Here’s how Dionate Johnson is making sure not to drop passes


Coming into a pivotal season, Dionate Johnson is hopeful to show that his arms won’t be an issue in 2021.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a four-man large receiver group that might be the most effective in soccer. Ben Roethlisberger’s regression or not, the quad of expertise is sufficient to cover a lot of the blemishes discovered on offense.

Maybe the most important title going right into a prove-it season is Diontae Johnson. Coming into his third yr out of Toledo, Johnson has proven when he’s on his recreation, there’s little or no about him that may’t scream top-tier goal.

One space of concern has been drops in each 2019 and 2020. Coming into 2021, Johnson is decided to indicate the entrance workplace and the fan base that his inconsistent arms are a factor of the previous.

How so? Proper now, Johnson is working towards with a tennis ball machine at his residence to maintain a better eye on the goal.

“It’s a smaller goal so it’s a must to actually concentrate on the ball and the article coming at you,” Johnson instructed Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Evaluation earlier this week. “That’s what I’ve been honing on to. Now, once I catch the soccer it’s simple.”

Can Diontae Johnson’s arms be a plus for the Steelers in 2021?

There’s a double-sided commonplace on the subject of Johnson’s play. Though he led the Steelers with 923 receiving yards in 2020, he additionally led the NFL with 16 dropped passes. Of these 16 drops, 14 got here on performs that have been inside 5 yards of the road of scrimmage.

Total, Johnson can’t take full blame for fumbling a move because the Steelers led the NFL in 2020 with 30 complete dropped passes. Tight finish Eric Ebron had seven drops, and rookie wideout Chase Claypool totaled six.

Johnson admitted that one in every of his main faults was taking the attention off the ball too early. Little issues similar to that might play an important position in contract extensions for any sort of receiver on the lookout for high greenback.

“I’ve bought to catch the ball. That’s my job,” Johnson mentioned. “I’m a receiver, and that’s what I’m paid to do. There aren’t any excuses behind that. All of it ties all the way down to focus and understanding what I’m doing on a regular basis. When a nasty play occurs, it’s a must to transfer on, you possibly can’t dwell on it.”

With James Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster coming into contract years, Johnson wants to indicate consistency. Claypool has three extra seasons on his deal, that means one of many three will possible be hitting free company earlier than the top of 2022.

Total, Johnson’s pace and talent to win each within the slot and on the perimeter makes him a reputation to observe for in 2021. If his drop complete diminishes, he’ll should ship a thanks card to the tennis ball launcher firm for his subsequent contract extension.


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