Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson was seen having an intense argument on the sidelines with members of the coaching staff during the team’s 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. According to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, those emotions spilled over into the locker room following the game.
As the team was leaving the field, Johnson reportedly kept yelling at members of the coaching staff before injured safety Minkah Fitzpatrick attempted to intervene.
That resulted in a “heated” argument between the two stars, resulting in T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward stepping into play peacemaker and keep the situation from getting worse.
Johnson caught just two passes during the loss and was visibly frustrated as the offense continued to sputter.
The Steelers offense has been so bad this season that it actually prompted the team to make an in-season coaching change by firing offensive coordinator Matt Canada. It was the first time the Steelers have fired a head coach or coordinator during the season since 1941.
It is also the second year in a row that Johnson has reportedly been involved in a locker room altercation. He was also reported to have been involved in a locker room fight with veteran quarterback Mitchell Trubisky during a loss to the New York Jets a year ago.
That was the game where the Steelers made the decision to bench Trubisky at halftime and start playing then-rookie Kenny Pickett.
The Steelers go into Sunday’s game against Cincinnati Bengals with a 6-4 record and still clinging to a wild-card spot in the AFC playoff race. But the struggles of the offense are a major concern and it remains to be seen if a coordinator change will fix it.
Football is an emotional game and players having arguments or fights is pretty common over the course of a 17-game season. Especially when things are a struggle on the field. It would be expected, however, that the source of the frustration might be a defensive player getting mad at the offense for not pulling its share of the weight.
In this instance it was an offensive player getting mad at his own side of the ball, and the coaching staff that keeps putting them in those positions.