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Ike Taylor: 'Like that was the whole thing in Pittsburgh when I was playing, put a body on a resume'

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor was on Shawn Merriman's "Lights Out Podcast" earlier this week and talked about MMA/boxing, his love for cigars and the mentality the Steelers defense carried when he was on the team.

The mentality that the Steelers defense had back in the mid-2000s was smashmouth, blue-collar and merciless.

"My linebackers brainwashed me," Taylor said about playing on the Steelers defense. "My linebackers felt knocking somebody out was better than catching an interception. I need you to take the soul out another grown man. Like, that was the motto in the locker room. If you play linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers your whole mindset is run through a brick wall and not think twice about it. Like, we loved coming to the sideline and saying, 'I got a body.' Yeah, I got one. Like that was the whole thing in Pittsburgh when I was playing, put a body on a resume."

In Week 17 of the 2009 season against the Dolphins, Taylor knocked out quarterback Pat White when he was scrambling for a first down. There was no penalty called on the play and Taylor wasn't fined for the vicious hit. There was helmet-to-helmet contact on the play, but for sure if that hit happened in 2021, Taylor would have been penalized and heavily fined.

Ryan Clark was penalized for unnecessary roughness for his hit that knocked out Willis McGahee in the 2008 AFC Championship Game, but he wasn't fined. It just shows how much the game has changed since the mid-to-late 2000s.

The change started in Week 6 of the 2010 season when there were several crushing hits in the league, two of which came from James Harrison against the Browns -- one on Josh Cribbs and the other on Mohamed Massaquoi. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league then started to really enforce rules to make the game safer, and Harrison was the poster boy of it all. Harrison was fined $75,000 for his hit on Cribbs but wasn't fined for his hit on Massaquoi as it was deemed not illegal. Harrison wasn't penalized for either hit in the game.

With the rule changes and how the game is played today, will probably never see a defense as vicious as the Steelers defense of the mid-to-late 2000s again.

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