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Thread: Steelers take CB Justin Lane in the 3rd

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    He's had a couple of years. If he doesn't show anything more than he has so far, we need to cut him this summer and give someone else a chance.
    I'm glad you weren't around when James Harrison was trying to make the team.

  2. #102
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    Monday, Jun 03, 2019 07:00 AM

    Layne is learning the ropes


    Teresa Varley

    Steelers.com


    It didn’t take long for the paint brush to come out at the home of Justin Layne when he got the call that he was selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.


    Before he even made it to Pittsburgh for the team’s Draft Party, his dad, Dre Layne, was already buying paint. Lots of paint. Black and gold paint. And it was used to cover two colors that a Steelers fan wouldn’t have in their home, brown and orange.


    Layne grew up a Browns fan, something natural for a kid from Cleveland, Ohio. But his dad, let’s just say he was a Browns fanatic. So much so that he painted his bathroom brown and orange, with the Browns stripe, and even had a dog bone on the bathroom sink. That quickly changed the minute the Steelers selected Layne and the colors of choice were black and gold and a Steelers logo and Terrible Towel were a must in the bathroom.


    “I was raised a Browns fan,” said Layne. “I can’t say I’m a diehard like my father. My father is a diehard fan. He had the bathroom painted, everything. It had orange and white stripes. We’ve had pictures in there. Statues in there. He was a diehard fan.


    “But he’s done with it. The basement. It’s a man cave type of thing, so he’s got pictures in there. He changed that. He changed it all to the Steelers.”


    There is no doubt Layne’s dad had hoped his son would be drafted by the Browns. After all, who wouldn’t want their kid to go to the team they cheered for, the hometown team. But once the Steelers selected the cornerback from Michigan State, it didn’t matter if they were one of the Browns biggest rivals or not, they were now his team.


    “He was just happy. That’s all I can explain,” said Layne. “He was a little emotional, but he was good. I got a little emotional. I’m just thankful for the opportunity. There were some tears.


    “I talk to him every day about it now. He asks so many questions. I try to give him little details. He doesn’t even talk about the Browns anymore.”


    As crazy as it may seem, Layne actually had a feeling that he would be going to the Steelers, that Pittsburgh would be his new home. Why he felt that way, he really has no idea. But his feeling was right on point.


    “I literally had a feeling the entire time,” said Layne, who did say the Steelers were his favorite team on Madden. “Ever since I went through all this pre-draft stuff, I had a feeling and I don’t know why. Through high school and college, somehow I always ended up at the rival school. This time it was the rival team.


    “When I came on my pre-draft visit, it was great. I loved it here. That’s another reason why I wanted to come here. I love it all here. Everybody is just so cool and cordial, so it’s great out here. Everybody is just cool here, felt like family. It’s a good environment, a good vibe.”


    That vibe has gone to the next level now that Layne is taking part in the team’s OTAs, learning the ropes from the veterans and seeing how business is done.


    “It’s been great,” said Layne. “Everybody is unselfish, trying to help each other. Help the younger guys. If I do something wrong, my eyes are in the wrong place, they will pull me aside. My eyes are wide open.


    “There is something I am learning every day. A lot of checks, reads. It’s not just one call. It could be three different calls in one play. It’s tough to adapt but I am learning every day. I am trying to get in shape and learn the plays.


    “I feel like I am getting there. As soon as I have something down pat we have something else. That is just part of the game. I still have a long way to go, but I think I am doing pretty well so far.”


    Like most rookies one of the biggest adjustments Layne has to make is not thinking so much. Yes, he wants to know what he is doing, but it’s about reacting rather than thinking and that takes time.


    “I find myself doing that a lot,” said Layne. “I think once I buckle down a little bit I will play a lot faster. It’s still a learning process.


    “Each day I just have to go back home and study. You can’t just get one install and expect to learn it. You have to be a student of the game.”


    https://www.steelers.com/news/layne-is-learning-the-ropes
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  3. #103
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    Justin Layne Trying To ‘Keep Making Plays’ After Getting ‘A Couple Of Picks’ In OTAs

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 4, 2019

    One of the things that the Pittsburgh Steelers talked about leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft was the possibility of shifting their focus in their evaluations of the cornerback position, focusing less on players who are stout defenders against the run—less of necessity in man coverage—and more on those who know how to take the ball away.

    Then they drafted Justin Layne in the third round, how, despite previously having been a wide receiver, only intercepted three passes during his three-year college career, one each season. He did record a lot of passes defensed, particularly in his final season, but three interceptions is not the resume of a ballhawk.

