November 27, 2011 - 5:53 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Stevie Johnson said it didn't bring back memories of the Pittsburgh loss a year ago in Buffalo. But almost a year to the day (it was last Nov. 28) after he dropped a certain touchdown pass in overtime against the Steelers, the Bills' top wide receiver found himself in front of the media Sunday afternoon, taking the blame for a devastating loss.
Johnson dropped a potential TD pass at the Jets' 20-yard line with 35 seconds left in a 28-24 loss at MetLife Stadium. Late in the first half, he had been penalized for excessive celebration after a 5-yard touchdown catch. The Bills botched a squib kick from their 20 after the call, allowing the Jets to score a quick TD to tie the score at 14-14 just before halftime.
The celebration involved Johnson pretending to shoot himself in the thigh -- an attempt to have fun at the expense of the Jets' Plaxico Burress, who served time in prison for shooting himself in a New York nightclub.
Johnson stood at his locker after the loss, with about two dozen cameramen and reporters crowded around him, and answered questions:
Do you regret the celebration and mocking out Plaxico?
"Yeah, most definitely," he said, "cause it hurt our team. I felt like I cost our team a win on that."
Was it rehearsed?
"It was just a bad decision."
I know it was a bad decision, but was it rehearsed?
"It was a bad decision, and it hurt our team. If it was rehearsed or not doesn't really matter. That's irrelevant."
Do you have something personal with Burress?
"No, not at all. It was just a bad decision I made and it cost our team seven points, basically. At the end of the day, it cost our team seven points and ...I'm going to have to apologize to everybody, talk to Coach. I can't be doing that. I got to be more mature about the situations."
Do you think it motivated the Jets?
"I don't think anybody needed motivation. We're all in the NFL. We're all professionals."
Did it bring back bad memorees of the Pittsburgh game?
"No, not at all. Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh. It's a whole new year. We're deep in the season. Ain't nobody worried about that right now."
Is it frustrating, having a good game against Revis and having to field questions about other things?
"Yeah. We lost, so this comes with it. If we won, I don't think it'd be the same situation. but we took the L and this is what you've got to go through."
What happened on the drop?
"My reactions were slow. It was there. I didn't react fast enough and, you know, I think it could have been a touchdown. It's tough. It's tough, because we battled. All the guys fought hard. The defense played like dogs. The offense played like dogs. I didn't make a play again."
Fitz moved you inside on that play, right? He said you don't practice it much.
"Yeah. We just drew it up in the huddle. It was there, and I just didn't make the play. Reaction was off."
You see Plaxico's one-handed catch?
"Yeah, of course. I'm watching the game, too. It was a good catch. He's a pro. He's been doing this. He's made catches like that in the Super Bowl. It doesn't surprise me. What was the point of that question?"
Would you approach Burress to apologize? You said the celebration was a mistake
"I said it was a mistake for our team. That's it. Anything else, it doesn't matter to me. All I'm worried about is the Buffalo Bills and my teammates. I don't worry about what's going on over there. That led to a touchdown for the Jets and it hurt us. I put that on me."
Chan says he has to talk to you about your decision-making. Does it frustrate you to be at that point at this stage of your career?
"We're human. You got to learn. When you stop learning, what's the point of living? I'm always learning from Coach, whether it be decision-making, blocking, running a hitch route. I have my ear to him all the time. That's my coach. I'm not going to take that in a negative way."
Was the celebration like a joke?
"No. Just having fun. That's it. Just having fun (laughs). It ended up being a penalty and a touchdown for the Jets. They got to 14,tied it up and we should have been up seven. But a stupid decision by me led to a win for the Jets and that's how I see it."
Do you worry about the team not being willing to invest in you as a franchise guy after a day like this?
"Am I worried about that? I'm not worried about that. I'm not even thinking about a contract, you feel me? I signed for four years, so I'm playing my four years out. I'm not thinking of signing an extension now or trying to get paid, you feel me? I'm trying to win games for the Bills. I'm not thinking about that."
Think you'll get fined?
"If I do, I do. If I don't, I don't. That doesn't matter to me. I'm just trying to win the game, and it didn't happen today. That's what I'm mad about. I'm not worried about a fine or anyhing else."
--- Jerry Sullivan
November 25, 2011 - 12:35 PM
---Strong safety George Wilson (neck), wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt (shoulder) and kicker Rian Lindell (shoulder) are all out for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Wide receivers Stevie Johnson (shoulder) and David Nelson (illness) and left tackle Demetrius Bell (shoulder) are all probable and practiced fully on Friday.
