Ike Taylor played in the NFL for 12 seasons, from 2003 to 2014. He played in three Super Bowls, won two of them and faced some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
But two quarterbacks, unsurprisingly, were a cut above the rest.
“Man, Tom, Peyton – Tom and Peyton, those two guys, they’re just different,” Taylor said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “We can say Peyton has kind of fallen off, but he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s one of those regular-season guys that you really didn’t want to face. Postseason could be a different story, but when you want to talk about Tom Brady and the weapons he (had) – just think about it. You really can’t name a first-round receiver that he’s had except for Randy Moss – and you saw what he did with a first-round receiver in Randy Moss. They set all kinds of records.
“But when you got a guy who’s down to his tight ends and still giving his team opportunities to win the ball game, it says a lot,” Taylor continued. “Usually when you think of Tom, you think of a diva kind of quarterback. These last couple of games, he’s been getting hit a lot and he’s been getting up and he’s been playing the next play. He hasn’t been whining. He’s been getting up. That shows me how bad this guy wants to win. So Tom Brady, for sure, it looks like he’s gotten better in the pocket, his delivery has always been crucial, and man, he’s doing a lot with less.”
The Patriots (10-2) have lost back-to-back games, but Brady, at 38, has been arguably the best quarterback in football this season. He has 34 touchdowns (31 pass, three rush) to just six interceptions.
Taylor, 35, understands how impressive it is to be so productive this late in your career.
“Father Time always catch up with you,” he said. “People expected me to play 17, 20 years just because of my work ethic and what I put into the game in the offseason. But you got to understand: When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go – and a lot of people can’t figure that out. I’d rather get out a couple of years early than to get out two years late. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”
Taylor has greatly enjoyed his retirement. In fact, he recently married a woman he had been with for 12 years, this after promising her for years that they would get married as soon as he retired.
“I kept my word,” Taylor said. “I couldn’t find a better woman. Somebody just dealing with your B.S., somebody just dealing with the ups and downs. I mean, the things I done put her through, the things I done went through on and off the field – she never strayed. She held it down for me emotionally and mentally. So I’m like, man, I need to reciprocate and do the same thing back.
“It’s hard, man,” Taylor continued. “You see all her girlfriends – they’re getting married and having kids, so she’s the last. And I’m saying to myself in my head, ‘We’re going to last longer than them.’ This ain’t just no fly-by-night (operation). We done been through adversity. A lot of your friends ain’t been through adversity. It’s easy to get married right now and fall in love right now (before adversity comes). We done been through all that. So now we sun-setting. For the rest of our lives, we sun-setting. And once she understood that, it was a wrap.”