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After penalty and benching, Stevie Johnson pleads ignorance

Steve Johnson AP

Bills receiver Stevie Johnson scored a touchdown on Sunday, pulled up his jersey to reveal a “Happy New Year” shirt, got penalized for that celebration, and then was benched for the rest of the game.

Afterward, Johnson claimed he didn’t know the celebration would draw a flag.

I didn’t know it was going to draw a penalty,” Johnson told the Buffalo News. “At the end of the day what I did is what I did. I was trying to bring it in like a New Year and ultimately it hurt my teammates and that’s what’s hurting me the most, the fact that it hurt my team.”

For Johnson to say he didn’t know his celebration was going to draw a penalty is ridiculous. Johnson has previously been penalized and fined by the NFL for excessive celebrations, and warned by Bills coach Chan Gailey to knock it off. By this point, he should emulate Barry Sanders after every touchdown: Hand the ball to the official and jog to the sideline. That Johnson continues with silly celebrations despite all those warnings demonstrates that he’s more interested in drawing attention to himself than he is in helping his team win.

As for Gailey, he says that when Johnson got a 15-yard penalty for a celebration earlier in the season, the entire team was put on notice that another such penalty would result in a benching.

“Well, what we said after we had an issue earlier in the season was if anybody got a penalty that hurt our football team for any kind of demonstration that he was out that game and then we would decide about the next game,” Gailey said. “And so if I say that, then I am going to do it so he was out.”

Johnson apparently didn’t care enough about Gailey’s warning to heed it, although after Sunday’s game he said he respects his coach.

“I have to respect his decision, he made it and that’s what it is,” Johnson said. “You can’t complain about it and whine and pout. He made a decision and I’m going with it. It really doesn’t matter why or what or how. At the end of the day, what I did hurt my teammates and I have to take that and I will.”

Johnson becomes a free agent in March. As talented a receiver as Johnson is, the Bills may decide to let him take his 15-yard penalties elsewhere.

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69 Responses to “After penalty and benching, Stevie Johnson pleads ignorance”
  1. larrydavid815 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:21 PM

    After poor effort Chris Johnson also pleads ignorance. Cut him Titans.

  2. jpb12 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    Johnson keeps referring to ‘Gailey’s decision. This guy has incurable stupidity.

    1. Rules don’t apply to me.
    2. I couldn’t come up with anything deeper than Happy New Year. No spycam/video moves?

  3. KIR says: Jan 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    Wonder how the Bears & Jets would fill about a guy with 1k yards two seasons in a row getting a penalty for a TOUCHDOWN celebration. Don’t agree with the celebration but it was a TOUCHDOWN by a wide receiver with 2k in yards in 2 years. The guy has a chance to be elite.

  4. db105 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:25 PM

    Does he really care? Doubt it. He’s very selfish. It’s very difficult for teams to win with players like him.

  5. borisbulldog says: Jan 2, 2012 12:25 PM

    What a jack ass!

    You can take the bro out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the bro!

  6. wutthecrapman says: Jan 2, 2012 12:25 PM

    Sure he loves to celebrate, why not he scored a TD. It used to be a fun league where players could interact with their fans.

    I hope he get moves on to a team that values their players and contents for the playoffs. He’s a stud WR.

    Let them have fun!

  7. lumas101 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    Gailey says he was also surprised at the penalty, because Stevie was not penalized for the “Why So Serious” shirt last year. Supposedly Johnson thought he would be fined but not penalized. But the fact that he even took a chance is what shows he hasn’t learned from any of his previous mistakes.

  8. wadecounty93 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    He can come help out Marshall in Miami…..as long as he catches the ball!

  9. ch0rn says: Jan 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    Chicago could use some celebrations.

  10. nogoodell says: Jan 2, 2012 12:29 PM

    I could use this type of celebration becoming the new “Mile High Salute” in New Orleans

  11. havlicekstoletheball says: Jan 2, 2012 12:29 PM

    He should have pleaded inveterate stupidity. He was warned after a similar stunt adversely affected the outcome of a game.

    Yet another NFL talent that is all-world from the Adams’ apple south, but largely wet cement to the north of it.

    Go with the Barry Sanders philosophy. Act like you have been there before, and will be there again.