    In spite of that, he and his college coaches came to his defense after the draft in reference to his ability to record interceptions. His position coach at Michigan State said that “there’s no doubt that the ball skills are there and he can make plays, and he definitely had some of the better hands on the team. A lot of times, they didn’t throw his way, so all that plays a factor in getting a bunch of interceptions and all that type of stuff, too”.

    Defensive assistant Teryl Austin said after they drafted him that he is “comfortable with his ball skills after watching him play and talking to people and being at his workout. And I’m comfortable with where he is and it’s just a matter of turning that into production at this level”.

    So perhaps it’s a positive sign that he has already gotten a couple of interceptions for himself—though not yet from Ben Roethlisberger, he said—during the first two weeks of OTA practices. As we already know, practice picks don’t necessarily translate to getting them in meaningful snaps, but it’s better to record them than not.

    “I had a couple of picks”, he told reporters following one recent OTA session, from the team’s website. “I made a couple of plays, got my hands on the ball a couple of times. I’m just trying to keep getting better, keep making plays”.

    What sort of opportunities he will have to make plays once the regular season rolls around remains to be seen. Before drafting him, the Steelers invested heavily in Steven Nelson in free agency to be a starter, along side Joe Haden, who may well get an extension this summer. In the slot is Mike Hilton, who is not his direct competition since he only plays inside, and as of now, Layne said that he has only worked outside. I wouldn’t expect that to change much, either.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/ju...picks-in-otas/

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Justin Layne Trying To ‘Keep Making Plays’ After Getting ‘A Couple Of Picks’ In OTAs

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 4, 2019

    One of the things that the Pittsburgh Steelers talked about leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft was the possibility of shifting their focus in their evaluations of the cornerback position, focusing less on players who are stout defenders against the run—less of necessity in man coverage—and more on those who know how to take the ball away.

    Then they drafted Justin Layne in the third round, how, despite previously having been a wide receiver, only intercepted three passes during his three-year college career, one each season. He did record a lot of passes defensed, particularly in his final season, but three interceptions is not the resume of a ballhawk.

    In spite of that, he and his college coaches came to his defense after the draft in reference to his ability to record interceptions. His position coach at Michigan State said that “there’s no doubt that the ball skills are there and he can make plays, and he definitely had some of the better hands on the team. A lot of times, they didn’t throw his way, so all that plays a factor in getting a bunch of interceptions and all that type of stuff, too”.

    Defensive assistant Teryl Austin said after they drafted him that he is “comfortable with his ball skills after watching him play and talking to people and being at his workout. And I’m comfortable with where he is and it’s just a matter of turning that into production at this level”.

    So perhaps it’s a positive sign that he has already gotten a couple of interceptions for himself—though not yet from Ben Roethlisberger, he said—during the first two weeks of OTA practices. As we already know, practice picks don’t necessarily translate to getting them in meaningful snaps, but it’s better to record them than not.

    “I had a couple of picks”, he told reporters following one recent OTA session, from the team’s website. “I made a couple of plays, got my hands on the ball a couple of times. I’m just trying to keep getting better, keep making plays”.

    What sort of opportunities he will have to make plays once the regular season rolls around remains to be seen. Before drafting him, the Steelers invested heavily in Steven Nelson in free agency to be a starter, along side Joe Haden, who may well get an extension this summer. In the slot is Mike Hilton, who is not his direct competition since he only plays inside, and as of now, Layne said that he has only worked outside. I wouldn’t expect that to change much, either.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/ju...picks-in-otas/
    Glad that he's making plays.

    But, I tend to think it's like last year when we had the most picks Alex K had ever charted in preseason practices.

    The thing I hate about practicing against ourselves is that I'm never sure if it's someone like Layne playing well, or just our non-Ben QBs continuing to throw too many picks.

    I guess the take away here is something like at least Layne didn't drop the balls?

  5. #105
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    PFF PIT Steelers
    @PFF_Steelers

    There were 90 draft-eligible CBs that were targeted at least 40 times on passes ten or more yards past the line of scrimmage since 2017.#Steelers rookie CB @_jlayne allowed the lowest completion % of them all on those passes at just 22.4%.

    Jun 7, 2019

    https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/20...wn-cornerback/

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    Glad that he's making plays.

    But, I tend to think it's like last year when we had the most picks Alex K had ever charted in preseason practices.

    The thing I hate about practicing against ourselves is that I'm never sure if it's someone like Layne playing well, or just our non-Ben QBs continuing to throw too many picks.

