Last updated: February 16. 2013 6:03PM - 124 Views

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PITTSBURGH — Ike Taylor stuck his hands out and reached for the ball.


Normally, it leads to an incompletion — and more than a little frustration for the Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback.


This time, it led to a touchdown.


Taylor's 50-yard interception return for a score highlighted Pittsburgh's 26-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, a play Taylor insists won't be an anomaly in his 10th season.


"I've been working on my hands," Taylor said.


He didn't really have a choice.


Taylor has been a fixture in the Steelers secondary over the last decade, his physical style of play making him one of the most intimidating — not to mention durable — cornerbacks in the league. Despite missing only three games in nine seasons, Taylor has just 13 career interceptions, the main reason he believes he's is still searching for his first Pro Bowl selection.


It's the only significant hole in a resume that includes a pair of Super Bowl rings, one Taylor would love to finally fill while serving as the anchor on a defense that expects to be one of the best in the NFL yet again.


"Yeah, you want to be recognized," Taylor said. "Really, though, all I can do is what I can do."


And what Taylor thinks he can do — finally — is hold onto the ball. His inability to come up with even the easiest of interceptions has become somewhat of a running joke in the locker room, where Taylor's teammates good-naturedly feigned surprise after just the second pick six of his career.


Though it's just the preseason, Taylor wasn't about to minimize the importance of the play. He didn't pick off just anybody, he was the first NFL player to intercept Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck. And he did it while covering five-time Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne.


Not exactly no-names.


Taylor's theft was textbook. He stuck with Wayne when the receiver cut toward the sideline then jumped in front Luck's underthrown pass before sprinting for the score.


"Coach Dick LeBeau always tells you to stay close to the receiver, and when the ball comes your way you have to catch the ball," Taylor said. "I turned around and the ball was right there. I just had to make sure I caught it."


Something Taylor and the rest of his teammates failed to do with any regularity in 2011. While the Steelers (No. 7 in the AP Pro32) finished first in the league in yards allowed, they were last in takeaways, producing 15 turnovers. Taylor had two of Pittsburgh's 11 interceptions, but the lasting image of the season may be a 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild-card round, a game that ended with Taylor and safety Ryan Mundy fruitlessly chasing Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas into the end zone on an 80-yard catch-and-run.


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