After another disappointing season, the Buffalo Bills have made yet another coaching change. Chan Gailey’s out and now the Bills are looking for a new man to lead a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs this century. The Bills have now had a losing record in eight straight seasons, but top wide receiver Stevie Johnson is keeping his head up despite the team being in flux again.
Stevie Johnson joined Schopp and Bulldog on WGR 550 in Buffalo to discuss Chan Gailey’s firing, not being surprised by the move, his feelings about the firing, the decision to fire Gailey in general and his involvement in the team’s offseason. He also touched on the perception that C.J. Spiller didn’t get enough touches in 2012 and his desire to want to be part of a change in Buffalo.
On the players being somewhat responsible for Chan Gailey’s demise:
“At the end of the day it’s on us to get these wins, and we didn’t do that part. He can’t suit up for us — it’s on us. So hopefully a lot of players take this pretty much as like a final wake-up call and get things turned around. He pretty much set us up, set the players up, set the rosters up for years to come.”
On not being surprised by the move:
“At this point, with this being my fifth year, I wasn’t too surprised. My first surprise was when Lee [Evans] left. I didn’t expect Lee to ever be gone — I thought he’d retire as a Buffalo Bill. But that was the first thing that really got me, like, ‘OK, this is really a business.’ So no, I’m not surprised by it.”
On if he’ll hold this against the Bills:
“I definitely won’t hold it against the franchise. I’m just another little piece to this big puzzle. They still have me here next year so I’m gonna continue to give my all like I did when Coach Gailey was here. So whoever it is, they’re gonna get a worker that’s willing to sacrifice and make changes.”
On if he’d be willing to help the team court free agents in the offseason:
“If someone was to come to me about going out and trying to get somebody, or try to put in a word here and there, then I’d do it. Or if I’m just at some event with somebody that just happened to be a free agent, then yeah, of course I’ll try to tell them to come to Buffalo, because it’s all for us around here in this area. So I’d do that, but I just wouldn’t go out of my way to be on any social media, ‘Hey, come here, come here.’ But if it was asked, then I have no problem with doing it.”
On if he wonders how this decision was made:
“Yeah, definitely with this one. I’ve been through a few offensive playbooks and coaches in my career, and with this one it was like, if you went back and looked at the games and all that … we’re not getting worse. The record didn’t show the improvement that we wanted, but we’re not completely blown out of games. We’re there; we’re only a few plays away. So yeah, it leads to questions. But it is what it is. That’s the business.”
On C.J. Spiller not getting the ball very much:
“It sucks when you look at it. But from our perspective, we don’t think it’s that bad because we’ve got Fred Jackson, who is the guy. And everybody wanted him to get all the touches. And you got two backs in Fred and C.J., and then you got the guy who’s done it before. So you gotta split the carries. You gotta give the guy that’s been there the majority of the carries. You see, when Freddy went down, then C.J. began getting the ball a lot more. And next year, whoever we have, I’m pretty sure they’ll see the skill set that C.J. has and he’ll get to have the ball a lot.”
On wanting to finally lead the Bills to the playoffs:
“You gotta come here and want to be part of the change. You gotta come here and feel like, ‘I’m gonna be the reason why Buffalo’s gonna make it to the playoffs this year.’ And that’s why I re-signed. It had nothing to do with the area or any of that. I wanted to be that class or that team that ended the drought, and that’s it.”