On Wednesday, WR Diontae Johnson spoke to the media and was asked about the offense’s continued lack of production three weeks into the 2022 season. When asked about his frustrations with the offense so far, Johnson pointed to the plays that should have been made by himself and his teammates that need to be made more routinely in the coming weeks.
“We got to make those plays in those waiting moments,” Johnson said to the media Wednesday after practice on video from Chris Adamski’s Twitter page. “Those plays we should come down with down the field or if we miss a block or those big moments that we need to make plays. And those conversions, those third down conversions. We got to help the defense out and stay on the field longer and put more points on the board. I got full confidence in my guys that we’re going to be good.”
Johnson is singing the same song that Mitch Trubisky and Najee Harris have sung before him, stating that Pittsburgh’s offense needs to do a better job executing the play design and making the plays necessary to take this offense from stagnant to consistent. Mike Tomlin often references the importance of making big plays in the waiting moments of a football game, stating that the team that wins more possession downs often wins the football game. Johnson appears to have adopted Tomlin’s saying here, as he suggests he and the rest of the offensive skill position players need to do a better job at coming up with those got-to-have-it plays.
Johnson himself understands the importance of being able to come up big when the team needs him most. He managed to pull off a ridiculous one-handed catch along the sideline late in the fourth quarter in Pittsburgh’s Week 1 win at Cincinnati, but has also been on the opposite end after dropping a dime from Mitch Trubisky down the field that would have resulted in a big play late in the third quarter when Pittsburgh was down 16-14 to Cleveland.
Whether it be the team’s terrible third down efficiency, the lack of explosive passes/runs, or missed opportunities due to miscommunication or lack of execution, the Steelers’ offense hasn’t performed to the level required to play winning football. Johnson understands this and is putting it on himself as well as the rest of his teammates to help give the defense a break and hold up their end of the bargain as Pittsburgh looks to turn this thing around in hopes of a playoff push.