    I guess the take away here is something like at least Layne didn't drop the balls?

    He didn’t drop the balls; that indeed IS the best thing.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  7. #107
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    Steelers CB Justin Layne checks all the boxes for a shutdown cornerback


    By: Curt Popejoy (https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/author/curt-popejoy/)

    Did the Pittsburgh Steelers get the most underrated cornerback in the 2019 NFL draft class? Depending on how you measure potential NFL success, the answer could be yes. The Steelers drafted the former Michigan State star in the third round and got the cornerback with the lowest completion percentage against last season.

    There are lots of ways to look at a cornerback prospect in the evaluation process, but Layne really does check all the boxes. He’s not legit NFL size at 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds. His speed is solid after posting a 4.5 40-yard dash.

    But when you pair up 15 pass breakups as a junior along with a 22.4 percent completion percentage against, you understand Pittsburgh has the makings of a true shutdown corner.

    The only question now is how quickly will the Steelers get Layne on the field and what will that look like? Pittsburgh has Joe Haden and Steven Nelson as starters and Mike Hilton is locked in as the slot cornerback. He might not contribute a ton as a rookie but the future of the position looks bright with Haden a free agent at the end of the season.
    I've yet to read any news on Layne that are negative or even so-so about this pick. Fingers crossed we finally found a guy who can help put some fear back in our opponents when it comes to passing the ball.

  8. #108
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    Film Room: CB Justin Layne Vs Inside And Outside Routes

    By Tom Mead
    Posted on June 10, 2019

    Admittedly, to this point I hadn’t watched a lot of film on new Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne so I was looking forward to digging a little deeper. With 24 career pass breaks up in college including 11 in his last 5 games I wanted to take a look at the positives and negatives of his coverage ability.

    My thought going in was to look at the different routes that he faced and determine those that he performed well against and those where there is room to improve. In the end, it came down to one factor that generally made the biggest difference. Inside routes vs outside routes.

    In the games watched, the majority of the time he played the boundary corner. This puts him on the short side of the field closest to the sideline. Coverages were mixed but consisted of a lot of press coverage.

    From this position, there is quite a bit that goes into coverage. You need to be balanced and patient to mirror the initial move of the WR and not react too quickly. Be able to open your hips and accelerate to match the speed and stay on the hip of the WR. Whether to jam at the LOS and with which arm based on the release and the timing of that jam. That’s just a part of what’s happening from play to play.

    When the receiver releases to the outside Layne seems much more comfortable in his abilities. His patience, footwork, hips and general demeanor seem relaxed and confident. It could be the fact that he can use the sideline like another defender to his advantage.

    On inside releases, there were generally different results. He get on his heels and gets off balance, arms are out of control and gives up space between himself and the WR too easily. He also takes a false step with his right foot regardless of the release that needs to be fixed.

    Outside

    Vs Utah State at the top of the screen the WR hesitates his release and then tries to use speed up the outside. Layne stays patient and shuffles his feet to stay with the WR. He’s in great position to the inside to try to defend the back shoulder underthrow.

    Vs Ohio State at the bottom of the screen. The WR uses a jab to the inside and releases outside. Layne stays balanced, feet underneath him to mirror the WR at the LOS. On release he opens his right hip and uses his left and to redirect. He closes the distance to get hip to hip and gets his head around to break up the pass.

    At Nebraska, this isn’t a great clip because they go of screen for second. Look closely and you can see the false step forward with his right foot. But again he uses his inside hand to disrupt, gets on the hip and shows an ability change direction with the WR and break up the pass on the comeback route to the outside.

    Inside

    Vs Utah State, at the top of the screen the WR is going stem forward and on his third step break inside. There doesn’t seem to be an indication of a fake to the outside but on the second step Layne starts to open his hips to the outside. In order to recover, he has to flip his inside hip and he kicks his inside leg way back (almost 2 yards) to plant so he can recover.

    Vs Utah State, at the bottom of the screen. Here the WR does a slight fake to the outside and again his hips start to open to the outside. The WR runs a drag route through the middle leaving him to chase.

    Vs Michigan, here you can see the false step forward. It’s a small thing but this changes his balance immediately. Then look at the distance between him and the WR, the opposite of the outside routes. If this route breaks in, he won’t be able to make a play on the ball.

    Vs Ohio State at the top of the screen, the Buckeyes ran inside routes against him all game. Again a slight fake to move the hip to the outside. Way too much space between them but he gets saved by an errant throw.

    Vs Ohio State at the bottom of the screen, the receiver takes a big step on his third step to make it look like he’s going to use speed to the outside. It gets Layne to open his hip for a vertical route giving the WR 3 yards of space for the reception.

