With a few days off this weekend some players will be heading to see their college teams play, others getting some much needed rest and some just going away to visit family for a few days.
And for a few others, it will be all about family this weekend.
“I am just going to be a dad and a husband,” said safety Ryan Clark. “That is the only plan. I am going to go to cheer competitions, soccer game, and a football game. Other than that I don’t have anything planned.
“Your priorities change as you get older. I just want to relax, do some treatments, training and hang out with the babies when they got off of school.”
Ike Taylor is looking forward to seeing his son Ivan play t-ball this weekend.
“I am going to spend time with my son and the family,” said Taylor. “He is playing t-ball so I can see him play. I am very excited. I hear how good he is, he has good hand eye coordination and confidence. I can’t wait to see him.”
For Larry Foote, it’s going to be whatever his wife tells him that he does.
“It’s all family,” said Foote. “My wife makes those decisions. She started setting it up early this week. I will watch a little bit of football, sleep and watch football, but it’s about my wife and kids.”
Tags: Ike Taylor, Larry Foote, Ryan Clark
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On the offense hitting its stride with the no huddle in the last minutes of the first half:
“I just started calling my own plays. We went no huddle and up-tempo and we were throwing the ball. We moved it down the field 98 yards on that last drive.”
On the first touchdown pass to Antonio Brown:
“We had a slow start on offense. We just couldn’t move the ball. I knew that we would be okay and that we would move the ball. We got down there and he made a great play.”
On what he saw from the Bills defense:
“They are a good defense. They obviously have some high profile guys that are good players and they wreak havoc on you. It is not like we screwed because we just screwed up, they are good players that contributed to us screwing up.”
On the offense recovering from a slow start:
“A little adversity. It is all about how you respond to adversity. I think we did a good job rallying back towards the end of the half. Guys stepped up and that is what you need on the team.”
On scoring three touchdowns in the last two games:
“It is about being on the same page. I continue to work on my craft. I continue to get better. I continue to think about what the quarterback is thinking and get in his vision and get an opportunity.”
On his first touchdown tonight:
“It was all Ben. I came out of my break with a little stumble and Ben still put the ball where I could make a great catch. It was a great throw by Ben.”
On his second touchdown tonight:
“He threaded the needle and hit me right in stride. It was a great throw by Byron Leftwich.”
On what he saw from the defense tonight:
We had a slow start for sure, but we finally got in our groove. We knew it was going to be a secondary challenge. We know those boys like to throw the ball. And they have got some good receivers so we just wanted to take on the challenge and finish off strong. We did good for the most part, but we definitely have room for improvement.
On how the defense forced two turnovers tonight:
We feel like when we are on the same page, all eleven guys, we are hard to stop. Like I said earlier too, it took us a while to get started but once we finally settled in we were doing what we needed to do.
Tags: Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Ike Taylor
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The fight that broke out between cornerback Ike Taylor and wide receiver Antonio Brown at practice on Sunday, which turned into a skirmish after practice as well, is in the rearview mirror and they are moving forward like all families do when there are disagreements.
“Brothers get into it. We are family,” said Taylor. “That is how it is sometimes. Up here in Latrobe we are getting tired of seeing each other. We are two highly competitive guys and when you have the same blood type things are about to happen. We are cool.”
The two talked after practice Sunday, resolving things right away.
“In the heat of the moment, we let our emotions get the best of us,” said Brown. “But at the end of the day, that’s my brother not just on the field but also off the field. We have a great relationship with each other that goes far beyond just one incident. It’s training camp. We’re competing against each other every day. I think early in the practice, he was a little ticked off about something that happened, and maybe me trying to rip the ball out stemmed his mind to someone who ticked him off earlier.
“It was just the heat of the moment. We couldn’t say what stemmed from what. It’s camp. We’ve been here for about two weeks now and guys are getting aggressive, competing against each other every day. That’s stuff that happens at camp. What’s important is that we’re all on the same team and we go to bat for each other. I’ll root for him just as he’ll root for me.”
The two had breakfast at Caffé Davio on Pittsburgh’s South Side on their day off Monday and Brown will be the guest on Taylor’s radio show on Tuesday night.
“We ate breakfast yesterday,” said Brown. “We sat down for about an hour or two and had out our differences. We know how much we mean to this team, how much he is a leader, and me being the young guy, trying to be a leader. That’s not the way we want to look for the fans and our teammates. That’s not what our organization is about.”
