Pittsburgh Steelers fans have been patiently awaiting the arrival of their newly added players, and that day finally came Friday when the team welcomed their rookies, among others, to Day 1 of Rookie Minicamp.
Everything from jersey numbers, skilled plays caught on film and activity levels were all the rage on social media, and websites like this, as they try to get a grasp on who might be big-time playmakers, and who might just be praying to stay on the 90-man roster long enough to collect a few paychecks.
One of the more head-scratching aspects of Day 1 was the activity level, or should we say inactivity level, of third round pick Diontae Johnson. The former Toledo wide receiver was present, but only participated in individual drills.
Johnson participated in the individual portion of the 1-hour, 45-minute workout, but he did little after that.
Johnson said he was not injured — “I’m fine. I’m fine right now.” — and deferred questions about his lack of participation to coach Mike Tomlin.
While his participation on Day 2 will be a good glimpse of whether he is dealing with a nagging injury or was held out for other reasons, it is safe to say any reason for him to be sitting out on Day 1 of Rookie Minicamp is not a big deal.
The Steelers’ newest wide receiver will get every opportunity to show off his skills when the veterans show up for minicamp and Organized Team Activites (OTAs) and eventually training camp, but for now taking precaution is paramount.
As for Johnson’s overall thoughts on his first day with the Steelers? He is just happy to be back playing football.
“It’s exciting being able to play football again, being able to run routes and catch balls and learn the plays,” Johnson said.
The rookie minicamp concludes Sunday before players return for OTAs on May 21st.