Tag:Steve Johnson
Posted on: December 4, 2011 11:27 am
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Bills could choose to franchise WR Stevie Johnson

If Buffalo and Johnson don't agree on a long-term deal, he could be slapped with the franchise tag. (AP)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson is coming off a forgettable game against the Jets. Partly because of his touchdown-dance homage to Plaxico Burress' self-inflicted gunshot wound, but mostly because he dropped a Ryan Fitzpatrick (TD) pass that hit him right in the hands on Buffalo's last drive.

After a post-game apology from Johnson, and a sanctimonious finger-wagging sermon from Bob Costas, we're all ready to move on.

Earlier this season, Buffalo gave Fitzpatrick a $59 million contract extension. Next up on the team's to-do list: Johnson and running back Fred Jackson, who landed on injured reserve last month with a leg injury.

Even though the Bills haven't reached a long-term agreement with Johnson, it doesn't mean that he'll be playing elsewhere next season. The Buffalo News' Mark Gaughan provides details:
The time to get him at under market value was August or September, or maybe even immediately after quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick signed his contract extension on Oct. 29. Early in the season, a player in his contract year still has some motivation to strike an under-market deal, because he's getting security in the event of a serious injury during the season. …

Does that mean Johnson is gone? Not necessarily. The Bills still have the franchise tag in their pocket. They could use it on Johnson if no extension can be worked out between now and February. The franchise tag would guarantee Johnson about $9.5 million in 2012 on a one-year deal.

Would the Bills actually let one of their best players, at age 25, walk into free agency without keeping him in the fold with the franchise tag? Who knows? If they're willing to commit $9.5 million to him for next season, one would think they would be able to reach an extension of his deal.
Gaughan writes that the going rate for top-20 wideouts on the open market is about $8 million.

"There are 14 wide receivers making $7.65 million a year or more. Johnson is one of a handful of quality starters who are in the final year of their contracts," Gaughan writes. "They include: Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson, New England's Wes Welker, Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe, San Diego's Vincent Jackson and New Orleans' Marques Colston. … All of those guys are going to be looking at recent deals signed by Dallas' Miles Austin and Seattle's Sidney Rice. Austin signed in 2010 for $8.1 million a year. Rice signed in July for $8.2 million a year."

Is Johnson worth that much? Relatively speaking, yeah.

He had 82 catches for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010. And through 11 games in 2011, he has 52 catches for 622 yards and five scores. According to Football Outsiders' metrics Johnson isn't quite a top-20 wideout this season; he's 31st in total value and 42nd in value per play. Last season, Johnson ranked 12th and 26th, respectively.

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Posted on: November 29, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Coach Killers, Week 12: beware of untested QBs

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat.

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Steve Johnson, Bills

First things first: we have absolutely no issue with Stevie Johnson's touchdown skit. Up till the moment he fell to the ground, at which point it became a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration. Prior to that, it was original and funny, two things we could use more of in the staid environs of Roger Goodell's NFL.

We can't take our eyes off the cousin Eddie-inspired dickie.
In fact, the biggest travesty -- outside of the way Johnson played on the final drive -- was the mock incredulity and sanctimony from folks who found the dance offensive (Looks at Bob Costas, who we've taken to calling "Sprockets" after that black mock turtleneck number from Sunday night) because Johnson was making fun of Plaxico Burress, who accidentally shot himself in the leg three years ago.

Here's the thing: Plax shot himself in the leg three years ago. It's not like Johnson was making fun of someone with a special-needs child, or a cancer survivor. He was clowning a dude who carried a gun to a night club, and inadvertently put a bullet in his thigh.

Oh, he also served nearly two years for the incident, on concealed weapons charges.


Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson mocks Plaxico Burress' gun incident during a touchdown celebration against the New York Jets on Sunday.

To recap: Johnson's TD dance: hilarious. Getting a 15-yard penalty: not hilarious. Dropping a perfect pass from Fitzpatrick on the Bills' last drive, one that would've given the Bills the lead: unacceptable, especially if you're going to mock the opposition.

Johnson apologized immediately after the game, which doesn't change the final score.

"I was just having fun, and part of having fun ended up being a penalty and a touchdown for the Jets," he said. "It was a stupid decision by myself."

Head coach Chan Gailey, doing everything in his power not to blow a gasket with the cameras rolling, said "I think it was wrong. I told him so. What I hate is that game is remembered for his one action rather than a lot of good things he did in the game. I told him where I stand on it, and he knows exactly."

When asked about possible sanctions against Johnson, Gailey added: "If I were to discipline everybody (for dumb mistakes), there wouldn't be any players or coaches out there. Everybody makes mistakes."