Taylor knows now it’s all about moving forward.
“You just have to let it go,” said Taylor. “Me and my cousins always used to fight and we would shake it off after that. Don’t hold grudges. Anybody outside of the family is a different story.
“Boys will be boys. He is a highly competitive guy. I am a highly competitive guy. In the heat of the moment things happen like that. You get over it, get it off your chest and put it in the past.”
“We’re a band of brothers,” said Brown. “We all care about each other. We all want the best for each other. Nothing’s personal. It was just the heat of the moment in battle. We get past it and move on.”
While they might be going at each other in practice, this being the second time they fought, they have respect for each other.
“I have been saying since AB walked on the field he is special,” said Taylor. “A guy of that caliber, runs crisp routes, he is hungry, he has proven what he can do on the field, he can play special teams, punt returns, and score touchdowns as a receiver,” said Taylor running down Brown’s abilities. “I have watched him grow. I look at AB like a little brother of mine.”
* * *
Another player Taylor looks at as family is wide receiver Mike Wallace. Taylor has been staying in contact with Wallace, who has yet to sign his one-year tender, even hooking him up with his conditioning coach Tom Shaw in Orlando, Florida.
“Mike is working out, working hard,” said Taylor. “When he gets back we will welcome him with open arms. Mike is taking care of Mike right now. As long as he is working out, getting in football shape that is all that matters.
“I have been asking him for years to go see Coach Shaw and he finally took me up on it. I just can’t wait for him to get back.”
Taylor is allowing Wallace to stay at his Orlando home while working out with Shaw, hoping in the end it benefits the team.
“I don’t do that with too many people,” said Taylor. “I call him home team. We are from the same area. If I can do anything to help the team, the situation, I will do it.”
Tags: Ike Taylor
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The battle for the starting cornerback spot opposite Ike Taylor continues to roll on in training camp, with Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown all still in the mix. And for Allen, the competition is making him a better player.
“I don’t get into the battle thing of it,” said Allen. “If I can get better each day I go out, then we are getting better as a team. That is the approach I take. The competition, as long as I am working on everything, it will take care of itself.”
Allen said he has made major progress since last year at this time, partially because he is now healthy having battled a hamstring injury in camp last year and also from gaining experience on the field last season.
He also is benefitting from working with Taylor this offseason.
“I talked to him about football in general,” said Allen. “He is a guy I look up to as far as my development. I attribute a lot of my growth to him.”
Tags: Cortez Allen, Ike Taylor
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Don’t expect Ike Taylor, or anyone else in the Steelers secondary, to be talking about the defense’s number one ranking against the pass last year.
Instead, expect to hear lots of talk about how they can improve this year.
“Even though we were number one, still looking back on it the last couple of days, we still have some things we can work on and hopefully make us better,” said Taylor.
And how can the defense improve? Taylor said by each player doing their part and he admitted catching the ball is the area where he needs the most work.
“My hands man, catching the ball,” said Taylor. “That has been my issue since I have been here. Something has to shake. Something has to turn around. I don’t know when it’s going to turn around, but something has to turn around.”
Taylor was asked how many interceptions he would like to have this year, but wouldn’t put a number on it.
“I never predict,” said Taylor. “Maybe I need to start predicting. Throw one out there for me and that might help.”
Tags: Ike Taylor
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Vote on who you think the best fourth-round draft pick has been for the Steelers since 1970, and then go to the polls below and share your opinion too.
Tags: Aaron Smith, Dwight White, Earl Holmes, Ike Taylor, John Stallworth, NFL Draft, Steelers Draft
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Cornerback Ike Taylor didn’t address the media following the Steelers 29-23 overtime loss to the Broncos, but spoke for the first time on Wednesday from his home in Orlando, Florida during a regular show he does for TribLive Radio.
“Unfortunately, one of my worst games of the year came at the wrong time,” said Taylor. “I reflect back and think of me being highly upset after the game. It was a terrible game for sure. Will it be the last? I don’t know. But you have to shake it off.”
Taylor said he has watched the play and the pain is still there.
“Just knowing how hard we worked to get to that moment, then everything happened on one play,” said Taylor. “It hurt. It still hurts. For me, this is worse than losing the Super Bowl. I take a lot of pride in what I do.”
Taylor is already looking ahead to the 2012 season with plans for different results.
“You have to move on,” said Taylor. “For me, that’s getting back at it.”
Tags: Ike Taylor
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