Diontae Johnson will never forget the Buffalo Bills game. The game where he was benched after dropping the football again. During that time span, he was leading the league in dropped passes. Coach Tomlin said Diontae reacted appropriately to the benching. He sat down and thought about what was causing his issues and when his number was called again he stepped up and rose to the occasion.
On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Diontae Johnson hauled in three receptions for 96 yards. One that included a 41-yard catch, an 8-yard touchdown catch, and a 47-yard reception that eventually led the Steelers on a touchdown drive. Johnson says these plays against the Browns helped him gain his confidence back.
"I feel like those three catches I had helped us out tremendously," said Johnson on Monday. "That one 40 some yard catch we were about to get a field goal out of that, some points. The one I had, about 10 yards, we were able to get a first down and put us in good field position, and I think we wound up scoring that drive. That last deep ball I had, that gave us momentum to tie the game, but we didn't execute on the last play. Those three plays I felt like helped us out and kept us in the game."
Diontae says those catches made him feel good out there on the football field again. He said he feels like himself again. Johnson wants to continue to show the world what he can do day in and day out on the football field. Not only is he looking toward the playoffs he is also planning to work his tail off in the offseason no matter how far the Steelers go in the playoffs this season. He is motivated to get even better than he was this season.
"After that Buffalo Bills game, I sat down with myself and talked to myself, trying to figure out what was going on with me," said Johnson. "It was really just a mental thing. Just paying attention to outside noise. Once I got rid of that and started dialing in on myself and just focusing in on me, it started showing in a game. I am locked in and ready to go. I just try to keep a positive mindset now. If I drop the ball, next play mentality. I am not worried about that drop. I can't do nothing about it. That type of thing I have been focusing on and it's been helping me."
Johnson repeatedly went back to the Week 14 Buffalo Bills game throughout his Zoom call with the media acknowledging he was working through some mental issues through the weeks he was struggling with dropped passes. He said it was just a mental issue he needed to sit down and talk himself through. He stopped listening to the outside noise and started working on his craft. Diontae says he is over his mental issues and is dialed in to get going. He has a positive mindset and is locked in and ready to go for the 2020 playoffs.