Ike Taylor saying positive things about his Pittsburgh Steelers certainly isn’t going to lead the topic of conversation, but there’s never a dull moment when asked to give his opinion. That’s what he did the other day on NFL Network where he ranked the top three hardest hitting secondaries.
After ranking the Seattle Seahawks third and Denver Broncos second, Ike picked the Steelers in the top spot.
“Sean Davis, this guy from Maryland. This is another guy who don’t mind putting his face in the fan. Along with Mike Mitchell. I can’t tell you how many times this guy got a fine. Them boys are going to control the secondary.”
Though Davis has yet to take an NFL snap, there’s no question about the type of hitter he is coming out of college. A style very reminiscent of Ryan Clark. And Mitchell has proven he is one of the hardest hitting safeties in the league. This shot into Marvin Jones’ sternum was one of the top ones from 2015.
Mitchell has also learned to play clean, that hit a perfect example, lowering his tackling angle to avoid his helmet.
Ike’s assessment is certainly glowing and in reality, probably not accurate. Though we know Davis can hit, he’s never even made an NFL tackle, and Mitchell is the only other player whose hitting capability is feared league-wide. William Gay can deliver a pop, and is a reliable tackler, but isn’t on Mitchell’s level.
The rivalries the Steelers have created also build up the intensity. Baltimore and last year, Cincinnati meetings took things to another level. Taylor touched on that, talking about his matchups with Steve Smith. And surprisingly, it wasn’t the trash-talk fest you’d expect between those two hyper-competitors.
“Steve Smith is my guy. I felt like Steve Smith brought that intensity, regardless of his size….him and I was cool. We were calm….for him and I, it wasn’t like a peace treaty, but it was a mutual respect.”
Smith, if you remember, has said Mitchell is “one of the people I will hunt when I come back for my final season.”