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Diontae Johnson Responds to Critics of Late-Season Drops

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver says people don't want to focus on the positives.

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson started off as one of the hottest wide receiver the NFL this season, but as the playoffs inched closer - and the Steelers entered them - the third-year wideout  seemed to take a step back. 

Against the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson dropped two passes, both ending drives for the Steelers on their way to a 42-21 loss. However, throughout the course of the season, the 25-year-old led the team in both receptions, yards and touchdowns, on his way to his first 1,000-yard campaign. 

Johnson responded to those criticising his late-season drops, saying even the best wide receivers in the NFL are going to drop the football.

"I’m not perfect. I’m not going to sit up here and act like i’m perfect," Johnson said. "I just go out there and play football at the end of the day. There’s a lot of emotions going on in the game. Sometimes, you drop the ball. Big deal. Bounce back from it, make another play. That’s what I did. I was able to get in the end zone and still make a couple plays after the two drops that I had. 

"Even when I did drop the ball this year, I’ve shown that I can respond in a positive manner. And that’s what I’ve been doing. A lot of people talk about that, but they don’t notice .. I feel that’s the main thing they focus on is the drops. But they don’t see all the good stuff that I’ve been doing throughout the whole season. 

"So it’s like, why do you continue to focus on that when I’m still, obviously, continuing to contribute and put points on the board and have all these catches in the game throughout the season. It’s like, it’s football at the end of the day. The best of the best are going to drop the ball. I’m only human. I’m going to drop the ball again throughout my career. All I can do is just keep on working."

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Johnson finished his third season with 107 catches for 1,161 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. It's his third-straight season of seeing improvements in all three categories. 

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