Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor did something of a comparative analysis of team defensive stats during his weekly video show. He notes his rant is based in his frustration with the local media, calling out KDKA sports director Bob Pompeani in particular.
"But you all people - and by you all people I mean the local media - Bob Pompeani - the local media, give these people the facts, man. I can understand opinions, so I'm going to give you my opinion. If you got something to say, say it with the facts.
"If you got a little opinion, I'm cool with that," he said. "but if you want to give these people the stats and the facts, give it to them."
It's unclear to BTSC what Pompeani did or said to become the target of Taylor's ire, but it probably isn't very different from what most of the rest of the media are saying about the Steelers.
Among the stats Taylor listed, the Steelers are fifth in the NFL at 295.8 yards a game allowed - although Taylor mentioned the Steelers are eighth in the NFL (it's possible the clip was filmed before Monday Night's game between Denver and San Diego). They are third with 1,479 yards allowed, only having played five games. They fall to fifth overall in yards per game.
But they are 10th in rushing yards allowed at 95 yards a game and tied for 17th at 23 points allowed per game - a stat Taylor mentioned is "totally unacceptable."
"Two-and-three ain't acceptable right now, I understand that, I totally understand that," he said. "But right now they way this league is going, it's wide open. Still, regardless of how the 2-3 record look (sic), would we like for our record to be 4-1, or 4-2? Hell yeah."
Not that Taylor was speaking against Behind The Steel Curtain in particular, but he also acknowledged the amount of penalties called against him this season. Right before we ran a picture of a "fact" getting completed to Kenny Britt along the sideline near the end zone.
"Got a few calls. A few P.I. (pass interference) calls on I, myself, so I guess it's I, myself, fault. But I thought it was a team game."
It's a team game but they call penalties on individuals. Beside the point, though.
"As much as you all feel about us, think about us as players, how do we feel about our record? So, there you go. But stop talking, man, just to be talking. Start talking a little bit of facts.
"If you don't like me personally, when you see me, talk to me. Pull me over to the side and be like 'Ike, man, I really don't like you."
That drew a laugh from host/producer Jason LaBar, myself as well.
"Let's start acting like some grown men."
Let's not forget the women in the media too, Ike.
Taylor brings up a few fair points, and considering we've called both him and the Steelers defense out this year, we felt it was only fair to post his response. The Steelers defense, statistically, is doing a decent job, if you remove the record from the equation. It comes down to the double-digit points allowed in the fourth quarter in three losses. Taylor admitted the Steelers failed to close out their opponents in those three losses, but fairly points out all three of those games could have been won and the AFC is wide open.
To Taylor's credit, it takes an amazing amount of confidence and thick skin to be able to rebound after a tough beat on the field, particularly with the amount of criticism NFL players take (both fairly and unfairly). Taylor does seem to be taking at least some of this with a grain of salt, and in good humor.
Give it a watch, see for yourself, and weigh in below.
Ike Taylor Calls Out Pittsburgh Sports Media (via TribLIVEradio)