When you look at the Titans game statistics and see 2 pass interference and 1 holding penalties along with being targeted 13 times, allowing 8 receptions, 126 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown you might think it could be Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen, Will Allen, Ryan Mundy, and maybe even Curtis Brown if he was allowed to play on defense. Unfortunately, these numbers belonged to the Steelers best corner back in Ike Taylor.
Through 5 games Ike already has a total of 9 penalties called against him. You would expect that from a rookie or younger developing player, but not a veteran player like Ike who is now in his 10th NFL season. I'd like to see more games of Ike Taylor knocking down passes instead of receivers or making a big tackle and him doing his hand across the face gesture. Lately, Steeler Nation has witnessed more penalties, Ike patting the field in disgust, and receiving a few lectures from Mike Tomlin on the sidelines.
Everyone remembers the Denver Broncos playoff game last season and the coming out party Demaryius Thomas had at the expense of Ike Taylor. It makes you wonder if this still affects Ike mentally. Even during training camp, Ike had his shares of struggles especially going against Antonio Brown. He would get beat, let his frustration out by cursing, and the rest of practice continues to struggle. Now that was only occasional, but still happened. Maybe Ike still has Stephen A Smith on the brain.
On Friday, Larry Foote did an interview on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and stated that the Steelers defense is not strong mentally. Could Larry be calling out Ike Taylor, is he referring to other defenders or is he talking about the whole defensive unit? I don't like to pick on particular players when the entire defense is struggling, but dating back to last season's playoffs and continuing through the 2012 season Ike appears to have lost his swagger. I know Ike is a very hard worker and will get this figured out. He just needs to become disciplined again and get back his confidence. Once that happens we will see more of the hand swagging by Ike after making big plays for the Steelers defense. And just maybe that will rub off on the other 10 starters.