Mon, 23 May 2022

Johnson: All I can do is keep on working

The Steelers
20 Jan 2022, 05:30 GMT+10

Teresa Varley

Still working: For a player who put up career numbers this year, receiver Diontae Johnson had one of those nights against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round loss that knocked them out of the playoffs.

Johnson had five receptions for 34 yards while being targeted 10 times but had two drops. He did bounce back from the drops to pull in a 13-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, the Steelers first offensive score of the night.

Johnson finished the regular season with 107 receptions for 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns, all career highs. And his hope is that he isn't judged on the bad night, but rather his entire body of work this year which had many campaigning for him to be a Pro Bowl selection.

He made it clear that he wants to continue his aggressive offseason approach this year, continually working to improve his game, but said he didn't want to just name one area where he wanted to improve.

"I wouldn't just pinpoint one thing," said Johnson. "Like I said, people are going to drop the ball. I'm not perfect. I'm not going to sit up here and act like I'm perfect. I just go out there and play football. There's a lot of emotions going on in the game. Sometimes you drop the ball. Big deal. Bounce back from it, make another play. That's what I did. I was able to get in the end zone and still make a couple plays after the two drops that I had. Even when I did drop the ball, this year, I've shown that I can respond in a positive manner. And that's what I've been doing.

"A lot of people talk about that, but they don't notice...I feel that's the main thing they focus on is the drops. But they don't see all the good stuff that I've been doing throughout the whole season. It's like, why do you continue to focus on that when I'm still continuing to contribute and put points on the board and have all these catches in the game throughout the season. The best of the best are going to drop the ball. I'm only human. I'm going to drop the ball again throughout my career. All I can do is just keep on working."

After the game Coach Mike Tomlin showed some frustration with the play of the receivers overall in his postgame press conference. Johnson said that the offense definitely needs to have more consistency moving forward, and that includes the receivers.

"We've shown we can be explosive," said Johnson. "But we have to be consistent every time. There are times we get down, we don't move the ball, we don't get the run game going and that fuels the offense. It brings the energy down so that makes the defense play harder and they have to be on the field longer.

"I feel like at times we were able to (be consistent). And at times we weren't. We have shown flashes that we can be consistent, but we just have to keep doing that throughout the season. We've shown flashes, but we have to do better."

Wanting to stay put: Montravius Adams was signed to the Steelers 53-man roster in November off the New Orleans Saints practice squad, and the defensive tackle is hoping he remains in Pittsburgh for a long time.

Adams, who came in and made an impact without having much time to even learn, loves the Steelers family atmosphere and would love to find a home on the defense.

"Honestly, this is a place I would like to stay to finish my career, however long that might be," said Adams. "It's the team, from top to bottom. I really mean that. If it wasn't for these players, I can't even say veterans, from the young guys on, the leadership is outstanding. I'm a guy who came in Week 11 or 12, and I'm getting taught by young guys, I'm getting taught by Cam (Heyward), by guys the same age as me like Chris (Wormley). For me it was making sure I was a great listener and being the best follower I can be. You have to be a great follower before you can be a great leader.

"Since I have been in the league, I haven't felt that family feel since I left Auburn. This is the place where I feel that. As a player, you don't want to lose that. It comes a lot of stuff like morale, confidence, a guy people feel like can play, can be the next guy up. At the end of the day you have to keep doing your job and that is what I want to do."

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