Connect with us

Steelers News

Ex-Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Explains How Ben Roethlisberger Helped Him



Diontae Johnson Steelers

According to a report by Mark Kaboly of the Athletic, former Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson requested a trade out of Pittsburgh before his eventual trade to the Carolina Panthers. Things came to a breaking point for Johnson and he wanted a new scenery. He’ll now have a fresh start with second-year quarterback Bryce Young and first-year head coach Dave Canales in Carolina.

Johnson had an up-and-down five seasons with the Steelers. The last two years without Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback were especially challenging. In an interview with Kassidy Hill of, Johnson explained how he took what he learned from Roethlisberger and tried to pass it onto Kenny Pickett.

“Ben always liked to do things his way and I had to kind work around that,” Johnson recalled. “So, learn how to play his game, what he liked and what he didn’t.”

“I feel like (Ben) kind of helped me out adjusting with Kenny. I kind of showed him how I run routes, what to expect here or where I want the ball at or certain stuff like that. He picked up stuff so quick, he didn’t really need much help from that standpoint, but on the field, I kind of wanted to just let him know how I play and what he should be expecting.”

Johnson never really developed a strong rapport with Pickett, however. He had better chemistry with Mason Rudolph, and publicly expressed that he hoped Rudolph would be the starter going forward. Pickett potentially being the starter in 2024 likely played a big role in Johnson wanting out.

Johnson will now look to build a relationship with another young quarterback in Bryce Young. The former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback and first overall pick in 2023 struggled in his rookie campaign, but he really didn’t have any weapons to throw to. That’s not the case with Johnson in Carolina now.

“I feel like I can help Bryce out a lot. I mean, and I know it’s going to take time, but I just got to have patience,” Johnson said. “I know things aren’t going to be smooth just out the gate. (But) I kind of know like what to expect.”

Young hasn’t met Johnson in person yet, but the two communicated as soon as the trade was made public and coordinated some training together this offseason.

“Start getting this chemistry together,” Johnson said.

Time will tell if things work out better for Johnson with Young as his quarterback than Pickett.