Former Steelers CB Ike Taylor predicts ‘hell of a season’ for Sean Davis, lauds Tomlin
Taylor, a career Steeler who retired in 2014, was impressed by Sean Davis’ debut season in Pittsburgh. He said the same of Artie Burns’ rookie campaign and credited head coach Mike Tomlin as an expert on deploying cornerbacks, too. But speaking in Philadelphia ahead of the NFL draft about the future of the secondary that’s been seeking a transition since even before his career ended, Taylor was quickest to highlight the play of Davis.
The 2016 second-round pick will “have a hell of a season,” Taylor said.
He paused and nodded as he pointed out that the Steelers started a pair of rookies in their defensive backfield last season in Davis and Burns. The unit was largely full of veterans in Taylor’s 10 year career in Pittsburgh.
Yet Davis and Burns each started nine games in their rookie season. Burns snagged three interceptions and stacked up 52 solo tackles while Davis got one pick and 55 tackles himself, playing slot corner, then predominately strong safety.
Taylor noted that Burns had a slow start to the campaign – he began the season almost exclusively playing in a four-corners personnel – but progressed down the stretch of the team’s run to the AFC Championship.
Ike Taylor predicts big 2017 season for Steelers’ Sean Davis, dissects pre-snap reads
And Taylor said some of that success is owed to Tomlin, who was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive backs coach from from 2001-2005 and the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator in 2006.
“So that’s one thing about Coach T,” Taylor said. “He knows how to put his corners in good positions. He’s a corner guru of some sorts so I think those guys played good, as rookies.”
PennLive staff writer Daniel Gallen contributed reporting to this story — namely all the reporting involving talking with Ike Taylor in Philadelphia. Sports editor Burke Noel handled videography.
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