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Mike Tomlin on Justin Gilbert: We don’t care what happened in Cleveland

Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert (21) knocks a pass away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) during the first half of an NFL football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken) AP

The Steelers traded a 2018 sixth-round pick for cornerback Justin Gilbert over the weekend and the price they had to pay for Gilbert illustrated how far Gilbert’s stock has fallen over his first two NFL seasons.

Gilbert was the eighth overall pick of the 2014 draft, but he had on-field and off-field issues that kept him from living up to the potential that caused him to come off the board as early as he did. On Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said that the issues Gilbert had with the Browns were of less importance to him than the fact that “we had a great deal of respect for” Gilbert when he was entering the league.

“We don’t care what happened in Cleveland, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said, via the team’s website. “We’re not asking a bunch of questions in that regard. We simply acquired a young cornerback that another team didn’t want or need, and we’re putting him in our environment and starting the process of going to work on a day-to-day basis and see where that leads us. I know he’s excited about being here. He had a good day of work [Monday], but we’ll live it day-by-day and we’ll see if his story can become a similar one to Ross Cockrell’s, for example.”

Cockrell was a 2014 fourth-round pick of the Bills who got released last summer and then signed with the Steelers. He was a useful member of their secondary last season and is ticketed for a big role again this year. As Tomlin said, Gilbert’s role is yet to be determined but the makeup of the cornerback group will give him a chance to make a more positive impression in Pittsburgh.

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35 Responses to “Mike Tomlin on Justin Gilbert: We don’t care what happened in Cleveland”
  1. stillers213 says: Sep 6, 2016 2:44 PM

    In today’s NFL, that is the approach you have to take. Seems every team has damaged goods, but you have to take risks when the reward can be high.

  2. 2since96 says: Sep 6, 2016 2:48 PM

    “I don’t care what happened in Cleveland, I mean, it’s Cleveland”

    Drafting Gilbert was just another #MistakeByTheLake

  3. tonebones says: Sep 6, 2016 2:51 PM

    Gilbert was a 6th round talent coming out of college and a lot of teams had him way overrated. Now the Steelers, who recently drafted Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree very high, were among those teams that liked Gilbert. They say the draft is just a crap shoot. Don’t tell that to Dick Haley, who was evaluating talent for the 70s Steelers.

  4. 6ball says: Sep 6, 2016 2:55 PM

    .
    Whomever the Steelers were going to draft with the 2018 6th rounder would probably struggle to make the roster. Even if Gilbert contributes on sub packages or special teams, it’s still a good deal.
    .

  5. mmack66 says: Sep 6, 2016 2:55 PM

    Of course they don’t. Just look at all of the low character players that litter their roster.

  6. dexterismyhero says: Sep 6, 2016 3:01 PM

    Mike Tomlin:”I don’t care what happened in Cleveland”, I’ll just trip him in the hallway a few times…………”

  7. wensink18 says: Sep 6, 2016 3:03 PM

    My favorite Tomlin moment was when he whined about some alleged problem with his headsets in New England. Wanted to blame the Patriots for his loss…..only to have to eat his words when he was told that the NFL has total control of the headsets. D’oh!!!! You should have known that before embarrassing yourself coach. A smart coach would have known that. Keep up the good (excuse making)work !!!

  8. sirxba says: Sep 6, 2016 3:07 PM

    I am sure Cleveland fans are quite proud of their first round draft picks from 2014 both of whom are not even on the team anymore.

  9. Teddy2Tready says: Sep 6, 2016 3:07 PM

    I recall Cleveland swapping picks with Minnesota (#8 and #9) to move ahead of us and draft Gilbert. The Vikings took Anthony Barr one pick later.

    #Win

  10. hakunamangata says: Sep 6, 2016 3:17 PM

    I imagine that was Tomlin’s response to watching game film on him, otherwise he never would of made the trade.

  11. bigbensbathroombuddy says: Sep 6, 2016 3:24 PM

    They’ll learn soon enough. The physical tangibles are there but Gilbert’s football IQ is very limited.

  12. bleedingfacemask says: Sep 6, 2016 3:25 PM

    “We don’t care what happened in Cleveland, to be quite honest with you,” every coach said, via every team’s website.

  13. ubepunkedagain says: Sep 6, 2016 3:27 PM

    Those words were also uttered by Hue Jackson when he took the job saying he didn’t care what happened before. Apparently he had seen enough of “toast” to ship him off for a bag of balls.

  14. inozwetrust says: Sep 6, 2016 3:29 PM

    A sixth round pick two years from now for a guy who was a first round pick two years ago. Not a bad move. I think Ozzie would have done that in a minute.

    Go Oz!!

  15. dedicatedhawkfan says: Sep 6, 2016 3:35 PM

    Everybody criticizes teams that acquire a player that has questionable behavior in his past…..right up to the moment their team does it. I’m guilty of it.

  16. doe22us says: Sep 6, 2016 3:45 PM

    Well, it is telling if they trade you within the same division. I understand Steelers fans will see some optimism, but that should be measured i guess. Kinda like Mcnabb when he was traded, look at how bad he sucked. In fairness McNabb showed competency for a long time but he was done when the Eagles traded him.

  17. jag1959 says: Sep 6, 2016 3:46 PM

    hakunamangata says:
    Sep 6, 2016 3:17 PM
    I imagine that was Tomlin’s response to watching game film on him, otherwise he never would of made the trade.
    ________________

    Most of the rest of us imagine Colbert made the trade with the approval of Rooney.

  18. orange and blue idoits says: Sep 6, 2016 3:55 PM

    I’m sure Tomlin can come up with a training regimen that will make him a featured player.

