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Steelers WR Diontae Johnson Blasts Coverage of ‘Heated Argument’: ‘Don’t Get it Twisted’



Steelers WR Diontae Johnson
Steelers WR Diontae Johnson tries to make a catch against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 26, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

CINCINNATI — Diontae Johnson is not sweating any concerns about his reported ‘heated argument’ with Minkah Fitzpatrick after the Steelers’ loss in Cleveland. He addressed the reports for the first time since the news leaked on Saturday evening, stating that it was nothing and that it was all squashed.

“It really ain’t nothing,” Johnson said. “The media don’t need to make it something it ain’t. Y’all are from the outside looking in, like yeah, that’s my brother at the end of the day. Players, we’re going to be players. We’re passionate about the game. Everybody wants to win. You can’t look at it as, ‘oh, we had an all-out brawl or whatever’; it ain’t that. So, don’t get twisted. Players do it on each and every team. They talk junk to each other. We squashed it. We won the game today; that’s all that matters.”

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson and coach Frisman Jackson argue on the sideline against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 19, 2023. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

According to Adam Schefter’s report, Johnson, who chirped with wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson on the football field against the Browns, continued spatting with coaches on the way back to the locker room. Johnson was furious when they returned to the locker room, and Fitzpatrick intervened. That turned into a ‘heated’ argument ending with T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward separating Johnson and Fitzpatrick.

“Diontae Johnson’s on-field frustration last Sunday in Cleveland continued after the game in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room, where he got into a heated argument with teammate Minkah Fitzpatrick before Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt broke up the altercation and delivered a message that the team needed to stick together,” Schefter wrote.

Steelers Offense Improves

Those sources indicate that the locker room seemed to have moved on from the incident after Canada got fired, which Johnson agreed with overall. Diontae Johnson is not the only person to show displeasure this season, with George Pickens and Najee Harris also expressing severe questions.

On Sunday, Johnson had four catches for 50 yards. Kenny Pickett had a much better showing, too. He had his best game of the season, amassing 278 passing yards. Pittsburgh seemed to have better details in their game plan, and the timing was there. Johnson and Pickett had one miscommunication, but outside of that, it seemed fine.

For the first time in three years, and the first time since their game against the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the 2020 playoffs, they have eclipsed 400 yards in a game. That goes the entire tenure of Matt Canada’s stay as offensive coordinator, a whopping 45 games. It was the longest active streak in the NFL that Pittsburgh has now broken. If you do not count that, it was a crazy 58 games.

As the Steelers ‘ interim offensive coordinator, Eddie Faulkner admitted that Rome can’t be built in one day. Will the scheme suddenly look vastly different? Probably not. It’s Week 12, and some tweaks will be made to maximize the talent on the offense; not everything can suddenly be flipped. But focusing on players and the details will be critical for the team to get things going. It seemed that did well, and it eased all the tensions.