On Monday, ESPN's Merril Hoge went so far as to suggest that Gailey should cut Johnson for his selfish behavior. That ain't happening because despite Johnson's horrible timing, as ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith pointed out on Monday's Pick-6 Podcast, Johnson is one of the few players who made Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis look human in coverage.


Burress, for his part, seemed unaffected by Johnson's end zone interpretive dance.

"I've seen worse, and I've heard worse," said Burress, who spent nearly two years in an upstate New York prison. "So, it doesn't bother me at all. The result I'm looking at is we won the football game ... and he turned around and dropped three wide-open balls to lose it for his team."

Curtis Painter, Colts

At this point, 11 games into the season and still searching for their first win, we're probably piling on. But the Colts don't have to be oh-fer-'11. Not only did they look like a proper football team against the Panthers Sunday, they had a legitimate chance to win an actual football game.

And then Curtis Painter, unable to get out of his own way, derailed those plans with two ill-timed throws -- both interceptions -- during a four-minute span late in the fourth quarter with Indianapolis trailing by eight points.

The first pick came at the Carolina four-yard line with four and a half minutes to go. After the Colts' defense forced a three-and-out, Painter led an 11-play drive that ended with another interception, this time in the Panthers' end zone with 35 seconds remaining.

It's impossible to imagine a scenario that would have Indy sitting at 0-11, even without Peyton Manning. And yet here we are. Painter Bears little of the responsibility for the organization's current predicament; that falls squarely at the feet of Bill Polian and Chris Polian, the architects of the current roster. That doesn't make the latest loss any easier to take.

"I don't know what you can call beyond frustrated," defensive end Robert Mathis said, via the Indianapolis Star.

And head coach Jim Caldwell, who could be looking for work after the season, leaned on feel-good bromides to get him through the latest defeat.

"You can't complain after the ballgame's over," he said. "You've just got to find a way to make it happen. …One of the things you'd like to do is give yourself a chance to win, that you're there at the end and it's just a matter of a play made here or there. I think we did that, but our goal is to win."

If you say so, Jim. We're guessing in your end-of-year meeting with owner Jim Irsay, aspiring to win won't be enough.

Caleb Hanie, Bears

There were certainly worse performance in Week 12, but the absolute worst play, in our estimation, had to be Hanie's delayed fake spike with seconds on the clock and the Bears trailing by five points. The thing is, a delayed fake spike isn't like your run-of-the-mill spike to stop the clock. Turns out, it's intentional grounding. Either you can fake the spike and throw the ball (made famous by Dan Marino), or, you know, actually spike it and stop the clock.

                                           HOW TO vs. HOW NOT TO PROPERLY EXECUTE THE FAKE SPIKE


‘‘We didn’t have any fakes or anything like that,’’ Hanie said afterwards. ‘‘That was just my fault." Forced into duty after Jay Cutler broke his thumb against the Chargers, Hanie also threw three first-half interceptions, which lead to this post-game observation. "It's just not a good time to have a learning experience."

Not helping Hanie's chances for success: offensive coordinator Mike Martz, the man who said he had no intentions of asking Hanie to be Kurt Warner (we thought that went without saying). Martz, it turns out, also had no intentions of crafting a game plan for an inexperienced backup.

Our good buddy Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com's Eye on Baseball blogger and diehard Bears fan, was pretty worked up with Hanie's third interception. Not because it happened near the Raiders' end zone, or that it resulted in three Oakland points before the half, but because Martz had Hanie sprint right before throwing a screen pass to his left across the field. It's not an easy play for veterans well-versed in the offense, never mind a kid making his first NFL start.

Tyler Palko, Chiefs

One word to describe Palko's play the last two weeks: mesmerizing. Clearly, we don't mean that in a "Stop what you're doing, Devin Hester's about to return a punt!" way. More like "Stop what you're doing, spectacular train wreck ahead." And Palko didn't disappoint. He's left-handed, and his throwing motion is reminscent of Tim Tebow's. The difference? Tebow has eight touchdowns to one interception. Palko has six picks in two games. Tebow also has better arm strength and is more accurate.

Tebow also doesn't blame his intended target whenever a pass invariably finds the unintended target, which is exactly what Palko did on three separate occasions Sunday night against the Steelers. It's one thing for a receiver to run the wrong route, or for miscommunication to lead to mistakes. But you watch these throws (here and here) and tell me how anybody but Palko is at fault.

But it was the Chiefs' final offensive play that proved to be the worst. Trailing 13-9 and with about 30 seconds to go, Kansas City was driving. And then Palko happened. Yep, another pick, this time to Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis. After the play, NBC color analyst Cris Collinsworth thought Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe quit on the play.

