This time least year, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor was a recent retiree trying to figure out what to do with his life. One short year since his career as a professional football player ended, Taylor has a thriving career as an analyst for NFL.com.
Before locking down a deal with NFL.com, Taylor interned as a coach with his former team, helping out with preseason activities and camps. At the time, he was open to the possibility of a coaching career, telling 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."
Taylor was prepared for years of work to become a coach, but given his recent success with NFL.com, it is evident he was put on the fast-track to success as an analyst. The same summer he worked as an intern with the Steelers, he also explored a career in media, working with NFL Network, NFL films, and on sports radio.
An affable personality and depth of knowledge has made Taylor very successful. His mock drafts appear alongside those of seasoned veterans Charlie Casserly and Lance Zierlein and his analysis is cited by sportswriters from a variety of publications.
Though Taylor had trouble following through on interceptions, he was a huge asset to the Steelers secondary, breaking up countless plays and providing a threat to opposing wide receivers. Taylor played his entire career as a Steeler, drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. He had 636 tackles, 14 interceptions, and two Super Bowl championships in his career.