Memories Of Randy Fuller And Ike Taylor
Randy Fuller: Randy Fuller had a very short NFL career, just six seasons. Half of those came with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but for just one moment, Fuller made a play for the ages. It was January 14, 1996, the location was the old Three Rivers Stadium. The teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. At stake was the American Football Conference championship and a trip to Super Bowl XXX.
Leading the game 20-16, Pittsburgh’s defense had allowed Jim Harbaugh and the Colts offense to get within striking distance of a winning touchdown with the game clock about to expire. Harbaugh tossed up a hail mary pass but Randy Fuller was one of the several Steelers in the end zone and it was Fuller who batted the ball away just enough to keep Aaron Bailey from catching what would have been a miracle play. Bailey was every so close to making the grab but Fuller became the hero instead.
With Pittsburgh, Randy Fuller only had four starts in 39 games. He made just one interception, and came to Pittsburgh after his rookie season in Denver. He would only play two more seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.
But for a few brief seconds in 1996, Randy Fuller placed his name in the lore of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"“I achieved a dream of playing in the Super Bowl by knocking down the final pass in the 1995 AFC championship game when the Steelers played the Colts” Randy Fuller"
Ike Taylor: Unfortunately in 2014 Ike Taylor broke his right forearm in the fifth game of the season and his campaign for the year was done. Taylor was ready to return in 2015, but as an unrestricted free agent, the Pittsburgh Steelers made it known he would not be re-signed. Instead of going to play elsewhere which was something Taylor said he would not be comfortable doing, he retired.
Ike Taylor had a long and solid career with the Black and Gold. 12 seasons in all. However, Taylor established a reputation of having “near” interceptions, balls that came into his hands but he could not hold onto. Despite that negative rap, Taylor was an outstanding tackler and was one of the league’s best in man-to-man coverage. A graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the fourth round pick of 2003 played on Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl championship teams of Super Bowl XL and XLIII.
Of 174 career games, Ike Taylor started in 140. In the 170 games, Taylor could only manage 14 interceptions. Of the 12 seasons played, twice he went the entire season without an interception, although last year can be discounted since he only played in five. However, five other seasons saw Taylor account for just one pick. Taylor had just one pick six in his career, but made 517 tackles with 119 assists for his career. Taylor also forced two fumbles while recovering five.
Taylor may not be considered up there with Mel Blount and Rod Woodson, but he will be remembered for being a steady and consistently solid cornerback. He was well liked among fans and it will be strange for Steelers Nation to not see #24 coming out of the tunnel at the start of the season for the first time in 12 years.
Next: Looking back at Chad Scott and Dewayne Washington