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Thread: Steelers Take WR Diontae Johnson

  1. #221
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    Well they took him in the 3rd round over a lot of other talented players. And management has received a fair share of criticism for the pick. They want to see if these kid can be the real deal down the line. I know Ben is curious; he wants to see if he is indeed the next great WR.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  2. #222
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    PFF picks WR Diontae Johnson to win camp battle over James Washington and Donte Moncrief

    With the Steelers set to crown a new starter this offseason at wide receiver, Pro Football Focus make a case for young rookie from Toledo

    By Simon Chester@SimonAChester Jun 5, 2019

    While the Pittsburgh Steelers are generally set at most starting positions heading into 2019, there is still one issue yet to be resolved following the trade of Antonio Brown. But as tough as it will be to replace the league’s best wide receiver, the loss of AB should give fans one of the more intriguing camp battles to follow this offseason.

    With JuJu Smith-Schuster assuming the No.1 role, it will be left to newcomers Donte Moncrief and Diontae Johnson to compete with returning second-year player James Washington for the right to lineup opposite him. And with none of the three players seemingly alike, it is far too early to predict a winner in this contest with any degree of certainty.

    When we discussed the battle last month, BTSC editor Jeff Hartman predicted Moncrief would win the job come opening day and I sided with Washington, while the rookie was effectively discounted.

    However, based on an article by Mark Chichester of Pro Football Focus on Monday, it would appear that they disagree with our assessments, picking Johnson as the one to ultimately win the competition for the starting role.

    “Donte Moncrief, who signed a two-year, $9 million deal with Pittsburgh this offseason, has drastically underwhelmed in recent years, earning sub-63.0 overall grades in 2017 and 2018, but his career-best effort (73.4 overall grade in 2016) isn’t really one to call home about. Battling for that spot is second-year pass-catcher James Washington, and he will be chomping at the bit to redeem himself after he produced one of the lowest receiving grades of any qualifying rookie wide receiver in the PFF era.

    “Enter Diontae Johnson —the team’s third-round pick out of Toledo and a skilled route-runner is own right — who has a real shot to make an impact in this Steelers offense. Among the 102 FBS wide receivers with 150 or more targets over the past two seasons, Johnson ranked tied for 22nd in receiving grade (85.9), 10th in yards per route run (3.01) and eighth in passer rating when targeted. But if we look at his work from the outside alone, it becomes all the more impressive, as he came down with 34-of-67 targets when lined up as an outside receiver last year, for 624 yards, 329 yards after the catch and an average of 9.7 yards after the catch per reception that ranked tied for ninth among draft-eligible wide receivers with at least 50 routes run from the outside.”

    “The verdict: More than a slot guy and more than a big body that can stretch the field, Johnson offers a versatile skill set that can really contend with the receivers in this group.”

    It should be noted that PFF were advocates of Johnson ahead of the draft and have written a number of glowing articles about him since, but the merits of their argument should not be ignored either. Moncrief has hardly set to NFL on fire during his first five years in the league and Washington’s level of production as a rookie was far from inspiring either.

    That being said, it would still be a significant surprise to see the rookie get the nod over the two veteran options in Week 1. And while being able to foresee a scenario where Johnson had claimed the starting job by mid-season, it seems doubtful it will have by opening day unless the rookie has had a spectacular preseason.

    https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.co...crief-nfl-news

  3. #223
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    Rookie WR Johnson Admits To Being Tested Some By Roethlisberger During Final Week Of OTAs

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on June 6, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 OTA practices came to an end on Thursday and after the session rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson, the team’s first of two third-round draft picks this year, spoke to media about the progress he’s made the last three weeks

    First, Johnson was asked about what it was like this week getting to work in some situations with starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and interacting more with him than he did in the previous two weeks of OTA practices.

    “It’s different,” Johnson said, according to video on steelers.com. “Just being able to show him I can be consistent and he can rely on me and I can show him that I can retain information. And just trying to get that connection down with Ben. It’s crazy to me. So, it was just a big moment for me because I used to watch him growing up and now I’m here with him. So, it’s, like, different.”

    Johnson was evidently spotted talking more with Roethlisberger during practices this week than in the two previous weeks and the young wide receiver out of Toledo was asked if those one-on-one moments were helpful to him.

    “Yeah, if I had like a question, or whatnot, he would just tell me what I need to do or whatnot,” Johnson said. “Like how to adjust to certain things and stuff like that.”

    Later during his Thursday media session, Johnson was asked about it looking like Roethlisberger was in his ear quite a bit during a particular end zone drill this past week.

