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Stevie Johnson: It wasn't as easy as it looked

By Jerry Sullivan

Stevie Johnson just concluded a hastily arranged eight-minute press conference with the media at One Bills Drive. He took the blame for his crucial drop, but cut himself some slack by saying the catch wasn't as simple as it appeared to the naked eye.

"I feel like it was harder than what it was," he said. He explained he shook his man and came wide open, but had to reach for the football and it bounced off his hands. "It was tougher than it was."

Stevie's explanation was reminiscent of two years ago, when he dropped a pass deep in Jets territory late in a 28-24 defeat. After that loss, he deflected some of the blame to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, saying Fitz's pass, which was perfectly on line, came at him too soon out of his break.

Stevie said he wasn't surprised by the negative reaction to Sunday's drop, particularly after his assertion last week that no one on the Patriots could cover him.

"The reaction is as expected," Johnson said. "Everybody is placing blame on me. It's OK. I put myself in that positon. ... When you don't win a game, at the end of the day, that's when you get that negative attention, and I deserve it."


EJ Manuel | Ryan Fitzpatrick | Stevie Johnson
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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.

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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.

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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.

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