Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor joined Jim Rome on his radio show this afternoon to discuss his new four-year contract that he agreed to late Tuesday night. Taylor answered questions about why he chose to come back to Pittsburgh instead of signing elsewhere. Taylor ended by giving his thought on the James Harrison comments made about his teammates in the recent issue of Men\’s Journal.
Here is some of the audio below:
Below is the transcript of the interview:
Re: How are you feeling?
Taylor: I\’m good, can\’t complain.
Re: How does it feel to have that new contract?
Taylor: Man, I\’m very blessed, I\’m very fortunate, just to even have a third contract let alone stay with the same team, especially with this free agency going.
Re: The uncertainty and where you concerned being a free agent during the lockout.
Taylor: No there was never any concern. I feel like I didn\’t work hard until this point to not put myself in that situation. I was just waiting on the lockout to end. When it ended I knew it would be frenzy as far as like everybody trying to get deals done and negotiating, so I just sat back and looked at the best situation for me and my family. Again like I say, I am just glad to be a part of Steeler Nation again.
Re: Where you at all curious to see what was out there for you?
Taylor: Of course, you know, of course. Just putting yourself in this situation, we call it a recruiting visit, the guys I talk to. You know I was a walk-on for football, so I looked at this like a recruiting visit. Like I say, just fortunate to even be in this position, but I\’m glad everything got done and again I\’m just glad I can hopefully retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Re: How important was that to you to retire a Steeler?
Taylor: Very important just to think about it, but at the same time when you are in free agency you do not want to miss out on something major. At the same time I knew in my head just dealing with Pittsburgh they show alot of loyalty to their players. Usually guys finish contracts out and you have to do something very out of the ordinary for Mr. Rooney and Coach T and them to cut you. So I knew that for sure. That\’s what we talk about as a group, as players, that you know for sure when you come to Pittsburgh, you have an opportunity. Not saying it\’s guaranteed, but you have an opportunity, stability to fulfill your contract out.
Re: Do you think you took less money than if you had went somewhere else?
Taylor: I wouldn\’t say that. I weighed my options. I had few teams in the ballpark, so I feel like that was my best bet. You know just being in that city for 8 years and knowing everybody. One thing for sure, I know it\’s stability when you go back to Pittsburgh. There ain\’t no big major changes with coaches. You know Coach T is going to be there for a long time. Only two or three coaches have went in through that organization in the past 30 years. That\’s kind of unheard of in this day and age. So there\’s alot that I took into consideration. I have a little boy, he\’s up there, his mom is up there. Made some great friends in Pittsburgh. Of course Mr Rooney, you know I call him pops, Kevin Colbert, Coach LeBeau, James Farrior, Troy Polamalu and I can go on and on with reasons why I came back.
Re: The way you lay it out there, it\’s about alot of things not related to money?
Taylor: You\’ve got alot of guys that say all the time, I wish I was I was back. I\’m talking about Pittsburgh, I\’m talking about guys with major contracts, because by the end of the day if you got the money and you ain\’t happy, what good is the money. So that\’s how I kind a look at it. It would have had to have been like a major, major contract for me to leave Pittsburgh and I knew my range, I knew the possibilities, I knew coming with this cap being lower, the lowest it has been since 2008, I knew what time it was. So like I said, I prayed about and came up with it and Pittsburgh was my go.
Re: How nice will it be to get back to that facility to get some work done.
Taylor: Man, it\’s a good feeling, being at home. I didn\’t ever leave, so it\’s just like being at home. I went for a lockout vacation, but now I got to go back home.
Re: Will James Harrison have to make it right with Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall for the comments he made?
Man, we know James, AKA Deebo, we know what type of guy he is. We respect him as a man, as a player. One thing about that lockerrom, we are going to take care of each other and we police each other. Don\’t no outsiders got to police us, we police ourselves. So we know what we have to do. No harm intended, no love lost, we\’re one big family. Do families fuss and fight? Of course. Do they get back together? Yeah, that\’s something we got to do. Do we let any outsiders take control of our situation? No, not at all. That\’s one of the reasons why I\’m back in Pittsburgh.