  12. 50milessouthofdetroit says: Jan 2, 2012 12:30 PM

    so he’s saying that he’s too stupid to either learn the rule or even listen to his coach?

  13. pbm984 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:30 PM

    “For Johnson to say he didn’t know his celebration was going to draw a penalty is ridiculous. Johnson has previously been penalized and fined by the NFL for excessive celebrations,”

    Johnson’s celebration last year in Cincinnatti where he pulled his shirt up to display a message was met with a fine, but with no penalty. I don’t know how you can say it is ridiculous for Johnson to say he did not know his celebration would draw a penalty when THE EXACT SAME CELEBRATION LAST YEAR DID NOT DRAW A PENALTY.

  14. mannynh says: Jan 2, 2012 12:30 PM

    He’s a young WR with a lot of ability. The Bills would be dumb to let him go. He’s going to mature into a great WR. Come to the Pats!

  15. bawston1 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:30 PM

    “What I did is what I did” oh I understand now..

  16. johnnyb216 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    I understand why he was benched. Repeat offender already walking on thin ice. Probably just should have held back on this kind of stuff for the rest of the year. BUT, I really don’t get what the big deal is. The NFL really needs to pull the stick out of its ____ one of these days. It’s not like he was displaying bad sportsmanship or anything like that. I don’t really find anything offensive with what he did but what do I know. I’m just a paying customer.

  17. richm2256 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    “I didn’t know it was going to draw a penalty,”

    I find this statement INCREDIBLE…..

    It’s as if this guy completely forgets that he did this very same thing once before……

    Moron is too good of a word for this guy.

  18. furnzilla says: Jan 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    Selfish, plain and simple

  19. 1buckeye76 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    Stevie –
    Lesson #1 – you’re an idiot.
    Lesson #2 – If you stop acting like an idiot, you won’t be penalized.

    That is all you need to know, for now.

  20. sunsation3413 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    Sounds like TO reincarnated. Talented but selfishly craving attention. Kudos to Chan Gailey for sticking to his promise and sitting his butt on the bench.

  21. cjepp says: Jan 2, 2012 12:34 PM

    SJ13 is too good to let go, but not good enough to keep. Tough decision coming for the Bills.

  22. crj202 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:34 PM

    IDIOT!!

  23. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Jan 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    Stevie Johnson plead ignorance and we all believe him.

  24. easyeddie says: Jan 2, 2012 12:36 PM

    Why do so many NFL players feel the need to act like bufoons so often? They talk about it being such a ‘team game” then act like self-promoting idiots.

  25. hatesycophants says: Jan 2, 2012 12:36 PM

    Mike Smith is a self-loathing piece of dung.

    Go Lions! Gi Badgers!

  26. nomoreseasontix says: Jan 2, 2012 12:37 PM

    This guy is TO v2.0.
    Without the talent.

  27. stevecanuck says: Jan 2, 2012 12:38 PM

    DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    First, he does the “the Burress reference” celebration.

    Happy New Year prank.

    A lack of discipline, a prima donna attitude, and no thought for his team/teammates.

    GM’s beware!!!!!! Here is a free agent train-wreck … offer him a “juicy” contract at own risk!

  28. 1buckeye76 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:39 PM

    wutthecrapman says: Jan 2, 2012 12:25 PM

    Sure he loves to celebrate, why not he scored a TD. It used to be a fun league where players could interact with their fans.

    ——————————————

    if he wants to interact with the fans, run over and give high fives to the front row or jump into the crowd. it’s illegal to make a sign, whether you’re carrying it or wearing it – end of story.

  29. commandercornpone says: Jan 2, 2012 12:40 PM

    sure he has a chance to be elite. but, like suh, he is an idiot.

    he doesnt care or doesnt realize the disconnect between his words and actions.

    too stupid to win.

    apparently he doesnt respect the coach. i bet gailey made it very clear what would happen. in advance.

    ////////////

    on this one…

    the nfl doesnt need to pull anything out of its arse, cause there isnt anything in there.

    but this idiot diva wideout and his supporters need to pull their head and shoulders out of their arses.

    act like u have been there. have some dignity.

    this is what happens when young men have never had a positive dignified role model. they arent ready to be one themselves. and probly never will be.

