Even after the win, Kenny Pickett’s line towards the Inexperienced Bay Packers appears to be like pedestrian. He completed 14 of 23 for 126 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. If he had performed yet another time, the field rating would have been lots higher. Trailing 19-17 and dealing with third-and-3 with simply over a minute left within the third quarter, WR Diontae Johnson disregarded the cornerback masking him man-to-man. Johnson received along with his launch, stacked the nook and raised his hand, the common signal of “I am open, throw me the ball.”
After which nothing. Pickett by no means noticed it, however threw the ball into the left flat, a contested play that Warren was unable to internet. As a substitute of what ought to have been an additional level, Chris Boswell got here out to make a discipline objective.
Pickett and Johnson spoke to reporters after Wednesday’s apply to provide their perspective on the second.
“He knocked the person off the road and adjusted his route,” he stated through the Steelers YouTube channel. “He did a fantastic job elevating his hand. After all I did not see him change the route. However he had the inexperienced mild to try this. He hit him so exhausting off the road and the mailbox and raised his hand. I simply did not see him modify the route.”
We’re all about exhibiting, not telling, so here is the play. Johnson is the receiver on the prime of the display screen. You see him categorical a little bit of frustration on the finish, as he raises his knees, figuring out that will have been six factors at a essential second.
Hungry to start out a landing streak after ending his finish zone drought in week 9 towards the Tennessee Titans, Johnson took second.
“He in all probability did not see me,” Johnson stated, additionally through the group’s YouTube channel. “Like I stated, we wish to have that again. Clearly we may have gotten some factors, however like I stated, these are recreation moments that typically occur like that. Simply do not present your frustration.’
In the end a missed likelihood from Pickett and poor studying, attempting to drive the ball into the flat, which fortunately wasn’t intercepted. In equity, it is comprehensible that he needed to get the primary down on third-and-short, and Pickett has made an effort because the bye week to focus on his again extra typically within the passing recreation. And the cornerback rolled towards Johnson simply earlier than the snap, giving him an opportunity to achieve vertically and convert his route primarily based on the protection. Nonetheless, it might have been an opportunity to make the passing recreation come alive on a day when it regarded like Pittsburgh had the benefit towards a Packers secondary with out prime nook Jaire Alexander.
However quarterbacks do not see every thing. They’re all lacking open receivers, a reality Johnson understood. Nonetheless, he hopes Pickett will look his manner subsequent time.
“I’d say: simply see it sooner. I simply see it sooner,” Johnson stated when requested how the 2 may join sooner or later. Like I stated, he will not all the time see every thing on the market, so he cannot harp on it an excessive amount of. Simply hold taking part in.”
Pickett has by no means been shy about throwing the deep ball when he sees one-on-one protection. It is an unlucky second and a missed alternative, a theme of the passing recreation over the previous three weeks. The Cleveland Browns play loads of man protection with aggressive corners, though beating stud gamers like CBs Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome can be rather more troublesome.