catch the ball. With his measurables, if he miraculously turns into a turnover threat this season, our chances of going deep into the playoffs multiplies.

    in another humble gesture, I chew silently on crow as holmes not only flourishes as a dominant receiver in our lineup, he's taking OLDER vets under his wing and doing all he can to improve the team.


    I had serious reservations about his selection in the draft, especially with the arrests and whatnot. looks like I was wrong, and medguy (sigh) was right.
    Didn't those arrests occur shortly AFTER the draft?

  4. #4

    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityrules!!
    on one hand, I'm really tired of getting up hope that stone hands will ever be a threat to pick off the ball consistently... but on the other, as dumb as he is, he's really got a great attitude and work ethic concerning this issue and realizes more than anyone that he's got to figure out a way to catch the ball. With his measurables, if he miraculously turns into a turnover threat this season, our chances of going deep into the playoffs multiplies.

    in another humble gesture, I chew silently on crow as holmes not only flourishes as a dominant receiver in our lineup, he's taking OLDER vets under his wing and doing all he can to improve the team.


    I had serious reservations about his selection in the draft, especially with the arrests and whatnot. looks like I was wrong, and medguy (sigh) was right.
    LOL

    I told you man! Your concern was linebacker was it not? Well that's worked out too it looks like.

    No worries mate.

  5. #5

    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityrules!!
    on one hand, I'm really tired of getting up hope that stone hands will ever be a threat to pick off the ball consistently... but on the other, as dumb as he is, he's really got a great attitude and work ethic concerning this issue and realizes more than anyone that he's got to figure out a way to catch the ball. With his measurables, if he miraculously turns into a turnover threat this season, our chances of going deep into the playoffs multiplies.

    in another humble gesture, I chew silently on crow as holmes not only flourishes as a dominant receiver in our lineup, he's taking OLDER vets under his wing and doing all he can to improve the team.


    I had serious reservations about his selection in the draft, especially with the arrests and whatnot. looks like I was wrong, and medguy (sigh) was right.
    Didn't those arrests occur shortly AFTER the draft?
    they did, and thats what i meant about having serious reservations about him being our #1 selection... giving up draft picks to get him, AND him getting arrested right after. I threw quite the santurdio tantrum.


    ohh well, he's playing lights-out so far so i say...


  6. #6

    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Chavezz
    Quote Originally Posted by steelcityrules!!
    on one hand, I'm really tired of getting up hope that stone hands will ever be a threat to pick off the ball consistently... but on the other, as dumb as he is, he's really got a great attitude and work ethic concerning this issue and realizes more than anyone that he's got to figure out a way to catch the ball. With his measurables, if he miraculously turns into a turnover threat this season, our chances of going deep into the playoffs multiplies.

    in another humble gesture, I chew silently on crow as holmes not only flourishes as a dominant receiver in our lineup, he's taking OLDER vets under his wing and doing all he can to improve the team.


    I had serious reservations about his selection in the draft, especially with the arrests and whatnot. looks like I was wrong, and medguy (sigh) was right.
    LOL

    I told you man! Your concern was linebacker was it not? Well that's worked out too it looks like.

    No worries mate.
    I forgot to include you in the bows chavezzzz. you were def. in his corner too.
    I did want LB, it just came a bit later, but it looks like i was at least looking in the right direction!

  7. #7
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    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    I always pull for Ike. It is a shame he has such terrible hands. \

    I think he'd be great in a cover two where he could use his size and strength at the LOS more.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

  8. #8

    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    I like Ike, and took a liking to him from the time he was drafted. I just liked the idea of a raw athlete from nowhere state being able to step up and play in the big league. Although, Nate is a similar situation and I never had the same feeling for him for some reason, but I digress.........

    It's funny that just a couple of weeks ago we were reading about all the Steelers who work out at that facility down in Fla. At the time I had commented that when the players break off to do their positional drills, Ike should try working with the WRs. I always remember something that Deion Sanders said that when he was with Atlanta and toying with the idea of playing both ways, he worked with Andre Rison a lot to learn the ins and outs of playing WR. He said that working with Rison actually made him a better CB because it game him insight into the WR mindset, which was an unexpected bonus of trying to make the move to WR.

    I was hoping that working out as a WR would make Ike a smarter CB, as well as helping him with his hands. Weeks later, and hopefully that is coming true.

  9. #9
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    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o.
    I like Ike, and took a liking to him from the time he was drafted. I just liked the idea of a raw athlete from nowhere state being able to step up and play in the big league. Although, Nate is a similar situation and I never had the same feeling for him for some reason, but I digress.........

    It's funny that just a couple of weeks ago we were reading about all the Steelers who work out at that facility down in Fla. At the time I had commented that when the players break off to do their positional drills, Ike should try working with the WRs. I always remember something that Deion Sanders said that when he was with Atlanta and toying with the idea of playing both ways, he worked with Andre Rison a lot to learn the ins and outs of playing WR. He said that working with Rison actually made him a better CB because it game him insight into the WR mindset, which was an unexpected bonus of trying to make the move to WR.

    I was hoping that working out as a WR would make Ike a smarter CB, as well as helping him with his hands. Weeks later, and hopefully that is coming true.
    i use to think that kordell would of been a better qb since he played wr for a year or two but that obviously didnt happen, but in ike's case he has everything except for good hands. i also have always liked ike for the same reason. i think its hillarious that when he was drafted mark madden said it was the worst draft pick in steelers history. what a fat idiot

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor turns to receiver for tips

    Nothing would make my season than seeing this kid get his head on straight and start catching some balls. He surely was in position plenty of times last year to make some game altering plays.... but didn't capitalize. I think with an improved passrush this year, Ike will have more opportunities. Him and Timmons, I hope have monster years.

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