Retired cornerback of the Pittsburgh Steelers Ike Taylor made a guest appearance on NFL Total Access yesterday. Conversing with host Dan Hellie, Taylor named the top three toughest players that he’s covered in his career. On-air.
The defensive back who announced his retirement two days ago unfortunately played 12 seasons in Pittsburgh and recorded 588 tackles along with 14 interceptions. His contributions helped the team to two Super Bowl-winning efforts (XL and XLIII), which is amazing considering that even hoisting the Lombardi trophy once is rarer than spotting Bigfoot. (Evidently some say they’ve spotted the beast.)
This isn’t about commemorating Ike, but the man who dons No. 89 in purple-and-black. The lethal, five-foot-nine, 195-pound Steve Smith has wreaked havoc on defenses since he crashed the party in 2001, and yes, wait -- let me breathe -- Taylor said:
"No. 1 of course man, my guy Steve Smith, man. Little ‘Mighty Mouse’ I call him. He feels like he needs to be 6’3" but he’s only 5’10" and some change, but he plays like a 6’3" guy. And of course he’s still doing what he’s doing out there, late age in his career."
Hellie asked in disbelief, "Steve Smith is your No. 1 overall?!"
Taylor didn’t want to hear the rest the question so he butted in, "All around, number one, Steve Smith, is my number one. All-around. "
"That is tremendous respect for Steve Smith."
D—n right. Thank you Helliie, for making Taylor repeat his words for the world to hear. No. 89 is the toughest player to cover. Not Calvin Johnson. Not Randy Moss.
Hopefully Taylor inked a deal with NFL Total Access as an analyst on his way out. Man knows what he’s talking about.