November 25, 2011 - 7:06 AM
November 24, 2011 - 4:42 PM
---Strong safety George Wilson (neck) did not practice on Thursday while wide receiver Stevie Johnson (shoulder) was limited in preparation for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Kicker Rian Lindell (shoulder) and wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt (shoulder) also missed practice. Wilson missed last week’s game at Miami while Lindell has been out the last two. Roosevelt was injured during the Miami game.
Wide receiver David Nelson (illness) and Demetrius Bell (shoulder), who has missed the last six games, both participated fully.
Out Thursday for the Jets were running backs LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) and Bilal Powell and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (knee), while tight end Matthew Mulligan (hip) and guard Matt Slauson (knee) were limited.
Quarterback Mark Sanchez (neck), running back Shonn Greene (rib), center Nick Mangold (ankle), linebacker Calvin Pace (groin), safety Brodney Pool (knee), defensive end Mike DeVito (knee), defensive tackles Marcus Dixon (shoulder) and Kenrick Ellis (ankle), linebacker David Harris (groin) and tackle Wayne Hunter (hamstring) all fully participated.
November 24, 2011 - 12:24 PM
Some late-breaking fantasy news on your Thanksgiving.
Niagara Falls native James Starks is active at running back for the Green Bay Packers today, who look to stay undefeated against the Detroit Lions.
On the Detroit side, Kevin Smith is listed as the starter at running back.
Some other fantasy notes as you get ready for some football:
- Packers WR Greg Jennings is active with a bruised knee. He's a good start.
- In the 4 p.m. game, Cowboys WR Miles Austin is out with a hamstring injury.
- In the late game, 49ers RB Frank Gore is expected to play despite being questionable with a knee injury, while Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is unlikely to play with a toe injury (for those in leagues who start individual defensive players).
Happy Thanksgiving, and best of luck!
November 24, 2011 - 9:00 AM
Bills special teams great Steve Tasker still has a block of support as a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tasker was among 26 modern-era candidates named earlier this week as semifinalists for the Class of 2012. It was the third time in the last four years and the fifth time overall that Tasker advanced to the top semifinalist list. Tasker did not make the semifinal list last year. Tasker is the only special teams player to make the final 26. There is only one special teams player in the Hall of Fame, Kansas City kicker Jan Stenerud.
Bills all-time great receiver Andre Reed is among the semifinalists once again. Reed has been among the final 15 six straight years and each of the past two years has advanced to the final 10 in the selection process. The 25 semifinalists will be whittled down to 15 modern finalists, a list that will be announced in early January.
November 23, 2011 - 6:37 PM
Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey found someone very familiar to him to add to the team’s running back roster.
The Bills claimed Tashard Choice off waivers from the Washington Redskins Wednesday. Choice fills the roster spot created when Fred Jackson was placed on the injured reserve list.
Choice, 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, starred for Gailey at Georgia Tech from 2005 to 2007, Gailey’s final three years at that university.
Choice was a fourth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2008. He was a third stringer for Dallas for most of his tenure. He rushed for 472 yards in 2008, 349 in 2009, and 243 yards in 2010. He was released by the Cowboys last month. He was picked up by Washington and played just one game for the Redskins, against Dallas last Sunday. Washington released him on Tuesday.
Choice rolled up 3,365 rushing yards in three years at Georgia Tech. He gained 1,473 as a junior and 1,379 as a senior.
In a statement released by the team Gailey said this about Jackson: "Further tests on Fred’s injured leg have shown that he has a broken bone in his leg, so that’s disappointing news for our team and certainly for Fred. He was having a great year. The process for Fred to return to the field would most likely take him through the end of the season, so we have made the difficult decision to place him on injured reserve. This creates an opportunity for C.J. (Spiller) and, as we announced earlier today, he will be our starting running back for this week’s game against the Jets."
November 23, 2011 - 4:26 PM
The New York Jets are in much better physical condition than the Bills entering Sunday's game.
New York had two key players sit out practice on Wednesday. Backup running back LaDainian Tomlinson did not practice due to a sprained knee. Coach Rex Ryan told reporters Wednesday morning he thought Tomlinson would be able to play against the Bills. Reserve rookie receiver Jeremy Kerley, who has 17 catches this year, also missed practice with a sprianed knee.
Jets starting running back Shonn Greene, who has been bothered by sore ribs, practiced fully and will start against the Bills. Six other Jets starters were listed on the injury report, but all practiced fully and are expected to be ready for the game.
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