Ike Taylor Interceptions Are New Trick for Steelers' Old Dog: 2011 Pro Bowler?

Jake MarionContributor INovember 12, 2010

Steelers' Ike Taylor - we'll see the ball in his hands more often.
Steelers' Ike Taylor - we'll see the ball in his hands more often.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Knowledgeable Steeler fans love Ike Taylor.  He's a tough and sure tackler and a shutdown corner who rarely gets beaten and he's known for his intense offseason training.  "Face Me" Ike stays well conditioned, hits hard and rarely misses time from injury.  Ike is dependable defending against top wide receivers, pass rushing and on goal-line stands.  We Steeler fans love our dependable players— lunch-bucket guys who do their jobs.

Ike is also a leader, and a guy that the younger and upcoming CBs look up to.  William Gay trains with him and is getting better.  Keenan Lewis and Crezdon Butler are learning Dick LeBeau's defense by watching Ike.  They are also learning the attitude it takes to be a Steeler.

One weakness stat has kept him off the plane for Honolulu in previous seasons.  He had a tendency to drop passes when the opposing QB would send him one.  His INT stats as a result have been much lower.

As Steeler fans, we can forgive a few dropped balls because we treasure every one of his tackles.  We have protested that it's unfair to keep him out of the Pro Bowl over one stat, but NFL CBs are expected to intercept the ball when it's thrown at them, and tackles just aren't as glamorous.

Now it's 2010, and it looks like he went out and got some new hands in the offseason.  Drew Brees sent a pass in his direction; Ike got his hands on it...and held on!

Because of that play, Ike Taylor is now tied for the team lead in total INTs with Troy Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons, all the while making those sure tackles that make us love him so much.

Is the trend going to continue? Will Ike Taylor be recognized as a Pro Bowler?

Maybe and maybe not, but making those INTs will help the team get back to the Super Bowl.