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Ike Taylor

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Ike Taylor
Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

Hey readers!

Ike Taylor here, reporting to you from Steelers training camp. This season I will be giving all of you readers my perspective on the team, the season and what's going on around the league. With that said, let's talk offseason and training camp.

Anyone who knows me or has played with me knows that I don't take days off. I work hard and do whatever it takes to stay in top physical shape. So this offseason I maintained an intense training regimen and also made sure to spend some time with the family. I convinced my mom and sister to let me watch after my nieces and nephews for a week, which proved to be an intensive mental exercise of its own kind. Let's just say I arrived at camp mentally and physically prepared.

Speaking about training camp arrivals, how many of you heard how Brett Keisel arrived? Let's just say it had to do with a huge orange Kubota tractor; no, I'm not joking, Google it. That really set the tone for the camp. We all come here knowing that it's going to be tough and grueling and one of the toughest physical and mental challenges you can imagine, but we try to make the best of it.

We all stay in dorms, which are as bad as you might think. We do have the option to put TVs and refrigerators and different kinds of beds in our rooms. Like I said, we just make the most of it. We know we are here to work and work hard, and I think the entire camp experience is what brings us together as a team.

The weather has been the craziest part about camp. We'll get a big storm right before practice and then it will stop just as soon as the whistle blows to start practice. The whistle blows to end practice, and here comes the storm again. It's crazy; I guess it could be because we are our own perfect storm out there on the field so Mother Nature can let up while we are out there.

Now I have never been to another camp before — been a Steeler since I came into the league 10 years ago — but I'm willing to bet that there is nothing like the intensity of a Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. The competition is fierce, and we leave it all out there on the field. From healthy battles going on between the wide receivers and defensive backs, to relentless linemen who will stop at nothing to get better and prove that they belong here in Pittsburgh. The team is looking great, and we are challenging each other more and more each day and really noticing the young players grow right before our eyes.

Every year at camp, I sit and reflect on what an incredible opportunity I have been given, and what a blessing it is to be a part of this organization. I am really excited to see what this team will bring to the 2012 NFL season.

Don't forget to check back every Friday throughout the season, and you can keep up with me on Twitter during the week at @Ike_SwagginU. I'll make sure to post training camp photos 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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