Stevie Johnson a Leader?


June 19, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson (13) looks for a pass during the Bills minicamp at the Ralph Wilson Stadium practice field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The time has come where I believe the Buffalo Bills finally addressed there problems at the receiver position. This team has needed someone for some time to complement Stevie Johnson and they’ve looked like they got there guy in Robert Woods. Not only did they get Woods but also the likes of Marquise Goodwin in this past draft. Also don’t forget to add in TJ Graham as he is basically in the same boat. My question is Stevie Johnson a leader?

Stevie came into this league when he was drafted by the Bills in the seventh round (224 overall) in 2008. In his first two seasons Johnson was basically invisible. Not really contributing on the field and many thought what to really expect from a seventh rounder. Some pan out and some leave you wondering should we have gone in a different direction.

That all changed when the Bills entered the 2010 season. Stevie got his shot and took full advantage of it. Let’s just say that invisibility was gone and he began to produce. He finished the season with 16gp, 82 reception, 1,073yards and 10 TD’s. Not bad from not really showing that much promise. He showed he could produce and certainly backed it up with another two straight seasons gaining over 1,000 yards receiving and 76+ catches and another 13 TD’s. These stats are all good but what about him working with the newcomers?

Stevie sure has had some problems since coming into the league. He likes to take to twitter and there is where it starts. A couple of tweets that have caused people to talk and question: after dropping a game winning ball in overtime against Pittsburgh in 2010 he tweets “I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!!! THX THO”. This had people questioning as to why he blamed god for not catching the ball. Why would he do this and was it really necessary? The next tweet I want talk about is pretty recent and had many going back to it. Per Johnson: “War is nothing to be played with. I apologize North Korea…….. but if y’all do bomb 1st… Bomb Foxboro, Mass. Sincerely, #BillsMafia. When that surfaced people wondered why he would do something like that. With everything that goes on in the world and say something along those lines had some people upset. Then the tragedy earlier this year just took his words to a new level. The bombings in Boston the day of the marathon had the nation watching on as to what happened. Soon to realize mass injuries and death spread sadness throughout. I remember hearing about his tweet right after this occurred and thought what a tuff bunch of words to swallow there.

Some other antics Stevie has been involved with were on field issues. Not only had that included conduct by the league, but by his own organization as well. Playing the Jets in 2011 and scoring a TD and then doing things to cost his team 15 yard penalty. After scoring he pretended to shoot himself in the leg copying what Plaxico Burress did to himself and resulting in jail time. Another thing he did was a little more controversial as he held out his arms and pretended to fly and then drop to the ground. Some people thought it was to imitate what happened to NYC but when I hear that I said how ridiculous. Jets do that when they score and he was just having some fun. In no way should that have ever been connected. He was fined $10,000 by the league. Another instance was when Johnson scored a TD against the Patriots in 2012 and lifts his jersey to have an undershirt saying Happy New Year. When that happened he was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and in turn benched by the head coach. Although it wasn’t anything offensive it hurt his team on the field and that’s why the coaching staff wasn’t happy.

That being said I don’t think Stevie is a bad guy but sometimes uses bad judgment and it costs him. I don’t think he wants to cause problems but doesn’t realize how people are with what’s happening in sports and the world in the way of social media. I think he can be a great teammate and mentor for these guys coming into the league as long as he doesn’t make it all about himself but instead puts the team first. Thoughts on Stevie?