Taylor in 2011
No. 24 Pittsburgh Steelers
|Date of birth:May 5, 1980|
|Place of birth: Gretna, Louisiana|
|High school: New Orleans (LA) Abramson|
|NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 4 / Pick: 125|
|Debuted in 2003 for the Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
Ivan "Ike" Taylor (born May 5, 1980) is an American football defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round (125th overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Ike was born in Gretna, Louisiana, which is located just across the Mississippi river from New Orleans. As a child, he moved with his mother, Cora, to Raleigh, North Carolina, but he returned to Louisiana as a seventh-grader to live with his uncle and aunt, Herman and Judy Francois, in Harvey, Louisiana. He attended Marion Abramson Senior High School in New Orleans where he played football and basketball. In high school he played running back, defensive end, cornerback and placekicker.
Taylor attended college at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he majored in psychology, but he was academically ineligible to play football his first two years. He joined the football team as a walk on in 2001, earning a scholarship prior to the season. In his first season he played tailback and special teams and returned kicks.
Prior to his senior season, Taylor asked to be moved to cornerback. He started the season at the right cornerback spot and recorded 46 tackles, eight passes defensed and two forced fumbles. In four games, he did not allow an opponent to catch a ball. Among his college teammates was Charles Tillman who was drafted by the Chicago Bears.
Despite his inexperience and lack of consistent play in college, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Taylor in the fourth round (125th overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft. The selection was made based primarily on Taylor's rare combination of size and speed — leading up to the draft, he was timed as fast as 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash. However, most NFL coaches and general managers still failed to see his potential.
In his first two years in the league, Taylor was used primarily on special teams, though he saw spot duty at defensive back. In his third season (2005) Taylor moved into the starting lineup at left cornerback. He started 15 regular season games and all four of the team's playoff games, including Super Bowl XL. During the 2005 NFL playoffs he had a key interception in the second quarter of the 2005 AFC Championship. The turnover led to a touchdown which opened a 24–3 lead en route to a 34–17 win over the Denver Broncos. In the Super Bowl, Taylor recorded a team high seven tackles and also had two passes defensed and a crucial interception at the Steelers five-yard line which helped the Steelers to secure a 21–10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Taylor was rewarded for his performance prior to the 2006 season with a contract extension valued at $22.5 million over four years (with $6.4 million guaranteed). The contract made Taylor the highest paid cornerback in franchise history and would tie him to the Steelers through 2010.
Taylor's play regressed in 2006 and he was stripped of his starting role after game 10; he was not re-inserted into the starting lineup until the final game of the season, and then only due to an injury to Deshea Townsend. He re-committed himself in the off-season and regained his spot at left cornerback for 2007 under the new regime of head coach Mike Tomlin, who replaced Bill Cowher. In a first round loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2007 playoffs, Taylor recorded his third consecutive post-season game with an interception, which set a team record.
Taylor won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Week award for his performance against the Seahawks in the fifth week of 2007. In the game he had six solo tackles, three passes defensed and a goal-line interception to halt a Seahawks drive at the end of the first half. He started all 16 regular season games that season. The following year, he would help defeat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII to earn his second Super Bowl ring.
In the final week of the 2009 season, Taylor made a helmet-to-helmet tackle on Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White which rendered White temporarily unable to move. White had to be carted off the field, but he did not appear to sustain any long-term damage from the hit.
The primary knock against Taylor's skill-set is that does not catch enough interceptions — he's never recorded more than three in a season. He's worked with the team's receivers to address this deficiency since at least the team's 2008 training camp. However, he's yet to show much improvement, recording just 7 interceptions since 2008.
Taylor is currently under contract through the 2014 season, fulfilling a 4-year deal worth $28 million.
Taylor makes his off-season home in his native New Orleans. He trains with Tom Shaw in his Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness (SPARQ) Training Program, primarily at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
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- "Steelers bio". Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Bouchette, Ed (May 2, 2003). "http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/20030502steelers3.asp". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "Ike Taylor stats". databaseFootball.com. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Clayton, John (September 3, 2006). "Steelers re-sign Ike Taylor to four-year extension". ESPN.com. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Collier, Gene (August 2, 2007). "Taylor is on the upside of his up-and-down career at corner". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Dulac, Gerry (November 7, 2008). "This Taylor plays close to the vest". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Harris, John (May 5, 2008). "Steelers Taylor around the corner". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Neal, David J. (January 4, 2010). "Hit on Miami Dolphins' Pat White rattles both teams". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Pasquerelli, Len (April 23, 2009). "Restructuring helps Steelers' cap room". ESPN.com. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Brown, Scott (August 5, 2008). "Taylor turns to receiver for tips". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- "Ike Taylor stats". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Dulac, Gerry (September 11, 2009). "Titans' Johnson put an all-world move on Taylor in '08 matchup in Tennessee". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 29 March 2010.
- Wehrle, Phil (June 26, 2009). "Pittsburgh Steelers' Ike Taylor returns to where the hard work started". The Times-Picayune. Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
- "FaceMeIke YouthFootballCamp". Archived from the original on November 10, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011.