clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Terrible Towel Tales: Diontae Johnson draws criticism from HOFer

Steelers news and commentary for Tuesday, November 28

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Welcome to the Terrible Towel Tales, where we’ll highlight some of the latest stories permeating Steelers media for your reading pleasure every Monday through Saturday. In today’s news…

Hall of Famer Blasts Steelers WR Diontae Johnson | Noah Strackbein, All Steelers

“Diontae Johnson, bro, you drop a touchdown, and then you walk off the ball, the ball is fumbled, and you do nothing? Man, hell no! Walking off the ball,” Sharpe said. ”It’s a bad look because you’re complaining about the ball, you dropped the touchdown on the play before, and then ou walk off the ball, ok, walking off the ball is bad enough, but then the ball popped out and you don’t even chase. You can’t do that.”

The play in reference was a fumble by Jaylen Warren during the first quarter. Johnson was caught by cameras not attempting a block and then walking away when the ball comes out in front of him.

NFL Week 12 winners, losers: Steelers find a spark after firing Matt Canada | Lorenzo Reyes, USA Today

Paired with quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan as play caller, interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner orchestrated the most productive day the Pittsburgh Steelers have had in years in a 16-10 defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh had been averaging just 280.1 yards of offense this season, which was 28th in the NFL. It had not outgained a single opponent.

The Steelers did a very un-Steelerlike thing by firing Matt Canada. The early returns were promising | Will Graves, AP (WTAE)

While the scoreboard looked an awful lot like so many during Canada’s two-plus seasons calling the plays — all seven of Pittsburgh’s wins this season have come by eight points or fewer and the Steelers haven’t reached 30 points in a game they’ve won since 2020 — the mood in the aftermath was different.

Lighter. And decidedly more positive.

It’s a shift that began basically the day after Canada’s stunning — if only for the timing — dismissal. While Tomlin made a concerted effort to absorb the blows as frustration mounted, the tipping point came in the 24 hours following a 13-10 loss to Cleveland, when player after player — running back Najee Harris and wide receiver Diontae Johnson chief among them — said in so many words “this simply can’t continue.”