One of my first days in Buffalo after I first signed with the Bills, Stevie Johnson was one of the first guys that I talked to. He came to the locker room after I signed and we talked for a minute.
One of the first things he said was, "Man, I'm trying to have it like you guys had it out there in San Diego." He was talking about how we were in the playoffs almost every year, and how the passing offense seemed unstoppable with Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates. He wanted that in Buffalo.
When Stevie came up and said those words to me, I already knew I had joined a team with someone who had the mindset of a winner.
Stevie's Playing Style
Stevie's playing style is so different it's almost like fighting someone with an awkward boxing style. He has an awkward way of running routes, and he does a lot of different things, and that makes it harder for opponents to cover him.
Stevie makes it harder for opponents to cover him
He had his time at the end in Buffalo where he was injured, and that hampered him a little bit, but when he was on the field he proved he was one of the best in the game.
I never covered him in practice, but I did get to watch a lot of film on him. I'd watch him and try to figure out what route he was running. When he's running a simple slant, he'll get to where he's supposed to be, but he'll find new ways to get there. It may be an in-out-up move and then in, all in an effort to get open.
Once Stevie builds a good connection with a quarterback and that quarterback learns his style and knows how he plays, and they can get on the same page, he's deadly. There's no way to cover somebody that is so unconventional. Coaches don't know how to coach you to stop a guy like Stevie Johnson.
With Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen out there running routes with him, Stevie is going to have a bunch of one-on-one match–ups. Personally, I would be disappointed if he didn't win most of them.