I don’t care about the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl Rosters, mainly because I don’t watch the game, and also because half of these guys will back out before it’s even time to play. There’s also the hope that any and all Steelers players invited won’t be in it because they’re getting ready for another, bigger, far more important game (Brian Billick once called it Festivus Maximus).
That said, Maurkice Pouncey, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu were all worthy of their invites to the game, but I’m still a little surprised Ike Taylor didn’t get a call.
Outside of the offensive line, and maybe Bruce Arians, no other aspect of the 2010 Steelers has been more scrutinized than their secondary. I still argue it’s not anywhere near as bad as its reputation, and one of the reasons for that has been the play of Taylor.
There’s nothing eye-popping about his raw stats (two picks, one sack, 10 pass defenses). But that’s not always the sign of a poor cornerback play. The idea, of course, is to not allow receivers to catch the ball — or have the ball thrown their direction — and take them out of the play, something Taylor has done all season. The Steelers rarely use him to “shadow” the other teams top guy, and as of Week 15, Football Outsiders had the Steelers defense ranked in the top-five against both No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers, and I can’t imagine the job they did on Jimmy Clausen on Thursday night made those ratings drop.
I think we would all like to see him catch more passes that bounce off of his hands (or face mask), but other than that, there’s not much to complain about with Ike’s play this season.
A couple of questions to kick around on Wednesday…
1) Bigger Pro Bowl Snub: Ike Taylor or Mike Wallace?
2) If they can’t sign both, is Ike Taylor a more important signing than LaMarr Woodley?