Stevie Johnson on Facing New York Jets: “We can come in here and jump on these guys. It’s not the same Buffalo Bills.”November 4, 2011 – 6:00 am by Steven Cuce
The Buffalo Bills have been one of the NFL’s biggest surprises this season with a record of 5-2 going into this weekend. Buffalo is currently a game ahead of New York and tied for the division lead with New England, where they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker at this point coming from their victory over the Patriots earlier this season. This weekend the Bills have a chance to separate themselves from the Jets for good with a victory in Orchard Park.
Stevie Johnson had his coming out party last season for the Bills and is showing his consistency this year. Johnson has 39 receptions this season for 439 yards and four touchdown catches. The man who made the ‘Why so serious?’ touchdown dance a trademark last year has also quietly become one of the leaders of this young Bills offense.
Stevie Johnson joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss the Buffalo Bills upcoming game against the New York Jets, this particular game against the Jets being a statement game for the Bills, believing the Bills would be a contender when the lockout was lifted, finishing games in the 4th quarter this season and his contract situation with the Bills along with the idea of being franchise tagged.
We got a lot of experts that are saying the Bills are going to beat the Jets this weekend. We are not sure that we agree at this point. Obviously you think you are going to win, but how do you think this matchup is going to play out?
“From the outside looking in a lot of people would say yeah we think the Bills might be able to win and this and that because you know how the season is going and how their season is somewhat going. They are still good, but for the most part on our side, in our locker room, we have all the confidence. We feel like we can come in here and jump on these guys. It’s not the same Buffalo Bills that teams have been going against. It’s a whole different type of energy here and the players are more comfortable in our offense now and our defense also.”
Herm Edwards said this morning that this is a statement game for the Bills. Do you agree with that?
“I agree with a lot of things that Herm Edwards says. He is a great, great guy. He’s always keeping it real and letting everyone know what is going on, but I am going to have to disagree because every week for us – the Buffalo Bills – is a statement game. Not just this game. Every single week we go out there we have to prove ourselves not just to the world, but to ourselves also. We are still a group of guys that is pretty much working to get to the top and every week just reassure that we are doing what we are suppose to be doing. Our confidence is real. It is not a joke. It is not fake over here.”
When you got into camp as the lockout ended did you think this legitimately was a 5-2 team.? A contending team?
“Yeah. For sure. When we came into camp all we needed was camp. We was hoping that the lockout wouldn’t take camp away from us. We had guys that just knowing people in general, not on the football level or anything with sports, but just people in general when they are knocked down you know they are going to try to fight to get back up. We had guys in football terms now that were released from teams and signed here to Buffalo and then there were guys who were saying: ‘You gotta play this role now. You have to step and be this person.’ It was just training camp. That is all we needed to get together and show that we can do what is asked of us.”
You guys could realistically be 7-0 if you finished the games against the Bengals and Giants. Is that something you guys feel you still need to work on? Finishing games in the 4th quarter?
“Exactly. Because everybody sees us as 5-2 and that’s pretty good. That’s good. We got to 5-2. That’s nice, but us over here it is like man we should be undefeated really. We lost two games where we were leading. We gotta finish those games. I mean 5-2 is good right now and what not, but we feel like we can be much better and yeah we need to work on playing a full 60 minutes and getting out of that dry spell that when we go through a few series where we are not moving the ball.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick got his long-term deal of six years and $59 million. A lot of people expect well the Bills have to lock up Stevie Johnson now. Is that something that is on your mind? If they end up putting a franchise tag on you, which would give you $10 million bucks, which isn’t bad. How would you feel about that?
“I don’t mind at all. One: It is not on my mind like that. Two: I don’t mind it if they were to do a franchise tag, but all I know is I have been fine for four years. I gotta play it out. I am not one of those guys who is going to be sitting there pouting around because I feel like I need to be signed. You know what I mean? No. I signed for four years and I am going to play it out and see what happens from there.”