Steelers CB Taylor weighs in on Denver loss
Ike Taylor still feels the pain of the AFC wild-card loss to Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The Steelers' high-priced, shutdown cornerback can't dismiss the image of Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas catching a Tim Tebow pass, then sprinting toward the end zone on the first play from scrimmage in overtime Sunday.
Taylor has watched the play time and again. It's an inescapable nightmare.
"Unfortunately, one of my worst games of the year came at the wrong time," he said Wednesday on TribLive Radio. "I reflect back and think of me being highly upset after the game."
Taylor shunned reporters afterward, in part, because he didn't want to make excuses, he said.
"It was a terrible game, for sure," he said. "Will it be the last• I don't know. But you have to shake it off."
Taylor has been the target of criticism and finger-pointing. Thomas finished with seven receptions for a 204 yards — including an 80-yard touchdown that ousted the Steelers from the postseason.
"Just knowing how hard we worked to get to that moment, then everything happened on one play," Taylor said. "It hurt. It still hurts.
"But you have to move on. For me, that's getting back at it."
Taylor has returned to his Orlando, Fla., home to prepare for next season, bitterly disappointed that one of his best seasons didn't net a single playoff victory.
"This was probably the second-best season I've had since I started in 2005," he said. "I say that because people have noticed more of what I do. I told myself I was going to take some time off, but I'm back in the gym.
"As a professional, you never want to go out like that. But you know there are going to be days like that. You don't know when it's coming. For the most part, it happens.
"I remember the play, but it happened so fast, it's like '(Wow), the season is over.' "
Taylor, who signed a four-year contract prior to training camp, said the loss to the heavy-underdog Broncos was as painful as any he has experienced during his nine-year career.
"For me, this is worse than losing the Super Bowl," Taylor said. "I take a lot of pride in what I do. As bad as I feel, I have great people around me. Even on Twitter, I've been getting lot of support."
Taylor rejected suggestions that the lack of a pass rush enabled Tebow to throw for a career-high 316 yards and average more than 30 yards per completion. But it put added pressure on Taylor and William Gay.
"If you don't get Tim on the ground, he's going to make his plays," Taylor said. "He is a running back who can throw the ball. He did what he had to do to help his team win the game.
"We didn't play our best game on defense. They played good enough to beat us."
Taylor refused to criticize defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who called for a scheme on the game-winning play that put 10 defenders near the line of scrimmage. As a result, safety Ryan Mundy, who replaced Ryan Clark in the starting lineup, wasn't in position to prevent the big play.
"Whatever they call, I'll roll with it," Taylor said. "I would never make an excuse. I'm behind Coach LeBeau all the way."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Steelers notebook: Defense tasked with stopping Graham
- Steelers realize that Brees-led Saints are always dangerous
- Polamalu, Taylor among Steelers starters returning for Sunday’s game vs. Saints
- Steelers notebook: Linebackers on the spot against Saints offense
- Play of nose tackles could have impact on Steelers’ stretch run
- Steelers’ Wheaton embraces expanding role
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth