Diontae Johnson is days away from suiting up for his very first NFL playoff appearance on Sunday. But he’s not going to let that be a thing.
“At the end of the day, it’s just football,” Johnson said in a press conference on Wednesday. “Yeah, it’s a playoff game, a single-elimination tournament, and it’s a big game, but you have to make sure you don’t overthink it. I am just attacking it like it a normal week other than maybe a little more detailed on my practice skills and watching films —route running, catching the ball, looking it in. I have to make sure I am a little more dialed in this week.”
Johnson was benched early in the Week 14 loss to the Bills after adding two drops to the seven committed in a five-game span.
“After that Buffalo game, I just really sat down with myself and talked to myself to try to figure out what is going on with me,” he shared. “Really, it was just a mental thing and really just paying attention to outside noise, and once I got rid of that and starting dialing in on myself and just focusing on me (and) the game, you didn’t see my try to think too much and try to double catch the ball or things like that. I feel like myself again. I just want to continue to show the world that is what I am capable of doing.”
Johnson has shut out the noise and shaken off the yips. Since the Buffalo benching, he’s bounced back to contribute 22 catches on 34 targets, 257 yards and two scores.
To prep for this monumental game, Johnson looks to the experienced guys in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defensive tackle Cam Heyward, guard David DeCastro, whose combined playoff experience is 33 games.
“Those guys have been in the league for a long time; they have the experience,” Johnson said. “I’m just trying to see how they go about this week and how they prepare and try to put that in my game so I can be ready just like them.”