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Stevie Johnson tired of being dull: 'I want to show them the emotion'


By Tim Graham

PHOENIX -- Stevie Johnson is done trying to contain himself.

The flamboyant Buffalo Bills receiver has made an effort to tone himself down this year, but he apparently is done with that.

Johnson has shown a flair for the dramatic, whether it has been scrawling messages on his undershirts, his sometimes-controversial touchdown celebrations or his provocative tweets.

This year has been quiet, even though he's on pace to match his career-high with 10 touchdowns.

"We need more enthusiasm, and I feel like I haven't provided that," Johnson said today at the team's hotel in Phoenix. "In the past, I think it helped the guys out more than what I've been doing lately. I've got to work on that.

"I don't want to be so dull to my teammates. I want to show them the emotion."

Johnson last Sunday was held without a touchdown for the second straight game. The Bills scored three points in a ghastly loss to his hometown San Francisco 49ers. Perhaps that changed his direction.

After the Bills flew from San Francisco to Phoenix to prepare for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, he thumbed out a series of tweets about his displeasure over how things have gone:

"I Never talk football on twitter. However, all the negativity I've gotten. I'm using it as a challenge. I Will Change Your Opinion about Me."

"I Promise I will work harder. Win, Lose or Draw I will make you happy that U got to watch me play. Whether its 0 or 10 catches. #7thRdStevie"

"[Expletive] these injuries, unfortunate situations, judgment/criticism, etc. etc. blah... I'm going back to being Me."

"Aight, no more direct football tweets for the rest of the season for me. Y'all take care. Challenge is Set. Goals are Set"

I asked Johnson for an example of how he intends to behave.

"More hype, you know?" Johnson said. "More vocal and showing emotions. There's sort of been a line between showing too much emotion and then people taking it the wrong way.

"Well, who cares? We're all grown. We're all professionals. We're here for a reason. You should be able to take whatever emotion we want to give, you know? They know I'm trying to better myself and better the team.

"Anybody taking anything sensitive on this squad should evaluate themselves. I'm just trying to do it for the guys."

(Photo: James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

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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 |