After Sunday’s historic 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, former Pittsburgh Steelers safety and current ESPN commentator Ryan Clark went on Twitter to call out his “favorite football coach,” Mike Tomlin, for the team’s lack of fight against the Bills.
“No matter what the roster looks like your team has to be prepared, be in proper positions to succeed, and dang fight! The Steelers did not fight today, and that goes back to the head coach,” tweeted Clark, who went on to elaborate on those comments during the Oct. 10 edition ESPN’s Get Up.
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson: ‘I’m Not Worried About RC’
Also on Monday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN asked Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson to respond to Ryan Clark’s comments and “he didn’t mince words,” as Pryor put it.
“I’m not worried about RC, man,” said the 26-year-old wideout, making reference to Clark. “He played here. He know how the Steelers play. If he want to come play, he can come help us win, if he got so much to say. But other than that, I’m going to just keep playing football and worrying about me and my teammates.”
Diontae Johnson: ‘I Appreciate … the Real Fans’
As if that weren’t enough, Johnson had even more to say about taking criticism from fans and outsiders on social media, as highlighted by Josh Rowntree, a reporter and host on 93.7 The Fan (Pittsburgh).
Johnson’s comments prompted the sharing of the following graphic, as seen on Steelers Reddit.
It also inspired the following Tweet from Nick Farabaugh, who covers the Steelers and Pitt Panthers for Pittsburgh Sports Now.
Diontae Johnson is Signed Through 2024
Johnson is currently in his fourth season with the Steelers, having signed a two-year contract extension in the offseason, one that is worth up to $39.5 million and includes $27 million guaranteed. This year his salary is a modest $1.5 million, but it jumps to $8 million in 2023, then drops to $7 million in 2024, as per overthecap.com.
Thus far the former 3rd-round pick (2019, Toledo) has appeared in 52 games for the Steelers (with 44 starts). He has been targeted a total of 455 times and has made 282 catches for 3,031 yards (10.7 yards per catch) with 20 TD receptions, as per Pro Football Reference.
Last year he earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career. This year he is on pace for a career-high in receptions, but he is averaging a career-low 9.5 yards per catch and has yet to score a touchdown.
But dropped passes have been an issue with Johnson at certain points of his career. Hence the following quip from Jason Shetler, a writer for Burgh Sports United.
Thus far this season Pro Football Focus (PFF) has given Diontae Johnson a 70.4 overall grade, ranking him as the 40th-best receiver in the NFL, one spot ahead of Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens, who has a 70.1 grade.
Meanwhile, PFF has Johnson responsible for just two dropped passes. It also credits him with a mere 1.2 yards after the catch per reception, with a passer rating of just 47.8 when targeted.