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His division battle with Darrelle Revis over, Stevie Johnson focuses on Antonio Cromartie

By Tim Graham

Stevie Johnson, regardless of his success against him, isn't busted up about Darrelle Revis' departure from the New York Jets.

Revis is one of the NFL's best defenders. He was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"The battle with Revis was fun while it lasted in the division," Johnson said, "but that's not any of my concern right now."

The Jets have reshuffled. Johnson expects to see much more of Pro Bowl cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Ninth overall draft pick Dee Milliner had been the Jets' slot corner, but he was benched last week for poor play and his status is uncertain Sunday at the Meadowlands.

"I've got to focus on Cromartie now," Johnson said. "If he's the one that's going to shadow me around this game, then that's where my attention will be."

With Revis injured the last time the Bills played the Jets, Cromartie was on Johnson almost every play. Johnson caught six passes for 111 yards.

"He's savvy," Johnson said of Cromartie. "He's been in this league for a while, so he's learned little tricks of the trade. He's comfortable in his position. I study him a lot, even when Revis was there.

"He's athletic. We know what he can do when he gets the ball, so make sure we get enough cushion on him so we can, as receivers, get the ball instead of him making plays."

Johnson's numbers against Revis are remarkable. In the past four games against the Jets with Revis on the field, Johnson has 17 catches for 227 yards and three touchdowns.

That would be a season's pace of 68 receptions, 908 yards and 12 touchdowns versus a player who's believed to be the NFL's best pass defender.

How will Revis' absence impact the Jets' defense overall?

"It just puts pressure on other guys," Johnson said. "Other guys got to step up. Either the pressure's going to create diamonds or you ain't going to be able to last.

"That's pretty much what's going on over there, with a guy like Revis leaving. Cromartie's been to Pro Bowls before but now it's going to be on the other guys to step up. We'll see what they can do.

"At the end of the day, I like our guys over theirs."


Darrelle Revis | Stevie Johnson
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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 |