Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stevie owns up to talk while talking some more


Stevie Johnson talked a big game going into the Buffalo Bills’ home opener against the New England Patriots. Seems like the big talk doesn’t end, even when he’s trying to be humble.

A day after storming out of the locker room and refusing to speak to reporters following the last second loss, Johnson explained his actions in an impromptu press conference Monday

“Me being here for that amount of time that I’ve been here and it seemed like the last three times, it was just something personal against that team I guess," Johnson said. "It ended in the same way and out of that was my frustration.”

Fair enough. The drop he had late in the fourth quarter was a pretty big play, so to act emotionally immediately afterward is a somewhat natural reaction. What Johnson can’t seem to avoid, however, is making excuses and back-handed apologies for his actions. 

After once again coming up with a ridiculous assertion as to why he didn’t make the crucial catch -- saying the catch "was harder than it was" -- the Buffalo veteran went on “take the blame” for the loss and his trash talk a week prior. That wasn’t without sprinkling in a bit of vanity to top it all off.

“The reaction is as expected, everybody placing blame on me,” Johnson said. “It’s OK, I felt like I put myself in that position, but that’s not me putting on a front for anybody. I’m pretty much being who they’ve grown to love. 

“I feel like there is no one who can guard me and obviously it showed, but when you don’t win the game at the end of the day that’s when you get that negative attention. I deserve it.”

While the touchdown catch Johnson made was in double coverage, three catches for 39 yards is hardly an indication that a receiver can’t be covered. New England’s coverage did switch to more of a zone look in the second quarter, but it’s not like Johnson really made them pay for it, before or after the move. 

Coach Doug Marrone defended his No. 1 receiver, saying he “feels bad” for him after the dropped catch, especially knowing how much of the team’s weight he puts on his shoulders. Marrone seemed to have a laissez faire attitude toward the pregame comments, however, saying as long as the team’s game plan isn’t altered, he’s OK with it.

“I think people have to be who they are,” Marrone said. “You guys are going to ask tough questions and you want them to answer it and you want people to be who they are and what they do. I think as long as it’s not a standpoint of giving away any strategic information, I think that’s where I would have a problem with it. I think those two situations are different.”

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