  30. saintsfan1111 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:41 PM

    Way to kick off your free agent talks Stevie. Keep doing your best to drive down your price.

  31. sterilizecromartie says: Jan 2, 2012 12:41 PM

    What a clown. I find it unreal that a player would pull such a stunt knowing full well that it will hurt the team. And don’t let him fool you, he knew it would be a penalty.

    I’m just done with these TD celebrations. They are so lame and selfish. The professional athletes look like immature children out there. After a baseball player hits a home run, they put their head down, run around the bases, high-five their teammates, and return to the dugout. That’s how a professional acts. NFL players should take notes.

  32. fittytuckin says: Jan 2, 2012 12:41 PM

    Locker room gonorrhea, not cancer.

  33. briano2095 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:43 PM

    Change your name to Steve. You’re not six years old anymore, Stevie.

  34. rajbais says: Jan 2, 2012 12:47 PM

    What a load of crap!!!

  35. test2402 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:50 PM

    His shirt should have said happy new year Tim Tebow.

  36. lichnor says: Jan 2, 2012 12:50 PM

    If they are going to resign the guy would they be able to put monetary penalties in his contract for an “Excessive Celebrations” penalties he incurs?

  37. FinFan68 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:51 PM

    That Johnson continues with silly celebrations despite all those warnings demonstrates that he’s more interested in drawing attention to himself than he is in helping his team win.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    That is true, but it also applies to any player that does that. Many of them like to talk about what they will do. These are not “celebrations”; they are demonstrations designed to garner individual attention.

    Gailey is handling the situation right. There needs to be more coaches willing to stand on principle for the betterment of the team.

  38. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Jan 2, 2012 12:55 PM

    Another clueless wideout. There must be a pod from outer space that hatches these guys. Anybody can make a mistake but to keep making the same ones stretches credulity. It’s also evident that they try to outdo each other: “You’re stupid, but watch this! At least Gailey had the chops to bench him.

    But you know what, as long as you keep paying these dopes why should they change? To make it worse, Stevie is looking for a new contract! You’d think he’d be on his best behavior, but you’d be wrong.

  39. jameswestphal says: Jan 2, 2012 12:56 PM

    Have you ever heard an interview with this dude? I don’t think he’s “pleading” ignorance. I think he’s dumber than a bag of hair.

  40. bubbybrister2 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:57 PM

    You can’t do something stupid then immediately say, “hey, it is what it is.”

  41. coolgato13 says: Jan 2, 2012 12:58 PM

    I totally agree that he is ignorant. Cut him.

  42. mrpkg says: Jan 2, 2012 1:02 PM

    Stevie wants $7.5 million per year. Wonder how the Bills could trade Lee Evans for a draft pick and keep this guy. I would not give him 7.5 cents

  43. tdrundmc says: Jan 2, 2012 1:04 PM

    If the game was late in the 4th quarter, he would not have been benched because he would have dropped the ball.

  44. 6ball says: Jan 2, 2012 1:05 PM

    .

    Didn’t anyone tell him that he was in integral weapon against a Patriots secondary that consists of WR!’s, special teamers, and guys signed 45 minutes before kickoff.

    If he stayed in the game, his shirt would probably be on it’s way to Canton .

    .

  45. avp4life says: Jan 2, 2012 1:08 PM

    This just fits. Here is another excuse to let the guy walk bc they don’t want to pay him.

    SJ is one of the only reasons this team gets any play nationally. Sorry, but when you have 20k tix left for multiple home games, you need someone like this that might be able draw interest in an otherwise pathetic franchise.

    The Bills organization is an absolute joke from top to bottom (business and football side).

    The fans deserve better.

  46. cereal blogger says: Jan 2, 2012 1:17 PM

    Stevie, your dropped passes are hurting the team also,,,now you want paid ? Hehe, it aint about you babe….

  47. notrelated says: Jan 2, 2012 1:21 PM

    I’d chip in some $ if someone can get him and DJ on the same team next year.

  48. riverhorsey says: Jan 2, 2012 1:22 PM

    The next T.O.

  49. bleed4philly says: Jan 2, 2012 1:37 PM

    let him walk, Justin Blackmon might fall to 10, perfect replacement.

