Part of being a professional athlete involves overcoming struggles. Even during the times when the outcome does not go in their favor, what defines these people is their ability to persevere and eventually conquer their weaknesses.
When we talk about perseverance, perhaps no player on the Pittsburgh Steelers' roster exemplifies this better than receiver Diontae Johnson. Since the end of last season, Johnson has vowed to improve on his biggest weakness, dropping passes. As gifted a route has proven to be, many believe the aspect that has been holding him back from elite status, was his habit of dropping passes.
Coming into this game, Johnson had dropped only one pass on 107 targets. Then, last in the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger throws a near-perfect pass which he drops in the end zone. A big opportunity to tie the game at that point was missed.
What defined Johnson in this game was not that dropped pass, but how he responded. In the second half, he was arguably the best offensive player on the field, accounting for two touchdown receptions, including the one that gave the Steelers their first lead late in the game. Johnson not only led his team in receptions and receiving yards, he led all receivers in these categories. Remember that drop in the second quarter? He redeemed himself in a big way for it.
Johnson's redemption in the game should be a reminder to all of us never to give up on ourselves and others. He showed in the game his ability to elevate past his weakness. If there were any doubts about it before, Johnson is the team's No. 1 receiver (no disrespect to Juju Smith-Schuster). The more he produces, the more games this team wins, which is what they needs this time of the year.