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Thread: Tomlin ‘Excited’ About CB Justin Layne

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    Tomlin ‘Excited’ About CB Justin Layne

    Tomlin ‘Excited’ About CB Justin Layne

    By Alex Kozora
    Posted on May 15, 2020

    A player’s second year is the one Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers view as critical. The “sophomore leap.” No longer are their heads swimming with the transition to the NFL and all that it brings; new coaches, new scheme, new pressure. Consider CB Justin Layne in that boat and Tomlin, speaking with fans on a Steelers Nation Unite conference call.

    Here’s what Tomlin said via the team website.

    “And the cornerback position, we’re really excited about Justin Layne in the same way [as Devin Bush] was a rookie a year ago. We took him out of Michigan State, he was inactive early on and then carved out a role for himself as a special teamer. So he’s going through the natural participation developmental process and really distinguished himself in a positive way in a practice setting over the second half of the year. Those are usually signs that a guy’s going to take the step in the second year. So we’re excited about him and his development and what he might bring to us at the cornerback position.”

    Layne ultimately played ten games as a rookie. He logged 90 snaps, all on special teams, ultimately overtaking Artie Burns as a starting gunner on punt coverage midway through the year. He played reasonably well there, recording three tackles.

    His time on defense was exclusive to the preseason was less than stellar. It started with a rocky preseason opener against Tampa Bay, getting thrown to the fire as a starter due to injury. Here’s what we wrote on Layne coming out of his first training camp.

    “Justin Layne: Took his lumps, especially in the opener against Tampa Bay, but that’s to be expected. He’s raw, lacking strength and technique in stopping the run. But he’s got “want to” as a tackler and did well defending the ball vertically. Consider 2019 a redshirt year, when healthy, he should be inactive, but we’ll see what progression he makes next year.

    Camp Grade: C“

    Predictably an up-and-down rookie year. That’s no surprise. Layne came out a year early, making him a should-be senior in 2019, and was billed as a relatively raw player transitioning from wide receiver. So it’s unfair to paint his rookie season as anything resembling a complete player. But that makes 2020 a big year in figuring out who he is and if he can provide valuable cornerback depth behind Steven Nelson and Joe Haden. Let’s hope Tomlin’s optimism rings true.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2020/05/to...-justin-layne/

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    Yea like they were excited about Sutton, Allen, Golson, Burns, ect. We have to hit on ONE of these CBs, right?

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    What else is he going to say?

    These kinds of puff piece articles aren't useful IMO
    Talent vs coaching: [url]www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/48851-Poll-Question-for-Everyone/page14[/url]

    Steelers vs. Other Teams with good QBs: ... /47985-Steelers-most-successful-failure/page5

    Tomlin playoff record vs. expectations (Cowher pg24): ... /48742-Rooney-Brown-meeting/page22

    Tomlin's Las year: ... 49599-Just-sayin?p=778284#post778284

    Maniac Talent>Coaching: ...49632-Trades?p=779158#post779158

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    Quote Originally Posted by whisper View Post
    Yea like they were excited about Sutton, Allen, Golson, Burns, ect. We have to hit on ONE of these CBs, right?
    aren’t we always excited to see what we have in our player?
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?


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    I'll give a little positive view of Lane n how he fits. Unlike Artie Burns he wasn't selected until the 3rd round so he had to be thought of as having starting potential or they would not have drafted him there. Expectations on Burns as a #1 were high. Lane as a 3 not so much. Burns got tossed in early as a starter because we had nothing else. Confidence got crushed with Burns n that didn't happen here with Lane. Got that red shirt year and it was needed. Lane gets to watch n learn from 2 quality vets. That had to help.
    So all that doesn't mean Lane will be any good. It does mean his path is better but eventually he's going to get a shot to sink or swim. For now he is a question mark who by the way had a ok camp last year. Looked good" for a rookie" at Latrobe but that's a very small measuring stick. Lane will get plenty of reps in the preseason with 5 games scheduled. I don't see the vets playing much at all in any of those games so by game 5 we'll have a better fix on what we got or don't got.

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    Layne has had the opportunity to ease into the NFL the old fashioned way. This is the way that most Steeler draft picks (especially on D) entered the league during most of the Cowher era, and into the Tomlin years. Going into year two, there is zero expectation for him to enter the starting lineup without injury. The hope is that he gets a helmet every week, stands out on ST, and maybe can spell Haden and Nelson a few snaps a game, surpassing Sutton as a backup option on the outside.

    I would think that the absolute highest hope is that he looks good enough to make a then 32 year old Haden expendable in 2021, saving the team $7M. Not an expectation, but I would think a hope. That will also depend on the play of Haden this season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    Layne has had the opportunity to ease into the NFL the old fashioned way. This is the way that most Steeler draft picks (especially on D) entered the league during most of the Cowher era, and into the Tomlin years. Going into year two, there is zero expectation for him to enter the starting lineup without injury. The hope is that he gets a helmet every week, stands out on ST, and maybe can spell Haden and Nelson a few snaps a game, surpassing Sutton as a backup option on the outside.

    I would think that the absolute highest hope is that he looks good enough to make a then 32 year old Haden expendable in 2021, saving the team $7M. Not an expectation, but I would think a hope. That will also depend on the play of Haden this season.
    Thanks Steeler fan..

    I think we all see the long term vision and goal for Layne. We all wonder where he’s at on the developmental scale right now; especially with the way things are currently. We all want him to be that guy ( like you said) to take over Haden’s spot. Thanks again for breaking it down.
    Last edited by Steel Maniac; 05-16-2020 at 07:20 PM.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (A 9 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.
    Dolphin fans in the 90’s who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the 70’s...

    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008.

    [url]http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/50121-A-Positive-View-of-they-Draft/page17[/url]

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    Quote Originally Posted by whisper View Post
    Yea like they were excited about Sutton, Allen, Golson, Burns, ect. We have to hit on ONE of these CBs, right?
    Why wouldn't someone be excited and optimistic about a player that grew during the first year heading into his second year?

    What's important is the overall team that the organization can build regardless of players that are misses or hits.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BURGH86STEEL View Post
    Why wouldn't someone be excited and optimistic about a player that grew during the first year heading into his second year?

    What's important is the overall team that the organization can build regardless of players that are misses or hits.
    at the end of the day, you are right Burgh86steel. But we've had a woeful inability to hit on players that can play well in the secondary so there is more of a microscope on Layne then a lot of other
    developmental guys. It would really go a long way in him developing to be "that guy". We need to hit with him; We are over due to hit on a good player for the secondary.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (A 9 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.
    Dolphin fans in the 90’s who wanted to hold on to Don Shula for what he did in the 70’s...

    Are the same as Steeler fans (of 2020 ) holding on to Tomlin for what he did in 2008.

    [url]http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/showthread.php/50121-A-Positive-View-of-they-Draft/page17[/url]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Maniac View Post
    Thanks Steeler fan..

    I think we all see the long term vision and goal for Layne. We all wonder where he’s at on the developmental scale right now; especially with the way things are currently. We all want him to be that guy ( like you said) to take over Haden’s spot. Thanks again for breaking it down.
    They already gave this guy a death knell: claiming that he was like a 1st round pick. That's what they said about Jeremy Staat too. Not so much.

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