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Steelers News: Diontae Johnson may be the next Steelers superstar receiver

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at the potential for Diontae Johnson to break out in 2020.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Is Diontae Johnson next in line to be the guy in Pittsburgh?

Diontae Johnson looks like the next great Steelers receiver

By: Charles McDonald, New York Daily News

The Steelers offense was a wasteland of sadness last year. Ben Roethlisberger was hurt in the first game of the season, leading to a quarterback concoction of Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges that engineered one of the worst offensive units in the league. Pittsburgh ranked 31st in points per drive (1.47) and 30th in yards per drive (25.96).

However, there was a sign of life in last year’s offense from hell. Even with all the Steelers’ struggles moving the ball, rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson showed he has the skills to be an impact starting wide receiver in the league.

Johnson finished second on the Steelers in receiving yards with 680 and his five receiving touchdowns led the entire team. Pittsburgh has had a strong track record of finding stud wide receivers in the draft (Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster) and Johnson looks to be next in line.

680 yards and five touchdowns aren’t eye-popping numbers, but the situation has to be considered here. Pittsburgh just couldn’t find a way to generate consistent offense all season and it was only able to manage eight wins because of its punishing defense.

Any player that showed life in that offense should be labeled a hero.

Johnson was the only Steelers receiver that had a chance to win with precision route running against outside cornerbacks. Even though he was playing next to star receiver Juju Smith-Schuster, he often looked like the Steelers’ most talented receiver. Pittsburgh really leaned on him to close the season; Johnson averaged 64.3 receiving yards over the final four games of the season.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Coach Tomlin will support his players as they navigate taking a stand on social issues

Mike Tomlin prepared for Steelers players taking a knee during national anthem

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If Pittsburgh Steelers players want to kneel during the national anthem this season as a protest against police brutality and social injustice, they have the blessing of coach Mike Tomlin.

Speaking to the media Tuesday for the first time since the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers last month sparked nationwide protests, Tomlin said he has spent “a lot of group time” talking with his players about how to use their platform to address social injustice against African-Americans.

That includes any plans for Steelers players to kneel during the anthem, the controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began four years ago.

“It’s our intentions to support those guys in any statement or actions that they take as long as it is done thoughtfully, with class — and that includes kneeling,” Tomlin said. “Those are my feelings, and those are the feelings of us as an organization.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Ben Roethlisberger opens up about past addictions

Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger says faith has helped him deal with off-field addiction issues

By: Brooke Pryor, ESPN

Speaking over the weekend at a virtual conference for Christian men, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger acknowledged he has fought off-the-field vices over the years.

“It’s not always easy,” Roethlisberger said, talking to Tunch Ilkin, a former Steelers player and one of the event’s hosts. “People don’t realize all the time that us athletes, we’re human. We sin like everybody else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin. We’re human. I think sometimes we get put on this pedestal where we can’t make mistakes. I’ve fallen as short as anybody. I’ve been addicted to alcohol. I’ve been addicted to pornography, which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be.

“But you have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it because of the grace of God and him saying, ‘Listen, you’re good enough for me the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect.’”

The event, ManUp Pittsburgh, is hosted annually by Urban Impact in connection with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. According to the group’s mission, the 90-minute conference, held virtually on Father’s Day this year, “encourages and teaches men to be godly leaders for their families, and raises awareness of the devastating impact of fatherlessness among youth today.”

Roethlisberger was part of the most recent program, which included Tomlin and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. The quarterback has been married since 2011, and he and his wife, Ashley, have three kids.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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