Hello Steeler Nation, as all of you probably know, I am relatively new here, and I would like to let you all know that I absolutely love this place. My dad was a huge Fraco Harris fan when he played for Penn State, then followed him to Pittsburgh when he was drafted and his (my dad's) old team moved to Indy. He has been a Steeler fan ever since, so I was born and raised as a Steelers fan. With that said and the introduction out of the way, I was hoping that I could get some input about Ike Taylor.
It seems to me that a large ammount of people (fans and not) are infatuated with Ike, and I do NOT understand it. I have always felt (since he became the starter)that he was the Steel D's only major weak link, but I never paid it much attention, then a few years ago I read that Ike says, "I would be a pro bowler if I work on my hands and catch the ball" I got semi angry because I felt, not only does he stink, but he thinks he is one of the best in the NFL. So at this point I can't stand him but am ready to laugh it off and hope that he would soon grace another NFL team with his stink. Then shortly after I start to see more and more articles about how good he is, some even echo his statement that he would be a pro bowler if he could catch the ball. At this point all I can do is wonder what I'm missing. So I spent the next 1 and a half football seasons watching Ike to see what I was missing. All I kept seeing over and over again was Ike being the weakest link. Interference calls in the end zone, missed tackles, dropped interceptions. In fact, it seemed to me that 9 out of every 10 scoring drives that the Steel D gave up were direct results of a key play at some point in the drive that Ike had messed up.
I think I only said "not bad Ike" 4 or 5 times all of last season, while saying, "Ohhhh crap, not again IKE " 3 or 4 times per game. I have heard the argument that he has to cover all of the BEST receivers in the NFL, and on the surface it seems a legit excuse, but when I look back I can only think of one or two plays where the "key play mess up" was the result of an awesome receiver making an awesome play (Fitz in endzone over Ike's head). Then I used to think, well maybe he is a good bargain, he is at least serviceable out there, so maybe he is the best for the amount of money the Steelers pay him..... then I find out he is one of the highest paid Steelers, pretty much equal to Troy's salary. So now I just can't understand what it is that I'm missing about Ike that has so many people impressed.
Thankyou in advance for your input and expertise.