Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has started seven of his ten years in the NFL on a routinely dominant defense. He’s been an AFC Champion three times this decade. He’s been a Super Bowl Champion twice this decade. In short, Taylor has been an intricate part of the Steelers success since 2003. He knows the “standard is the standard.” He also knows that after the Steelers went 8-8 in 2012 after starting 6-3, that going 8-8 again won’t sit well from the front office on down.
As a die-hard member of Steeler Nation, I have to agree with Taylor’s sentiment here. With so much success in recent memory, fans and analysts alike have come to expect the Steelers to be in the mix for a title year in and year out. It’s been awhile since the team underwent the type of roster overhaul that it did this off-season. In 2013, the team will be counting on a host of young guys to step up on both sides of the ball, although veterans like Taylor, Ben Roethlisberger, and Troy Polamalu will still be there to steer the ship.
The Steelers have responded with playoff appearances the next season each time they missed the playoffs the previous season this decade. We will see if that trend continues, because if it doesn’t, expect an even bigger shake up in 2014.