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Ike Taylor: Moving one step closer to game day

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Ike Taylor
By Ike Taylor
Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, 11:50 p.m.

Hey readers!

Thanks for all of your great feedback on last week's column. I'm really excited to get your thoughts and opinions throughout the season. Don't forget to tell your friends to read every week for the latest inside scoop on the Steelers.

I know you all must want to know what's going on at camp and how we are feeling now that we have two weeks under our belts out here. I'll tell you that there is some really exciting stuff going on out here. Players are really stepping up, and I'm seeing a lot of incredible progress from both the veterans and the younger guys. I'm really excited for what this upcoming season will bring. I have two Super Bowl rings with this organization, and I would love to make that three this year.

During the first week of camp, a lot of the younger guys come out with wide eyes, not knowing what to expect, with a blend of excitement and nerves keeping them on their toes. Our veterans do an excellent job of making everyone feel comfortable and making sure that everyone is a part of the family.

Typically by the second week we are all pretty comfortable with each other, with the playbook and workload out here. I can tell that the offense and defense are already getting comfortable playing with each other and now we are working on consistency. Everything starts to come together during the second week, but that is not to say that it's easy. In fact, week two is when we are really put to the test.

Week two is a transition week for us; I like to compare it to a work week Wednesday — a hump day, if you will. We have all put ourselves to the test physically, pushing our limits beyond your imagination and exercising our physical toughness. Our bodies are exhausted, and now it's time to push even harder. This week is all about mental toughness. You have to be mentally tough to get over the hump. Once we get past the second week of training camp, it's all downhill and one step closer to game day.

I have to say, there is an extra element out here that helps us get over the hump and keep pushing ourselves: the fans. You all have to know how great it feels to have you out here pushing for us and cheering. We know that without you guys there is no us, and it gets us pumped up for the season when you are there watching us and cheering us on.

I try to spend some time with you all when you come out and sign some autographs to show my appreciation, but I know that doesn't express how truly grateful I am for you all.

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is a contributor for Trib Total Media. His column appears Fridays. He also hosts a talk show Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. on TribLiveRadio.

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