Ask most football fans across the country about Stevie Johnson and they will probably say one or both of two things:?Blamed God on Twitter for a drop against Pittsburgh and now a touchdown celebration that overshadowed a thrilling game against the Jets. It shouldn’t be that way.
Ask most football fans across the country about Stevie Johnson and they will probably say one or both of two things:?Blamed God on Twitter for a drop against Pittsburgh and now a touchdown celebration that overshadowed a thrilling game against the Jets.
It shouldn’t be that way.
Johnson should be thought of as the fun-loving, solid NFL wide receiver for a young, up-and-coming Buffalo Bills team.
Instead, the great things about Johnson — his outgoing, colorful personality and the fact that he is a former seventh-round draft pick that has carved himself out a nice NFL career — are being tossed to the side because of an immature side show.
There’s a difference between Johnson being the refreshing, all-around good guy he is most of the time and the guy who sometimes has terrible lapses in judgment.
Mocking Plaxico Burress’ accidental shooting of his own leg was tasteless considering he went to prison for almost two years for the crime.
The memory of Sean Taylor’s death in 2007 — because of a gunshot to the upper leg — should always be fresh in people’s minds, making Johnson’s “celebration” all the more regrettable.
“It’s irrelevant whether or not I?rehearsed it or not,” said Johnson. “I?have to apologize to everyone and talk to coach. I can’t be doing that.”
As Johnson stood out looking at a massive huddle of reporters and cameramen following Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the New York Jets, again he was explaining a bad play — but this is one that will be harder to forgive.
Dropping a ball in the end zone in overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers is something that happens from time to time. Anybody could have a bad day, or let a victory slip through your hands.
Johnson was in tears and said he would never get over that drop that would have given the Bills a major upset over the Super Bowl-bound Steelers last season.
This time, Johnson was just humbled by having to answer questions about a celebration that eventually cost the Bills 15 yards and led to a flubbed kick-off, another personal foul penalty, and then a game-tying touchdown by none other than Burress himself.
“I don’t think anyone needs to get motivated off of a celebration,” said Johnson. “We’re all pros.”
The Bills losing momentum is not all on Johnson because anyone could question Chan Gailey’s decision to try the squib kick and Dave Rayner did screw up the play anyway. Marcell Dareus gave the Jets a first down with a penalty and, of course, the defense allowed Burress to get open in the end zone.
However, Johnson got the ball rolling with his mock of Burress and then playful poke at the Jets’ “flight” celebration where he fell to the ground — like a jet crashing to the ground.
Johnson had a shot at redemption, but instead was a victim of karma.
A potential game-winning touchdown slipped through his fingers and spent time answering questions about that, too.
“My reaction was slow,” said Johnson. “It was there. I just didn’t react fast enough. The defense and offense played like dogs, and I didn’t make a play again.”
So instead of smiling about getting the best of Darrelle Revis, arguably the league’s best cornerback, Johnson had to explain his thinking about a touchdown celebration and a critical dropped pass.
Revis has shut down elite wide receivers every week, frustrating the likes of Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, and Terrell Owens during his career, but not Stevie Johnson.
The Bills’ flashy receiver had eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, giving him 11 receptions for 159 total yards in two games against Revis this season.
Johnson had Revis beat badly on a slant when he dropped the ball in the final seconds, putting the cap on what should have been a great day that became a misery.
“If we aren’t learning, what’s the point of living?” Johnson said. “I’m always willing to learn something from coach, whether it be decision making, blocking, how to run a hitch route.”
Let’s hope Johnson has learned his lesson this time.