Mike Tomlin: Diontae Johnson can't let 'emotions' affect him

PITTSBURGH -- Coach Mike Tomlin declined to elaborate much on wide receiver Diontae Johnson's lack of reaction to the loose ball from Jaylen Warren's fumble Sunday in the Steelers' victory over the Bengals.

But Tomlin conceded his fifth-year wide receiver needs to work on managing his emotions on the field.

"We got to take care of the ball," Tomlin said Tuesday in his weekly news conference. "It is our desire. It's how we construct victory, and so Jaylen's got to do a better job there.

"Diontae can't let the emotions of the previous down affect his next down, but I'll give him an opportunity to address that with you guys. I'll give him an opportunity to address that with his teammates. I'm not going to add any additional color. I think plays like that are best described and outlined by those involved and less so by guys like me."

Johnson addressed the play after the win, saying he didn't see the ball.

"I just, I didn't see it," Johnson said Sunday. "I was just doing whatever I do at that time, blocking or whatever it is."

Just before Warren's fumble, Johnson's would-be touchdown was negated when he dropped the contested catch out of bounds, despite having taken three steps in the end zone. Tomlin, who said he didn't see a replay, didn't challenge the ruling.

"They were definitive, and I lost vision of it," Tomlin said Sunday of the officials' initial ruling of the end zone incompletion. "It was people between me and him. I couldn't count steps. They never gave us another look at it in-stadium. We didn't get a quick enough look at it up top. Sometimes that happens when you're on the road, but some games being on the road, some games being at home, all those things even out in the big scheme of things."

Warren's fumble on the next play ended the Steelers' first trip to the red zone against the Bengals. All told, the Steelers made four trips to the red zone and scored just one touchdown. The Steelers rank 28th in red zone conversion percentage, scoring touchdowns on just 44% of their trips.

Against the Bengals, the Steelers finally gained more than 400 yards of offense, but that didn't translate into points on the scoreboard. In scoring 16 points, the Steelers were below their season average. A week earlier, Tomlin cited the need to score more touchdowns as a reason to move on from offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

"I just want to see points," Tomlin said last week, asked how he wanted to see the offense change schematically. "I want to engineer victory more fluidly, and points do that."

The 16-10 win against the Bengals was the Steelers' seventh one-score victory of the season and their eighth game decided by seven or fewer points.

But Tuesday, Tomlin downplayed the low points output. Asked what needs to happen for the offense to turn yards into points, Tomlin was short and vague.

"More of the same, more work, more execution," he said. "We got a week to do something about it, and I'm excited about getting the group in tomorrow and working."