PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The Steelers have a rising star at wide receiver.
In the absence of embattled wide receiver, Antonio Brown, rookie Dionte Johnson provides plenty of missing firepower from the Steelers’ passing game.
The Steelers have now a new rising star at wide receiver.
There is a new era, as we have all heard at nauseam, related to the void left from the injury to all-pro and future Hall of Fame Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the departures of Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. There is no debate that there is a difference in the offense, missing this high level of offensive firepower!
In my opinion, there is a glimmer of hope, with the emergence of Dionte Johnson. The former University of Toledo standout has shown he can be a legitimate threat, has great hands, is a solid route runner and possesses game breaking speed. Johnson has 30 catches for 363 yards with 3 touchdowns, the longest being the electrifying catch and run against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field.
Johnson is not an Antonio Brown and it is truly unfair to make the comparison. However, Johnson is an outstanding wide receiver, and in this period of transition away from the “Killer B’s” (Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger), he should be allowed to continue developing and be measured against his own standard, one that, if it continues this trajectory, will be exciting to watch and lethal for any opponent of the Steelers.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Lining them up and knocking them down.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 4 straight and are currently the 6th seed in the playoff race. That’s right, if the playoffs were to start today, the black-n-gold would be in the race for their 7th ring. But it’s only week 11 which means there are more left games to be played.
Speaking of games, the Los Angeles Rams made their way across country to Heinz Field Sunday to face the streaking Steelers and got off to an early start, scoring a defensive touchdown on a high snap that went over the head of quarterback Mason Rudolph. the Rams’ Donta Fowler, Jr. picked up the fumble for a score. Despite the early lead in the 1st quarter, Pittsburgh responded with a touchdown of their own late in the 1st after Rudolph connected with wideout James Washington to even the score to 7-7.
Steelers Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick continues to make clutch plays. He had two takeaways in the game, one fumble recovery for a touchdown — of course as retaliation — helping Pittsburgh rack up a defensive score of their own, and an interception at the end of the game to seal the deal. Fitzpatrick attributes his success to his teammates in addition to referencing his own ball awareness.
Final score was 17-12 in favor of the Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin praising his defense moments after the win.
“We have been open about that we need turnovers. Great defenses get themselves off the field. Great defenses stand up in the face of adversity when put on a short field. We have worked hard in that area.” Tomlin said, “It starts first with the acquisition of guys that are capable in that area. Can’t say enough about Minkah for example. The tear he is on is what it is; he needs no endorsement from me. But it is also our approach and who we work in the environmental element of our preparation. We just have to keep grinding.
Coach Tomlin says it always takes mental and physical strength to seal the deal. “…today we played, and I thought they played and played to win without fear. When you are playing a good opponent like the L.A. Rams, that is how you have to play. Thankfully, we are able to get a victory.”
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald returned to his hometown Pittsburgh to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 10, 2019. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)
On the other side of the ball, former University of Pittsburgh defensive end Aaron Donald, now defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams is a native of Pittsburgh. He mentioned how it was a nice homecoming for both he and the people who watched him grow into the player he is today. “This is home. To be back at Heinz Field — where I played 4-years here in college [University of Pittsburgh] — to be back here performing and to back here at home with my family watching, family and friends, it’s a good feeling.”
Donald was instrumental on defense, recording a half sack along with linebacker Clay Matthews which resulted in a safety. Despite his performance, Donald expressed his disappointment as his team came up short.
“I feel like we played well as a defense. We scored points, made turnovers, and made big stops,” Donald said. “There is always room for improvement, but I felt like overall I was proud of how the defense played today.” – Aaron Donald
The Steelers, however are on a short week and travel to face the Cleveland Browns — for the first of two matchups this season on Thursday night. The Browns defeated the Bills Sunday with a record of 3-6 and are in 3rd place in the AFC North behind the Steelers who are in 2nd with a record of 5-4. The Ravens are currently leading the division — 2 games ahead of Pittsburgh — at 7-2.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The Steelers are currently sitting at .500 with a record of 4-4 so far on the season and are in second place in the AFC North behind the Baltimore Ravens to handed the Patriots their first loss of the season. As for the Steelers, however, they defeated the Indianapolis Colts Sunday 26-24 at Heinz Field.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 43-yard kick which could have turn the tides of the game. A man of a few words after the game, “I just missed it. I have to do better than that. Just pulled it left.”
In his post game press conference, Steelers Head coach Mike Tomlin is happy about his team’s victory, however saying there is more work to be done to continue winning. “It is great to get a win versus a winning team. That team had been in a bunch of close games and won a lot of them. It’s good when you can be in a game against a team that is used to winning in close games and pull it out, so we are thankful for that. We have some things to fix, obviously, red zone execution and so forth.” Tomlin said, “But we will address it and address it with the win. It is good to be .500 at the turn like we talked about early in the week given where we have come from. It’s going to still be a while. We will work forever trying to get that September stench off of us, but that is life in this thing, and I appreciate the effort and fight. It is good to be sitting at 4-4.”
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, has played lights out since joining the Steelers in week 3 of the 2019 season. Since that time, he has 4 interceptions, one of which he took 96 yards for a touchdown Sunday against the Colts. “I was just reading the quarterback. He looked right first, then he looked hard left, shoulders turned and everything, so I just started drifting that way. He let go of the ball and I went and got it.”
Linebacker Budd Dupree was also instrumental in the success of the defensive stand with a forced fumble and 2 sacks. Both he and TJ Watt had big plays for losses. Watt recorded 1 and a half sacks and says he and Dupree are working well together as a linebacker tandem.
Next up, the Steelers host the 5-3 Los Angeles Rams who sit at 3rd place in the NFC West behind the unbeaten 49ers and Seahawks, both of whom beat the Steelers this season.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) – The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that quarterback Mason Rudolph has been cleared to play after a concussion he suffered during the matchup against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct 6..
The team’s spokesperson Burt Lauden said via Twitter that, ” Rudolph was cleared by an independent neurological consultant to fully return to action.”
The Miami Dolphins will visit Pittsburgh on Oct 28 on Monday Night Football.
This afternoon #Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was cleared by an independent neurological consultant to fully return to action following the team’s bye weekend. Rudolph is no longer in the concussion protocol.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Devin Bush is a rookie but is playing like he’s been there for years. The middle linebacker, drafted in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft from Michigan, is making a name for himself for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Early in his pro career to the present, he has always remained positive on his way to NFL stardom. Bush mentioned fellow teammates he’s looked up to, “Vince [Williams] is someone I’ve looked up to.” Bush said. “Ryan [Shazier] could easily be somewhere else doing completely something different. He’s invested in the team as a guy who loves football. He wants his team to excel as well as his teammates.”
This week, Bush was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Los Angeles Chargers. He was responsible for two takeaways in the game. 1 interception and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown.