We still have light:** Ike Taylor is used to criticism. It comes with the territory being an NFL cornerback. You are exposed on every play, always the last line of defense and normally the one that hears it the loudest when things go wrong, whether it's your fault or not.
Right now he is hearing it, not just aimed at him, but his teammates, coaches, pretty much everyone around him. He knows it's a result of the team's 2-6 record. He understands that. But he doesn't let it drag him down.
"For me, I get it all of the time. I get it all of the time," said Taylor. "That is why out of every negative thing I try to find something positive about it. As bad as it is right now you have to find the positives in it. I am sure a lot of people don't want to hear about anything positive, because there is a lot of negativity going on in general with us being 2-6. But us as a group, as a team, as an individual you still have to find positives. We still have an opportunity, believe it or not. We just have to go out and take it. Nobody will give it to us."
Taylor knows this team has the talent to turn things around. And he knows that yes, there still is a chance to salvage the season as long as everyone keeps giving the effort they have been. There can't be any letdowns, mistakes have to be eliminated, but if the effort is there, the second half of the season can definitely produce different results.
"All I can do as a veteran is show my young guys we still have a job to do," said Taylor. "I am going to still go out and practice, study, bust my butt and I am going to show that towards my team. I want them to know whether we win or lose, this dude is still giving 110 percent.
"There is no lack of effort on this team. You give effort for your teammates or you wouldn't be a professional. Lack of effort isn't an issue, even though it might seem like that. I think everybody gives it their all when they are on the field. Frustrated, I can see that a lot but not a lack of effort."
Taylor, who didn't practice on Wednesday while still dealing with the effects of the concussion suffered against the Patriots, knows those on the outside might be ready to write this team off for the season, but he isn't even close to that.
"It's a tough situation in general, being 2-6 at this point," said Taylor. "I think this organization is built on people doubting us and we are always coming out. We still have light. The light might look dim from the outside looking in, but it's going to take us all working together."
He paused for a moment, and then made it clear.
"We still have light," repeated Taylor. "We still have light. We still have light."
In LeBeau's corner: Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has had his detractors from outside of the Steelers organization after the defense gave up a record 55 points and 610 yards against the Patriots. But none of those detractors are the men in the locker room who play for him.
They have respect, reverence and most importantly confidence in LeBeau.
"Coach LeBeau knows what he has, we know what he has," said Taylor. "They blame somebody when it isn't going good. They are always going to blame somebody. People will say what they want to say anyway so you just have to deal with it. Our confidence in him isn't going anywhere.
"I am going to ride with Coach LeBeau until my wheels come off."