    This is just a few examples but like I said earlier there seems to be a comfort in his game on plays to the outside. To the inside there is a lot of room to upgrade from what he did at Michigan State. No college player comes in as a finished product. I’m sure the staff has identified areas that can be enhanced and putting in the work is the next step.

    Now I’m going to use that D word that some of you don’t like to hear when it comes to defensive backs. Yes, the Steelers have struggled to develop DB’s but as I have mentioned in some of my profiles, that was with different coaches. We have to give the new coaches a chance and I’m looking forward to seeing what Tom Bradley and Teryl Austin can do for Layne and the other young DB’s on the team. His development is going to be the key and being he is young and still new to the position it could be easier to get rid of those bad habits.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/fi...utside-routes/

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    PFF PIT Steelers
    @PFF_Steelers

    There were 90 draft-eligible CBs that were targeted at least 40 times on passes ten or more yards past the line of scrimmage since 2017.#Steelers rookie CB @_jlayne allowed the lowest completion % of them all on those passes at just 22.4%.

    Jun 7, 2019

    https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/20...wn-cornerback/
    THIS is impressive

  10. #110
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    Justin Layne can be the answer to Pittsburgh's outside cornerback problem

    BY DANIEL RYMER
    JUN 14, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long history of tough, hard-nosed defenses throughout their history. From guys like James Harrison and Joey Porter to Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, the Steelers have seemingly always had talent on the defensive side of the ball. However, at least in the PFF era (since 2006), the Steelers’ outside cornerbacks haven’t performed as well as you would think, which is surprising given the team’s recent Super Bowl victories and deep playoff runs.

    The last time the Steelers had an outside cornerback finish a season with an overall grade higher than 80.0 was in 2014 when William Gay earned a mark of 81.6. Before that, was Cortez Allen’s mark of 85.5 in 2012. Other than that, the Steelers have had only two other cornerbacks earn grades higher than 80.0 from snaps at outside cornerback in a single season, and both of those were all the way back in 2008 (William Gay, 87.2 and Bryant McFadden, 83.0).

    The Steelers are long overdue for a true playmaker on the outside.

    Enter Justin Layne, whom the Steelers selected with the 83rd overall pick in the draft. The former Michigan State cornerback had a solid three-year college career, capped off by his 87.1 overall grade last season which ranked 18th out of 569 qualifying cornerbacks in the country.

    The Steelers had only one cornerback earn a grade higher than 70.0 last season (Joe Haden, 70.9). As a team, Pittsburgh had a coverage grade of 75.8, ranking 18th in the NFL. In a league where stopping the pass is becoming more important with each passing year, the Steelers need to do better if they want to return to the postseason in 2019 after missing the dance last year. Injecting new talent in the secondary could help do just that, as Layne was outstanding in college.

    Layne lined up at outside corner on 713 of his 833 total snaps last season. Considering that help at outside cornerback is precisely what the Steelers need, Layne could be the answer to Pittsburgh’s outside cornerback problem. Standing at 6’2”, Layne has the length needed to hang with the NFL’s big wide receivers, yet he also has the speed to hang with the fast guys as well.

    Over the last three college seasons, Layne has earned an elite coverage grade of 91.0 when lined up as an outside corner, which is tied for fifth among the 147 outside cornerbacks with at least 100 targets over that period. Among that same group, Layne also ranks 11th in forced incompletion percentage (20%), 12th in passer rating allowed (66.9 and 19th in catch rate allowed (50.4%).

    One trait of a great corner is the ability to limit big plays downfield, and Layne has done just that over the past two seasons. On throws 10-plus yards downfield since 2017, Layne has allowed only 11 receptions out of 49 targets for 259 yards. He has also forced an incompletion on 30.6% of such targets, ranking sixth among this year’s 89 draft-eligible cornerbacks.

    As great as he is in coverage, he’s also a good (and willing) run-defender, as his run-defense grade over the past two years (84.2) ranks in the top 20 among cornerbacks. Layne has shown amazing progression throughout his three years in college, as he increased his overall grade by nearly 10.0 points every season. He was our sixth-ranked cornerback in the draft, yet he was the 10th cornerback drafted, making him a steal in our eyes.

    Layne is great on the field, but the thing that Steelers fans should probably be most excited about is his confidence. As he said in an interview with Pro Football Focus back in March, “They’re going to get a lockdown corner. They’re going to get a playmaker, a willing tackler.”

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/new...cb00e60a1c0e13

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