The Pittsburgh Steelers have finished in the top five in total defense the past five seasons, but with seven players who are at least 31 years old, questions linger about how long the group will remain elite.
After allowing only 219 total yards to the New York Jets in its Week 2 victory, including holding quarterback Mark Sanchez to 6-of-22 passing for 58 yards after the opening drive, without injured stars James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh seemed to have quelled any of those questions.
Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, 32, told “NFL AM” on Wednesday morning the Steelers don’t worry about the “old” label.
“We don’t pay no mind,” said Taylor, who has spent his entire 10-year pro career in Pittsburgh. “We look at it kind of like motivation. They say we’re old; age really doesn’t matter to some people. You can say some guys losing his step. I can understand because age comes with the territory, especially playing in the NFL. We got some prideful men on this group. We all know when everyone is on the same page we are tough to beat.”
The Steelers rank seventh in total defense and fifth against the pass without being at full strength in either of the first two weeks.
Taylor, the two-time Super Bowl champion, has never made a Pro Bowl, despite being a stalwart of one of the top defenses for the past decade.
He told “NFL AM” analyst and former Pro Bowl cornerback Eric Davis he blames his stone hands for keeping from a trip to Hawaii.
“It’s all about picks man and you know my hands been suspect,” he said. “I just want to understand: What do you call a shutdown corner? I understand the picks and everything, but hell, if I’m doing my job give me some kind of credit, just a little bit.”