Make the next catch. That’s all Donte Moncrief’s thinking about right now. Talking to reporters for the first time since Week 2, a game where he saw yet another drop that resulted in a costly Seattle interception, Moncrief said he’s just trying to get his mind right.
“Just catch one ball and everything goes away,” he told reporters via the team website. “Just get out there and make plays and start having fun like you’ve been doing with this game for so long. Like I said, stop overthinking, stop putting so much pressure on yourself.”
While it’s fair to assume the dislocated left finger he suffered early in training camp, Moncrief, being the professional he is, refused to use that as a scapegoat.
“I’m not going to blame a finger. At the end of the day, like I said, it’s just coming down to like putting too much pressure on myself. I’m trying to be 100% perfect on every little thing instead of going out there and having fun and having fun with the guys that I’ve been doing since I got here, even since OTA and training camp. Instead of doing that, I’ve just been putting pressure on myself trying to do stuff that I normally haven’t did.”
Through two weeks, Moncrief has just three receptions for seven yards on 11 targets. Since 1992, as long as Pro Football Reference has been tracking targets, only one player has had that bad a start. New York Giants’ wideout Stephen Baker had just one reception on 14 targets in ’92 and even that one reception found the end zone. Baker, to his credit, exploded the next week with a 109 yard, one touchdown performance. Moncrief is unlikely to be given the same opportunity Sunday at San Francisco.
“We’ll see,” Mike Tomlin said Tuesday when asked if Moncrief will get a chance for redemption.
Moncrief was asked if the team has indicated what his role will be this weekend.
“I don’t know. Well, we shall see. It’s according to how they feel and like I said, it’ll take one play, one catch and everything goes away.”
Diontae Johnson replaced Moncrief following the drop that led to the interception and he failed to play a single snap after that play. There’s almost zero chance he starts this weekend and at best, may only see time in a four receiver set or if there’s an injury. It’s possible, and arguably best for him and the team, he doesn’t dress, though the team has kept six receivers active each of the first two weeks.