You can judge for yourself below, but here's what we're thinking: the ball was so horribly off-target that Bowe went up, realized that he had absolutely no chance to get a finger on it much less catch it, and decided to protect himself. We have no problem with that. Bowe's career shouldn't hinge on the erratic whims of Palko's arm. As NFL Network's Deion Sanders pointed out Sunday night, Palko's the type of quarterback the opposing team make sure gets to the game. "You send a limo for him," Primetime said.


Palko's third and final interception Sunday night. Yep, that was his fault, too.

Facial Hair Fails

This has absolutely nothing to do with job security, but we noticed a sudden influx of mustachioed NFL players (or in Ricky Stanzi's case, hippies) over the weekend. (Click photos to see our best guess at their inspirations.)


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Posted on: April 20, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Buffalo Bills

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

S. Johnson had some good moments last year for Buffalo (US Presswire).

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups . Also, check out our checkup podcast:




Although the Bills went 4-12 last season and were never in contention for any kind of postseason berth, there was reason for optimism at the end of last year. Against all previous indications, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t half-bad, young faces like RB C.J. Spiller and WR Steve Johnson showed potential, and the team took the Steelers, Chiefs and Ravens into overtime before eventually losing.

The head coaching abilities of Chan Gailey – in college or in the NFL – have never been that impressive to me, but I’d be an idiot if I didn’t say that he is making progress in Buffalo. Progress enough to compete with the rest of the AFC East? Not yet. But any kind of progress is good.




Very little elite talent

This obviously is a problem, because, aside from NT Kyle Williams – who’s a top-five interior defensive lineman – the Bills don’t feature any elite players (maybe S Jairus Byrd can get there at some point). With the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, that should change (you’d like to think so at least, if you’re a Bills fan). But remember, Buffalo went with Aaron Maybin with the No. 11 pick in 2009 and Leodis McKelvin with the No. 11 pick in 2008. Apparently, this franchise doesn’t always know how to pick the elite guys.



1. QUARTERBACK
While Fitzpatrick did a decent enough job at the starting spot last year, after Trent Edwards thoroughly failed at it and Brian Brohm didn’t do enough to win it, Fitzpatrick doesn’t scream, “FUTURE FRANCHISE QB.” Since the Bills have the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft, it makes sense for them to take somebody who could make that claim. Considering GM Buddy Nix said that now is the perfect time to draft a QB, Buffalo might just do it.

2. LINEBACKERS
Buffalo needs to shore up its 3-4 defense in a big way and procure players who can figure out how to get to the opposing quarterback. The Bills – who were tied for 27th in sacks last year – already have Shawne Merriman and Aaron Maybin at OLB, but it’s unclear if the former can stay healthy and the latter has been a big draft bust thus far in his career. Von Miller’s elite speed certainly would help in the linebacker corps.

3. DEFENSIVE LINE
The Bills were the worst team in football at stopping the run, so this spot obviously is in need of an upgrade. The line itself seems to be OK with Kyle Williams and Dwan Edwards, but a Da’Quan Bowers pick wouldn’t be shocking (though many experts are predicting Miller).




The Bills are still nowhere near making a bid for the playoffs, but there’s no reason they can’t improve on last year’s record. I think 8-8 would be a stretch – especially if Fitzpatrick is back at the QB spot – but 6-10 or 7-9 wouldn’t be out of the question. And it would be a sign of more progress.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:47 am
 

PETA wants Vick out of Madden cover tourney

Vick Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With the upcoming release of the next version of EA Sports’ “Madden,” there’s plenty of controversy already brewing.

First, you’ve got the 32-player bracket in which fans can vote for the cover boy that has already led to “upsets” of Bills WR Steve Johnson (by Patriots RB Danny Woodhead) and of Broncos QB Tim Tebow (by a surprising Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who dominated Tebow 64 percent-36 percent) in the first-round matchups.

Now, you’ve got the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who want Eagles QB Michael Vick evicted from the tournament (you know, the whole dogfighting thing).

That, however, won’t stop EA Sports president Peter Moore from putting Vick on the cover if that is the result of the fan vote.

"We believe that Michael Vick, as the runner-up in MVP for the league and the comeback player of the year, deserved his slot," Moore told CNBC.com. “I can tell you we've already received the letters from our good friends at PETA urging us to take him out of the bracket. I'm not here to comment on what he did. I personally believe, and this is personal commentary right now, that Michael served his time. He's had a tremendous season."

Vick also believes he deserves the honor, as he’s taken to his Twitter page to encourage fans to vote for him.

Moore also declared his company was wrong for originally allowing players who suffered concussions on the virtual field to return to the game. That’s why, in Madden ’12, that won’t be an option (my heart breaks for those who have Colts WR Austin Collie on their team).

According to the AP, Moore said “we have an obligation in our industry" to recognize that brain injuries are one of the leading issues of the day.

