Kovacevic: Are Steelers finally catching on? Heck, who can tell, right?


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JuJu Smith-Schuster reaches through the Dolphins' Chris Lammons for a touchdown Monday night at Heinz Field. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

"Everybody got a little piece of the pile," Diontae Johnson was telling me, magnificently mangling what he'd meant in the process.

Because, you know, piece of the pie, hand in the pile and all that.

But hey, the kid and his fellow kid wide receivers mangled the Miami defense, too, in the Steelers' 27-14 meh-fest Monday night at Heinz Field, so let's cut a little slack and let him keep talking:

"We were catching the ball," he'd continue. "We were contributing to the running game. We were blocking. We just ... it felt great out there, to be playing like that on a Monday night in front of Steelers Nation."

Never mind the setting. Never mind the meh-fest, either, for the moment, being that these were the Dolphins. What mattered most, at least from this press-box perch, is that Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and, in his own way, James Washington finally, finally contributed something more than three hours of empty treadmarks in the turf.

Start with the seemingly routine:

That's the Steelers stuck at their 5-yard line early in the second quarter. It was third-and-11. Johnson beat Miami's excellent Xavien Howard to the sideline with a slick break, precisely the type of route-running that had the front office pumped about drafting him out of Toledo, and Mason Rudolph matched that precision with the delivery.

Not pictured: The offense was being thunderously booed just before that.

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