Many have speculated whether or not vetearn cornerback Ike Taylor could make a potential move to safety next season. According to a recent tweet from Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer-Reporter, Taylor appears to be interested in changing positions as well:
Ike Taylor has said he approached coaches to talk about move to safety next season. Would probably need to take a pay cut #Steelers
— Dale Lolley (@dlolleyor) December 29, 2013
Although I like Taylor’s reported selflessness regarding a potential position change, I think moving Taylor to safety would be downright ridiculous for two reasons:
1. The move could potentially take playing time away from Shamarko Thomas, Robert Golden and any other rookie who would be drafted by the team in 2014. Thomas would be forced to ride the pine for much of his second year in the league, and Golden would spend his third professional season gathering splinters as well.
The team will hopefully be ridding themselves of a slow safety with limited ball-skills in the form of Ryan Clark this spring. Why bench his younger and more athletic replacements for a soon-to-be 34-year old cornerback who has obviously lost a step or two in recent seasons and has limited ball-skills plus poor hands to boot?
2. Moving Taylor to safety would require the front office to address the cornerback position heavily during free agency and the draft. Already thin at cornerback to begin with, Pittsburgh cannot enter the 2014 campaign with Cortez Allen and William Gay as the only cornerbacks with any iota of experience on their roster.
While Allen has shown promise and Gay has been competent in sub-packages, the lack of experienced and talented depth at the cornerback is limited even with Taylor at the position. If Taylor shifts to safety, this team will need to double-dip at the cornerback position in the 2014 NFL Draft. If they elect not to do that, then they had better be extremely active in free agency.
Not known for taking cornerbacks early during the draft process, the Steelers could be in some serious trouble if they take Taylor out of the mix at that particular spot.
In my own humble opinion, I think Taylor will be back next fall to play the final season of his current contract.
Pittsburgh’s issues with experienced depth at cornerback should allow him to start one final season at the position. Plus it would be silly for the coaching staff not to give Shamarko Thomas and Robert Golden chances to replace Clark at the free safety spot. Heck, veteran Will Allen could even be brought back for one more year if he can be signed on the cheap.
While I love Taylor’s reported desire to switch positions, that type of move would be unnecessary for Pittsburgh’s brass to make when they have numbers of other more pressing issues to deal with over the coming months.
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