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Does Diontae Johnson hate Mitchell Trubisky?

Diontae Johnson

Does Diontae Johnson hate Mitchell Trubisky?

With Kenny Pickett set to miss another week with a concussion injury, the starting quarterback for the Steelers’ Week 15 matchup remains undecided. While Mitchell Trubisky has assumed the role of backup for most of the year, some players on the team, like wide receiver Diontae Johnson, believe that third string quarterback Mason Rudolph should get his shot.

“I know he’s ready to play,” Johnson said. “I know it’s probably in the back of his mind like, ‘Dang, when I’m going get my chance?’ I feel like this week is it for him. I know he’s going to do everything it takes to be prepared this week, get ready for Sunday.”

Quote via ESPN

Trubisky, who began the year as the starter before getting replaced by Pickett, has served as the backup for most of the season. But with Pickett questionable, the Steelers want to make sure they keep all their options open under center.

While Trubisky has, at times, shown flashes of being able to lead this offense, he’s also had his moments that remind you of his dreadful days with the Bears. Also aiding in Johnson’s desire for Rudolph to start is the fact that Johnson has yet to score a touchdown this year.

It’s been clear that Johnson is yet to form a connection with either Pickett or Trubisky. Though some fault falls on Matt Canada and his inability to run an offense, Johnson is the kind of player who, in theory, should still be scoring touchdowns for his team. Last year, he finished with 1,161 yards and eight touchdowns, while establishing himself as one of the better receivers in the game.

But so far in 2022, we haven’t seen that same Johnson, who currently has just 647 yards and zero touchdowns. So, it makes sense that he would want to shake it up at quarterback. Johnson and Rudolph have some connection dating back to Johnson’s rookie year in 2019, in which Rudolph started eight games for an injured Ben Roethlisberger.

It’s been quite a while since Rudolph suited up to start an NFL game. His last start came during Week 10 of last year when Roethlisberger became a sudden addition to the Covid list. Despite this, Johnson still seems to have the utmost confidence in Rudolph’s abilities.

“He’s been doing a great job just staying solid through everything and continuing to get better every day,” Johnson said. “You see at practice, he’s locked in, he’s making those throws, continuously showing that he knows what he’s doing, making the right throws here and there, getting everybody lined up right. I like that.”

Quote via ESPN

So, who is going to start?

Well, it’s still not 100 percent decided as to who will be the starting signal caller for the Steelers this upcoming week, the safe choice seems to be Trubisky, given his experience. But Rudolph splitting reps makes me believe Rudolph will at least get a shot, especially if Trubisky stinks it up to start the game.

One thing that is for certain is that Johnson clearly has a preference over who he wants to start. He’s having a down year by all standards and is probably looking for anything to try and shake his season up. Ultimately, Johnson should not be struggling this much — even under a Canada-led offense.

Now, in reality, I don’t think Diontae Johnson hates Trubisky, he’s just frustrated with his lack of production. It’s a feeling he shares with rookie wideout Geroge Pickens, who’s also been frustrated by his lack of targets recently.

At this point, you might as well start Rudolph. Trubisky has shown you the best he can do, and we’ve seen where that’s led to. So, would it really be that big a deal to let Rudolph start this week? What’s the worst that could happen?

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