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Stevie Johnson disgusted with Bills' performance

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson didn't mince words about Thursday night's sloppy performance.

Johnson, with the stats and contract that demand he be a leader, labeled the 7-6 preseason loss to the Washington Redskins wholly insufficient. The Bills' first-team offense was inconsistent, and the penalty count (14 for 134 yards) was obnoxious.

"We've got to be better," Johnson told reporters Saturday night at St. John Fisher College. "Preseason game, practice, we've got to be better if we want to get to where we want to be.

"Mentally, we've got to prepare like champions, really. We've got to be past the whole 'Let's win this many games in a row.' We've got to be thinking like champions right now, aggressive and dominant. That's it."

Johnson had a 20-yard touchdown reception overturned by an illegal formation penalty Thursday night.

The Bills' woeful night could be summed up best with a particular second-quarter possession. The Bills had first and goal from the Redskins' 3-yard line. The Bills had six plays to score a touchdown because of a defensive holding penalty on the first third-down play. They failed to score; Rian Lindell missed a 22-yard field goal.

"It's only so long where you can just be the old Bills, just getting beat around in this conference," Johnson said, when asked by Associated Press reporter John Wawrow if Thursday was a wakeup call.

"It's time to turn it around and take over, and I think we've got the team that can do it this year. So why not go out there and go hard and try to take this division?"

Bills coach Chan Gailey liked what he heard from Johnson.

"Good," Gailey said. "I'm glad he feels that way. If everybody doesn't feel that way, we're in trouble.

"I want everybody to understand. We had an offensive meeting today about that very thing. We made progress last year, but it's not just going to happen just because we did it last year. You have to go make it happen again this year."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |