Steelers Ike Taylor on pace for career-high in penalties by Week 7

Al Messerschmidt - Getty Images

The Steelers struggling defense is being hindered by the amount of penalties called on cornerback Ike Taylor

Not to pile on was likely a long plane flight for Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, but the Steelers receiver was targeted 13 times, allowing eight completions, 126 yards and a touchdown.

Fans have certainly let him know it, too. Taking to Twitter, fans savaged Taylor over the last 16 hours.

And

Were especially painful entries.

Not that playing cornerback in the NFL doesn't come with particularly high risk of being the subject of the ire of an entire fan base. Taylor has weathered these storms before. The problem is the penalties.

He's already had seven penalties called against him. Eleven cornerbacks in the NFL had more than seven penalties against them over the entire 2011 season.

Taylor, with nine, was one of them. He had 11 total penalties in 2009 and 2010 combined. The last 22 games he's played, he has 16.

The Steelers defense seems to be playing with a level of fear and hesitation more than anything else. Taylor was, at times, disciplined and in control. Others, he was quickly beaten off the line, as if he was read-and-react was more illiterate and bogged down.

In the mini bye weekend the Steelers have, Taylor is one of many Steelers players who will need to find a way to get back to playing aggressive defense within the rules.

It's not just the shots delivered to the head penalties holding this team back anymore.


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