Former Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor described how the Pittsburgh defense set out to hit the soul out of their opponents.
Why are the Pittsburgh Steelers always so ferocious on defense? It’s a mindset thing, according to former Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor.
During his 12-year career with the team, Taylor learned a thing or two about what it takes to make it on one of those defenses. It’s intense.
“My linebackers brainwashed mind,” Taylor said on the Lights Out Podcast with Shawne Merriman. “My linebackers felt knocking someone out was better than catching the interception. I need you to take the soul out of another grown man. That was the motto in the locker room.
“If you play linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, your whole mindset is run through a brick wall and not think twice about it. We loved coming to the sideline and saying, ‘I got a body.’ That was the whole thing in Pittsburgh when I was playing, put a body on the resume.”
It says something about the Steelers’ defense in Taylor’s era that cornerbacks were embracing that same mindset.
Taking souls is some serious business and the Steelers have a highlight reel of hits to prove it.
Ike Taylor and the Steelers set the tone on defense
The Steelers drafted Taylor in 2003 in the fourth round out of Louisiana. It took him two seasons to break into the starting lineup, but once he got there, he didn’t relinquish his place. He started 140 games in 12 seasons.
Along the way, Taylor had 14 career interceptions and 134 pass breakups. That ranks 23rd in NFL history, according to Pro Football Reference.
During the 2005 season, Taylor had two postseason interceptions as the Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl. He was also part of Pittsburgh’s 2008 championship season.