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Steelers News: Is there a spot on the Steelers defense for Justin Layne in 2020?

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is officially over. After finishing the year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, has another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether or not there is a spot on the 2020 Steelers defense for Justin Layne...

Let’s get to the news:

  • Justin Layne made the 2019 roster as a rookie, but was strictly a special teams player. Will there be a spot for him on the defense in 2020?

After earning his way into Steelers lineup late in 2019, Justin Layne aims higher in 2020

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

When the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff made the conscious decision to activate cornerback Justin Layne for the final six games of the season — choosing the rookie over veteran Artie Burns — it was a landmark moment in Layne’s young NFL career.

After all, it signified that the Steelers viewed the third-round pick as a legitimate option to play in a regular-season game (his previous activations were because of injury elsewhere in the lineup).

But to Layne, it wasn’t a banner day when he was “given a hat” for the Nov. 23 game at Cincinnati, nor for any of the five games that followed. It was mere confirmation of what he believed all along.

“It didn’t really mean anything to me — me getting a hat, me personally, that’s expected,” Layne said. “I know what type of player I am. But it’s just how the eggs laid. Only so much you can control — but I know I am definitely good enough to get a helmet every week. It’s just learning and trying to figure out where I fit in at.”

That will be one of the questions to be answered at this coming summer’s training camp — where Layne fits in among a crowded Steelers secondary. Third-round picks aren’t taken to be backups, but with well-paid veterans Joe Haden and Steve Nelson entrenched as starters on the outside, Mike Hilton a good fit for the slot and Cameron Sutton a reliable, jack-of-all-trades reserve, there isn’t much room for Layne.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • After Mike Tomlin’s end of the year press conference, should fans have hope?

How much of Mike Tomlin’s season-ending press conference should give Steelers’ fans hope?

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Fellow TribLive columnist Kevin Gorman joins me for our last wrap up of Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conferences in 2019.

Given that the Steelers have been eliminated short of the playoffs for a second straight year, the next time we do this may be August in Latrobe, and the “Hard Knocks” cameras could film us.

Don’t laugh. The HBO all-access training camp show may be descending on Saint Vincent College. We toss around that idea to start this podcast.

Kevin and I may not even talk during the NFL Draft weekend in April because the Steelers hardly have any picks in the first 100. We discuss that problem.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Some tough decisions loom for the Steelers.

Steelers have tough decisions with free agents Bud Dupree, Javon Hargrave and others

By: Brooke Pryor, ESPN

By the time the cameras reached him inside the cramped visitors locker room at M&T Bank Stadium, Bud Dupree’s jersey was already off.

With free agency looming after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 28-10 season-ending loss to the Ravens, the linebacker might never put on another black-and-gold one again.

With 10.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, the outside linebacker had a breakout season, in a contract year, playing opposite of T.J. Watt. Now, the Steelers are faced with a difficult decision: apply either a franchise or transition tag, sign Dupree to a new contract, or break up the dynamic duo that made the Steelers’ defense so formidable.

“I will really, really hope that we can keep Bud,” cornerback Joe Haden said. “He’s playing amazing ball, him and T.J., I mean, they’re dominant linebackers in the league. You never know how the money works. He might’ve just played himself into crazy numbers per year. He deserves it all. I hope that the Steelers can finesse it, figure it out because if we can keep those two dudes, it’ll be sick.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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