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Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:57 pm
 

Stevie Johnson feeling better (we think)

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be fascinating to see how Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson bounces back from his heartbreaking mistake against the Steelers. The young wideout was uncommonly public in his emotional reaction to the whole ordeal.
S. Johnson (US Presswire)
Days after drawing national headlines for his all caps tweet to @God, Johnson talked to the Buffalo media while wearing a shirt that read “It’s All Good”. It’s possible he may have still been feeling spiteful and meant to get “It’s all God” on the shirt, but judging from his attitude, a typo seems doubtful.

"I’ve been able to put it behind me," Johnson said, according to the Buffalo News. "I haven’t forgotten about it but I’m able to move on. I feel like I learned I’m not in control. I’m not in control of the situations, and I thought I was. I was getting to the point where I felt I was in control of every situation I was in."

Johnson was asked to elaborate on the “in control” part. "My play on the field. When plays are called I just felt like I was in control. I was watching the Boise game and I seen what happened with the kicker. I was like, things happen. That kind of stuff happens. I can forgive him for that. But if it happens to me I’ll be able to make the play. But it came down to it, and I didn’t."

Not to pour salt into a wound, but the drop was one play that WAS in Johnson’s control. (Same goes for Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman and those kicks, by the way.)

Nevertheless, all Johnson can do is move on. Does he truly know how? The rest of his NFL career starts this Sunday at Minnesota.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: November 30, 2010 4:03 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.30.10: Henry story keeps inspiring

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • According to the Mark Washburn of the Charlotte Observer, 76 people in Charlotte have signed up to become organ donors since the touching story of Chris Henry's mother and the people who received his organs aired on The NFL Today. This doesn't even include the number of folks who registered through the DMV, which is typically the easiest way to become an organ donor. Very cool stuff.
  • Tom Brady didn't practice Tuesday. In other news, taxes are still due sometime in April and the sun will come up tomorrow.
  • Interesting nugget that slipped through the cracks in Peter King's MMQB yesterday -- the 49ers KNEW that the Broncos were going to be videotaping the walkthrough in London. Which means that someone in the Broncos organization told them, or it's common knowledge that the Broncos do this. The former seems most likely, I suppose, based on everyone else getting tipped off, but it's a pretty interesting little factoid that seemed like it deserved a little attention. Just. Saying.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 11:00 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 12:08 am
 

Stevie Johnson: 'I Did Not Blame God People!'

Posted by Will Brinson



Steve Johnson missed a huge catch on Sunday -- a beautiful ball from Ryan Fitzpatrick that should have been a touchdown and would have given the Bills another win.

But he didn't really make headlines until he decided to unleash the fury of CAPS LOCK in a Twitter rant in which he appeared to question his Higher Power's plan because he dropped a pass.

On Monday, Johnson took to Twitter again in order to point out that he wasn't talking about the Big Guy.
And No I Did Not Blame God People! Seriously??!? CMon! I Simply Cried Out And Asked Why? Jus Like yal did wen sumthin went wrong n ur life!
Johnson also pointed out that "everything happens for a reason" (I'd agree) and gave a shoutout to Bills fans and and "real friends" before flashing his impressive CAPS LOCK skillz again.
I PLAY W/PASSION AND EMOTION! I HURT WEN I DNT MAKE A PLAY BKUZ iKNO THAT'S WHA MY TEAM,FAM,N MY CITIES WANT TO SEE! N THAS A WINs N PLAYS!
Look, it's no one's business but Steve Johnson's if he's got some beef with God for, um, making him drop that catch. He should have just realized that before he tweeted something bananas and admitted that he'll never get over the drop (the latter of which is way more dangerous to Johnson's career than him tweeting at holy beings).

Then there's the whole idea that God (or whatever Higher Power you prefer) doesn't care about football, which is entirely reasonable. Maybe he watches in his spare time, like many fans, but it seems pretty unlikely that whoever's in charge of this whole shebang is sitting upstairs manipulating what happens with the two-win Buffalo Bills. Surely there are better things to do.

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Posted on: November 29, 2010 3:39 pm
 

NFL Week 12 Podcast Review

Posted by Will Brinson

Week 12 of the NFL season is almost over (scary thought, no) and for once, we've got a little bit of clarity in terms of who's good and who's bad. The key phrase there, of course, is "a little bit."

To sort out the muddled business, though, Andy and I hop on the podcast machine and discuss whether Peyton Manning is seriously troubled, what kind of punishment Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson deserve, what the Buccaneers really are, if the Packers-Falcons game was an NFC Championship Game preview, why the Falcons are so unstoppable at home, if Steve Johnson is insane, whether Josh McDaniels is a lame duck in Denver, how Kansas City can contend and whether the Dolphins are back now.

All those problems solved (plus, much, much more) below -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
 
 
 
 
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