During his 12 seasons in the league Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has been asked to cover a multitude of great wide receivers, but when asked Wednesday by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to name the best he’s ever faced, the veteran didn’t hesitate in naming one of his teammates.
“Antonio Brown in practice,” said Taylor. “Even when he was on the practice squad, when he was just beginning to understand NFL football, he made games for me easy, because practices were hard.”
Brown, who was never on the Steelers practice squad by the way, is probably the best wide receiver that several cornerbacks currently playing in the league have faced as well. When he was asked during a Wednesday interview on the SVP & Russillo Show to describe what he credits for him leading the league this past season in both receptions and receiving yardage, Brown’s answer wasn’t overly surprising.
“You’ve got to continue to work on the little things,” said Brown. “Obviously having a great quarterback plays a factor. The offensive line and running game are picking up so a lot more opportunities to get the ball. But I’m just finding ways to fine-tune my game and be better and better every year.”
So, who is the best wide receiver that Taylor has faced that doesn’t play on his own team? Once again he didn’t hesitate when asked that very question Wednesday by Florio.
“Steve Smith,” said Taylor. “I’ve been saying this for the longest. A healthy Steve Smith is like a healthy Fred Taylor. Fred Taylor in his prime was highly underrated. You play against Fred Taylor, he’s big, he’s strong and he’s fast. The same way with Steve Smith.”
Taylor also went on to say that the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver plays bigger than his size and that he’s still doing it at a high level.
Taylor is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent come March and while he’s been part of two Super Bowl winning teams and played in three total, there’s still one think he’d like to accomplish in the NFL if given the opportunity to play a few more seasons.
“Getting to the Pro Bowl was one of my goals, but since my hands are like feet, that was kind of hard to do,” said Taylor. “But if you want to talk about playing some of the best receivers at some point and time at the prime of my career, that’s what I did. If you want to talk about being a lockdown corner, that’s what I was. Coach [Dick] LeBeau said it best, ‘I’d rather be a has been than a never was.'”