    Ok, you stand here, with your back to the play but keeping an eye on the Jumbletron (menino), then,

    you put your left foot in, you take your left foot out, you put your left foot in, then you act like it was a mistake.

    You do the Tripper Tomlin and you smile like you got away with somethin,

    that’s what it’s all about!

  19. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 6, 2016 4:38 PM

    “They’ll learn soon enough. The physical tangibles are there but Gilbert’s football IQ is very limited”

    I think that applies more to Cleveland’s con man owner and horrendous managent staff

  20. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 6, 2016 4:44 PM

    well, sure…because Steeler players and staff are professional, they follow the rules, don’t do drugs, don’t pull hair, don’t start fights, don’t trip returners, don’t lie to coaches about their contracts, etc etc etc.

    I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

  21. Nofoolnodrool says: Sep 6, 2016 5:27 PM

    peytonwantsaflag says:
    Sep 6, 2016 4:44 PM
    well, sure…because Steeler players and staff are professional, they follow the rules, don’t do drugs, don’t pull hair, don’t start fights, don’t trip returners, don’t lie to coaches about their contracts, etc etc etc.

    I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

    4 1
    Report comment

    Boy it sounds like this poster is still hurting over last Jan’s embarrassing implosion when the game was in hand. Hey, take a snickers and sit in the corner as Steeler threads tend to make you froth at the mouth and hyperventilate.

  22. Steelreign says: Sep 6, 2016 5:30 PM

    Cleveland just traded a dollar for a dime.

  23. Anicra says: Sep 6, 2016 5:30 PM

    What happens in Cleveland, stays in Cleveland.

  24. tonybot3 says: Sep 6, 2016 6:09 PM

    and frankly, Cleveland don’t care about what happens in Pittsburgh, either. The division crown will be in Ohio for the forseeable decade…. some with Cinci, some with the Browns.

  25. enoughofthatalready says: Sep 6, 2016 7:09 PM

    tonybot3 says:
    Sep 6, 2016 6:09 PM
    and frankly, Cleveland don’t care about what happens in Pittsburgh, either. The division crown will be in Ohio for the forseeable decade…. some with Cinci, some with the Browns.

    Ohio can have the division crown as it seems like that is all they can ever hope for. Personally, I will take the playoff win or heck also the Lamar Hunt trophy. But keep aiming high.

  26. enoughofthatalready says: Sep 6, 2016 7:12 PM

    peytonwantsaflag says:
    Sep 6, 2016 4:44 PM
    well, sure…because Steeler players and staff are professional, they follow the rules, don’t do drugs, don’t pull hair, don’t start fights, don’t trip returners, don’t lie to coaches about their contracts, etc etc etc.

    I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

    Would you prefer he cheap shot an opponent, push a referee and cause his team yet another year without a playoff win?

  27. BayAreaBrownsBacker says: Sep 6, 2016 7:47 PM

    The Steelers Organization doesn’t care because not only was Justin Gilbert was not effective under 2 different coaching regimes, he was a liability. The fact that Sashi Brown was not only able to get a pick out of a guy that was going to get cut AND give that liability over to a direct competitor is nothing short of Brilliant. Tomlin is most likely shocked that Steelers execs pulled the trigger on that deal so his only weak come back that he can come up with is ” We don’t Care” Buwhahahahaha!!!

  28. BayAreaBrownsBacker says: Sep 6, 2016 10:38 PM

    Steeler fan, you DO realize his nickname that everyone in the entire league refers to him as is “TOAST”, right?

  29. tyrion4qb says: Sep 7, 2016 9:23 AM

    If the Browns had the culture in place that the Steelers have when they brought in Gilbert, he likely wouldn’t have developed the issues he has.

    I wish Justin well. Hopefully a change of scenery will help him get a fresh start. I hope the new regime here in CLE can finally get our team headed in the right direction. Football is WAY more fun when the Browns/Steelers rivalry is actually meaningful.

  30. bernieknowsfootball says: Sep 7, 2016 9:46 AM

    Don’t forget, he was Johnny Footballs buddy, good luck with him, he’ll do one good play every ten that goes at him – Big Bust !!!

  31. thetooloftools says: Sep 7, 2016 9:51 AM

    Cleveland is just trowing in the towel.

  32. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says: Sep 7, 2016 1:46 PM

    Of course they don’t care what happened in Cleveland. They don’t care what happened in Georgia or Nevada or Ross Township or in Dr. Rydze’s office either.

  33. gobrownslol says: Sep 8, 2016 9:18 AM

    Still don’t understand why CLE didn’t try him at kick/punt returner.

    Oh and nobody really cares what happens in Cleveland other than Cleveland.

  34. trickbunny says: Sep 8, 2016 5:40 PM

    I’ve never seen a more hyped player look more clueless on the field than Gilbert. Well, maybe except Johnny Manziel.

    And for anyone who thinks that Gilbert just didn’t want to play hard for the Browns because they’re the Browns, you probably don’t understand football. These players know that other teams are always watching and they know they have to put up good individual performances. Despite that, Gilbert looked like he was giving a half-hearted effort out there much more often than not.

    So the Steelers had a need, not a ton of options, and took him anyway. But if you think a mere change of atmosphere or culture is going to suddenly make this lazy player a badass, I’m pretty sure you’ve got another thing coming.

  35. 3wordanswers says: Sep 12, 2016 10:46 AM

    Just so long as Gilbert can bang opponents in the head; he’ll fit right in there in Pittsburgh.

    Pittsburgh leads the league in opponents concussions; its true; look it up……..

    #FreePassForYellowAndBlack.

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