National Football League
Steelers CB Ike Taylor pleased with backups' play
National Football League

Steelers CB Ike Taylor pleased with backups' play

Published Aug. 20, 2011 10:48 p.m. ET

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has been pleased with the backups' performance while he's been out after left thumb surgery.

William Gay and Keenan Lewis started against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. First-year player Donovan Warren has had a good preseason.

Taylor said he was still on schedule to return for the season opener at Baltimore.

''I've been working hard to stay in shape,'' he said.


The Steelers usually keep 10 defensive backs with six cornerbacks and four safeties. The four safeties are Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ryan Mundy and Will Allen. The regular starting corners, Taylor and Bryant McFadden, along with top reserve Gay should be locks since they are the only ones with experience. But the Steelers also like Warren and third-round pick Curtis Brown.

Warren did not finish practice Saturday because of a tight hip flexor, coach Mike Tomlin said.

''I feel like I've tried to make the most of my opportunities, maximizing my reps and doing what the coaches have asked me to do,'' Warren said. ''I want to go out there and make plays to show the guys that I know this defense, that I'm not just a fast learner, but I also can play the game.

''So, I feel real comfortable in this defense now, the terminology, the chemistry with the guys. I've picked all that up already. So, that has allowed me to play a lot faster. All I have to do now is go out there and make some plays and get better each and every day.''

Brown had a sore hamstring nearly all of training camp, but he practiced the previous week and played considerably against the Eagles.

''There's an opportunity for me at corner, but I still have a lot of work to get in,'' Brown said. ''I missed a lot of time, obviously, but I just had to stay in the study room to learn my plays during that down time. Now, I'm back on the field and just trying to get my conditioning better so I can finish my practices.

''And it's starting to look good for me. So, I've just got to go out there and do what I can, contribute in any way that I can, like special teams or even reserve cornerback. But I don't care how, just as long as I can get on the field and contribute. Hopefully, I get even more time in this next game.''

Notes: Tomlin said that left tackles Jonathan Scott (right knee) and Marcus Gilbert (right knee) were not seriously hurt and should be back soon, while OLB Jason Worilds (quad) could not finish practice. ... OL Doug Legursky did not practice due to a lower-body injury. ... K Shaun Suisham recently had a laparoscopic procedure to remove his appendix and hoped it would allow a quick return. ... Tomlin had the Steelers on the field for about 2 hours, 45 minutes, and then he hustled to Hempfield High School in Westmoreland County to watch Terrelle Pryor's workout for Monday's supplemental draft.


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