Steelers coach Mike Tomlin hints at the obvious, but usually nothing more than that.
Heading into his team's Week 8 game at the Oakland Raiders, one of the more obvious things even a casual observer can see is the explosive nature, as well as the frequency of usage, of Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore.
Therefore, Tomlin is hinting at the obvious suggestion of having his best cornerback, Ike Taylor, cover Moore exclusively in this game.
"(Moore is) probably going to exclusively see Ike Taylor" Tomlin told the Steelers web site. "That’s one of the challenges Ike relishes.
Taylor's been up to the challenge by and large this season. While the Steelers' defense prides itself on removing big plays from an opposing passing game, Taylor has been beat on two pass plays that went for 41 yards each - once in a Week 3 loss to Chicago and the other last week against Baltimore.
Taylor had outstanding coverage on both plays, but they were outstanding throws by Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco, respectively, and great catches by Brandon Marshall and Torrey Smith.
However, Smith had two catches for 20 yards outside of the big play, and Marshall had four catches for 11 yards without his long catch. Neither scored a touchdown in those games.
The Steelers' defense has only given up one touchdown in its last nine quarters - Flacco hit tight end Dallas Clark for a one-yard score in the fourth quarter last week. They kept the Jets out of the end zone in Week 6.
Moore is averaging 16 yards a catch and seven targets a game - which is by far the highest rate on the team. With first-year starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor looking largely Moore's way, Taylor is in for an active day.
He's done just fine in that role so far this season.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers vs. Raiders Week 8 2013: Game Day updates, news and info
- The Standard is The Standard: Steelers pregame podcast episode 7
- Steelers vs. Raiders match-ups: Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau vs. Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor
- 5 reasons the Steelers will beat the Raiders in Week 8
- Corner or nickel, peak or valley, Steelers Cortez Allen is playing for what's on the front of his jersey