On the playing field, Ike Taylor was known for his talent at breaking up plays in the secondary. Unfortunately, that talent did not involve a lot of interceptions, but Taylor got the job done as a keen, dynamic, reliable player. Now, he's back on the field, but in a different capacity: as a coaching intern.
His desire to stay on with the Steelers made news when he announced his retirement in April via Steelers.com, "I wasn't cut, I wasn't released. It was just my contract was up and it was time to retire... From the time I walked in the door until the time I left, this is where I want to be."
In January 2015, he described his role as a veteran player, and it is clear from his description that he already has many qualities of an effective coach: "I'm the coach, dad, player ole. I'm the big-brother role. I'm whatever you need off the field.... That's just the kind of bond we have." Even in January, he knew he wanted to stay with the Steelers in some capacity. He told Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "I can be in the office. I can be at the bottom and work my way up. I can be an assistant. I don't mind working my way from the bottom up."
Working from the bottom on up is exactly what Ike Taylor is doing now. He told Steelers.com exactly that: "I'm working from the bottom, trying to get to the top." Now that he is actually on board as an intern, he also says he puts in his two cents "once in a blue moon."
Taylor is being smart about his career, also according to his interview with Steelers.com. He also seems interested in broadcasting, already working on developing his skills during the NFL's Broadcast Bootcamp a few weeks ago. Coaching is more time-sensitive, he explained in the same Steelers.com interview. "If you just look at it from a coaching standpoint, this window is super small. I am able to come in right now as soon as I retire and sit in his staff meetings, understand how he works, understand what the coaches think, understand just how to get the team better. I thought I can do broadcasting, hopefully that window will be there, but this coaching window is a short window, so I might as well take advantage of it."
Beyond wins and losses, Ike Taylor wants to make an impact. He stated, "One of my goals is to help this organization out and this team outa s much as possible, but if I could just get one guy to progress on and off the field, from being a boy to a professional, and a boy to a man. I just want to get one guy and try to change his life."
Between his selfless attitude and hilarity on-air, Ike Taylor is giving more people a reason to channel Dwight Eisenhower's campaign slogan and say, "I like Ike."