    “Yeah. like I said, little details like planting, how many yards he wants me to break and he’s just testing me right now to see like how I adjust to the ball and stuff like that,” Johnson said.

    So, does Johnson feel like he passed the tests this week from Roethlisberger?

    “Yeah, right now. I mean, just I’m still going so there’s more room for improvement every day,” Johnson said. “So, that’s what I’m doing. Get in the playbook, just come out and execute.”

    Johnson also admitted after Thursday’s OTA practice that he was allowed to participate more this week in the 11-on-11 portion of practices than he had during the previous two weeks.

    “Yeah, because I’m starting to get more comfortable, like I said before, and getting the playbook now and it’s just playing smoother,” Johnson said.

    Johnson did indicate, however, that those 11-on-11 reps he received this past week were as a member of either the second or third-team unit.

    “I haven’t really gone with the first team these past three days, but sometimes I get in there like a play,” Johnson said. “But I’m just right now focusing on the twos and the threes right now, trying to get my reps down.”

    While it sounds like Johnson has made great progress these last three weeks, he made it clear on Thursday that he still has a lot of developing to do. He also made it clear on Thursday that he now knows firsthand that the NFL is a lot different than college.

    “I’m still adjusting,” Johnson said. “Just the speed and the conditioning is just totally different from college because everything’s faster. And once you get here, it’s even faster. So, just got to be ready and know what they expect.”

    With former Steelers cornerback William Gay now working with the wide receivers after being officially named a 2019 coaching intern for 2019 earlier in the week, Johnson was asked how the longtime NFL defensive back has helped him so far during OTA practices.

    “He’s been telling me like how like certain defenses are going to play and like what to expect from a corner, like, what leverages to attack, or whatnot,” Johnson said. “Try to keep everything the same when I’m out there at receiver so they can’t like pick off like certain things I do, if it’s a pass or a run.”

    Next up for Johnson and the rest of his Steelers teammates is the annual mandatory minicamp and Johnson was asked what he expects next week during those practices.

    “Expecting the same things from me,” Johnson said. “I mean, just trying to get better every day and execute on each day, and like I said, learn the playbook. That’s my main focus.”

    Next week during the Steelers mandatory minicamp we’re likely to hear from wide receivers coach Darryl Drake and if so, he’ll likely be asked to give a progress report on Johnson and we’ll be all ears for that. While it does seem that Johnson is on an expected development path through the team’s OTA practices, it’s still hard to imagine him being a starter come Week 1 of the regular season as veteran Donte Moncrief will almost assuredly be the starting X wide receiver opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster right out of the chute.

    However, if Johnson’s progress continues on through mandatory minicamp, training camp and the preseason, he should be able to start logging some offensive snaps early on in the season and hopefully start seeing a heavy increase of playing time as the year wears on.

    “He’s caught about every ball I’ve thrown to him, so that’s a good sign,” Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph said on Thursday. “He’s just quick. He’s picking up the offense fast. He’s very coachable, and he’s very hungry to learn. That’s good to see in a young guy.”

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/ro...-week-of-otas/

  4. #224
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    Makes you think of that “ Rudolph to Johnson” future connection possibly down the road. We can only hope.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Maniac View Post
    Makes you think of that “ Rudolph to Johnson” future connection possibly down the road. We can only hope.
    Fingers crossed

    I'd take Dobbs as well.

    Hope one of them grows enough to be a legit starter

  6. #226
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    The WR battle is going to be fun to watch.

    I know this is sacrilegious, but JuJu had better not get complacent or he could not get the same number of looks during the game especially when he will likely be double covered on every play.

  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    Fingers crossed

    I'd take Dobbs as well.

    Hope one of them grows enough to be a legit starter
    Put your money on Rudolph

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    The WR battle is going to be fun to watch.

    I know this is sacrilegious, but JuJu had better not get complacent or he could not get the same number of looks during the game especially when he will likely be double covered on every play.
    I think the battle is entirely hoping someone arises as an above average WR2.

    We have a guy who never put up stats that were all that significant, a guy who dissapointed as a rookie, and a guy from a small school that most people thought was a pretty big reach at the time.

    I really hope someone from that group challenges Juju for looks, but I'm in the wait till I see it camp.

    Until we see proof I think it's more like we'll have Juju and three WR3s.

    If he loses targets, I think McDonald is the most likely culprit. Especially early in the season. We really need him to stay healthy.

  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Put your money on Rudolph
    I’m thinking Rudolph too but you never know; Something could kick in with Dobbs in his third year.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Put your money on Rudolph
    No need to bet because we have both.

    Given the success rates of QBs, I think the most likely outcome is that neither becomes above average... But it's better to have two lottery tickets than one.

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