Former Steelers players and fans alike shared their displeasure following Pittsburgh’s disappointing 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The most notable former player to take issue with the Steelers lackluster showing Sunday was ESPN analyst Ryan Clark.
Clark claimed he did not see much fight in the Steelers, a shortcoming he believes reflects back on head coach Mike Tomlin.
“Mike Tomlin is my favorite football coach,” Clark tweeted Sunday. “With that be said no matter what the roster looks like your team has to be prepared, be in proper positions to succeed, and dang fight! The Steelers did not fight today, and that goes back to the head coach. He gotta get’em right.”
Mike Tomlin is my favorite football coach. With that be said no matter what the roster looks like your team has to be prepared, be in proper positions to succeed, and dang fight! The Steelers did not fight today, and that goes back to the head coach. He gotta get’em right.— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) October 9, 2022
Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson responded to Clark’s allegation that the team lacked fight and quit on Monday.
“I’m not worried about RC, man,” Johnson said. “He played here. He knows how the Steelers play. If he wants to come play, he can come help us win. If he’s got so much to say.”
Clark opted to take the high road on social media, but did reveal that Johnson had blocked him on Twitter.
Regardless, Clark stood by his assessment of Pittsburgh, and added he would say the same to Johnson and the Steelers in person.
Talented player. I wish him the best. One thing for sure is I ain’t good enough to help that team.. And the one position that doesn’t need to be better is free safety as long as @minkfitz_21 is playing https://t.co/oNjsmhCnNq— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) October 10, 2022
Johnson also took the opportunity to respond to fan criticism of he and the team’s performance on Sunday.
While he did say he is appreciative of the team’s “real fans,” Johnson reaction was not as receptive as some Steelers faithful might hope.
”They’re not out here, so they can say what they want to say,” Johnson said. “Y’all are watching us, at the end of the day. We’re going to do what we do and play football, at the end of the day. If y’all are so good, come out here and help us, if y’all got so much to say.”
For context, here is the full response by Diontae Johnson when asked about criticism from fans/others, particularly on social media.— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) October 10, 2022
"The real fans that really know what we do, I appreciate them." #Steelers @937theFan pic.twitter.com/7Gg0nPMoEI