Diontae Johnson had a season that could be described as a rollercoaster. He had many ups and downs. Johnson still put up great numbers by the end of the season and once he fixed his mental issue with dropping the football he showed how good he really is. Johnson is still evolving in the game of football. We haven't even touched the surface with how good Diontae Johnson can be.
Diontae Johnson on his progress in 2020: "I saw progress in all aspects of my game," said Johnson. "In my route running, knowing the game more, route coverages. Everything. Just by you knowing the coverage of the defense it lets you know what moves you need to make, what release you need to take, how much depth you need to get in your route. All those things come together just by you knowing the coverage of the defense. It allows you to play more smoothly and do not have to think. I have matured at every level, high school, college, and now. I feel like my play showed that this year."
DJ says other than the drops he had during the season he feels like he was at the top of his game during the 2020 season. He, unfortunately, looked at all of the social media posts calling him names and bashing his name. It got to him.
Johnson on reading Social Media: "I let it get in my head," said Johnson. "I see people on social media bash my name. It's not like you don't see it. It's there. It's hard to put it to the side, but when you see it, it's going to be in the back of your mind. That is how it got a hold of me. I tried not to think about it. But it's in the back of my mind during practice. In the games I am like, 'Bro, catch the ball.'"
Once Tomlin took him out of the game during the Bills Johnson knew he had to tighten up and catch the football. He took the punishment like a man and when his number was called he showed up and overcame the issues that have plagued him.
Diontae on Tomlin benching him: "By Coach Tomlin pulling me out of the game, doing it like he did it, once he did that, I knew I had to tighten up and catch the ball," said Johnson. "Point blank period. If nothing else I have to catch the ball. I had to get my mind right. I didn't throw a temper tantrum or anything, that isn't how you handle certain situations. Everyone handles things their own way. No matter what it is, someone is going to critique you. You just add it to the fire. You just have to shut out the noise. Like Coach (Darryl) Drake used to tell us, you just shut out the noise. You just have to focus on yourself and be you. Don't overthink everything, just be you. When you do that and shut out the noise, you will be fine."
The biggest thing Johnson learned in 2020 was that everyone is going to critique you no matter what. He said you just have to add it to the fire and let your play do the talking on the football field. He was reminded by what Coach Drake told the wide-receivers: "Just shut out the noise." Once he took those steps Diontae started getting back to playing football the way he knows how to play.
Diontae says he respects that he was benched because he wasn't doing his job. He had to bounce back after he was benched. He didn't want to overthink anything he just wanted to get back to playing football the way he knew how. Johnson knew he had a lot of eyes on him counting on him so that is what made him bounce back.
There is no denying Diontae Johnson is a special talent. You can bash the guy all you want, but at the end of the day, he is still human. I see it day in and day out people bashing these players through a computer keyboard or from an armchair while stuffing potato chips in their mouth. I commend Diontae Johnson for sitting on the bench like a man and overcoming his mental issues. He sat down, took his punishment like a man, overcame adversity, stood up like a man, and got back to playing quality football like he knows he can.