Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson became the most experienced receivers on the Steelers roster this offseason and Claypool said Thursday that he feels his “voice is being actively heard” for the first time since he entered the league.
Claypool is using that voice to help mentor younger teammates like second-round pick George Pickens, but Johnson isn’t around to play the same role in Pittsburgh right now. He’s been working out on his own amid reports that he’d like a new contract after becoming eligible for an extension this offseason.
Claypool said he “didn’t want to be at home when all these guys are getting together,” but that he’s confident Johnson is doing what he needs to do in order to be ready for next season.
“I know Diontae is grinding no matter where he is,” Claypool said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I know a lot of people are looking into it, but I’m not looking into it too much. He’s perfecting his craft, and he’s going to play. . . . He’s been here for a little bit, and he’s studying his playbook regardless of where he’s at. I think he’ll be all right. I know we miss him, but he’s going to take his time and perfect his craft.”
The Steelers will be hoping that Claypool’s right about Johnson being ready to go once he does return to work. They’ll be breaking in a new quarterback and multiple new starters on the offensive line, so the more help they can get from their returning wideouts the better.