  50. mornelithe says: Jan 2, 2012 1:46 PM

    Would be funny to see the Pats Org. pull their usual routine of snagging a skilled trouble-maker at a low price point, and locking him into a zero tolerance contract.

    They’ve taken bigger gambles in the past, and they absolutely need to get a deep threat.

  51. ranksarot says: Jan 2, 2012 1:46 PM

    Not the new T.O. The new Ochocinco.

  52. billsfan1 says: Jan 2, 2012 2:02 PM

    not that it would happen in Buffalo, but imagine this guy doing this when catching the game leading td in a playoff game…the other team take the ensuing kickoff and marches downfield and wins….im not sure this guy is able to pick and choose his spots. and besides, how much celebrating should one do on a 6-10 team?

    i love this guy he is a true player but he just seems to have trouble getting it

  53. drewsylvania says: Jan 2, 2012 2:18 PM

    Well, at least he’s honest. He’s definitely ignorant.

  54. 7to10for6allday says: Jan 2, 2012 2:20 PM

    Stevie Johnson, maclin, celek and McCoy. Sounds pretty good. Add Spags and we’re good. 2012 NFC east champs.

  55. klunge says: Jan 2, 2012 2:25 PM

    I’m just stunned MDS made a positive reference to a Lions’ player! We just might be turning the corner here.

  56. foosballisthedevil says: Jan 2, 2012 2:31 PM

    A wide receiver with a over-sized ego. Each thinking they’re unique, yet so much alike. And he still lags behind DoucheSean Jackson

  57. n0hopeleft says: Jan 2, 2012 2:39 PM

    7to10for6allday says: Jan 2, 2012 2:20 PM

    Stevie Johnson, maclin, celek and McCoy. Sounds pretty good. Add Spags and we’re good. 2012 NFC east champs.

    _____________________________________

    Yes – build on your already overrated fantasy football team.

  58. drewsylvania says: Jan 2, 2012 2:40 PM

    “7to10for6allday says:
    Jan 2, 2012 2:20 PM
    Stevie Johnson, maclin, celek and McCoy. Sounds pretty good. Add Spags and we’re good. 2012 NFC east champs.”

    Better hope they don’t keep Jackson, otherwise there will be a penalty on every TD.

  59. str82dvd says: Jan 2, 2012 2:53 PM

    Hey, who cares? I’m glad it drew a flag, but I thought it was funny, and we had no playoff hopes on the line.

  60. edukator4 says: Jan 2, 2012 3:01 PM

    no such thing as bad press right? how else is this guy going to get noticed nationally? lynch eats skittles and endorsements follow.
    buffalo is the black hole of the nfl, no one outside of lackawanna cares about them. johnson knows this and this is part of his escape plan

  61. bigboi30 says: Jan 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Great reference to the greatest Runningback ever to grace the field. And he did it with such respect and honor. My god could you inagine a Barry Sanders with this Detroit team? God bless Barry and the years he gave us.

    As for Stevie, have a blast kid, your doing what only most of us can only dream about. And if the Bills are redtarded enough to let you go, well hell come to Detroit. The NFL universe, media, and refs are already biased aginst us. Anyways in sure after this yr he will tone it down.

  62. billyhoyle4real says: Jan 2, 2012 4:16 PM

    As much as I can’t stand his antics the Bills need to prove to the locker room that the organization takes care of the talent it develops.

  63. granadafan says: Jan 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    Notice how he doesn’t give any credit whatsoever to the guy who threw the perfect pass, the big guys up front who fought tooth and nail to give the QB time to throw, the running backs who picked up blitzes, or the other WRs who blocked downfield and drew safeties?

    Selfish is too nice of a description for little Stevie. Kudos to Chan Gailey for sitting this moron.

  64. melikefootball says: Jan 2, 2012 4:35 PM

    GOOD, GOOD, GOOD for benching all these players that are only concerned for ME, ME, ME!
    Don’t tell me they care about winning and winning championships. They care about themselves only and how they can get on the camera and then throw in how I look on the fantasy league. Thes are the players that SHOULD be suspended not players trying to play the game. GOD-DEL and his henchman should be ashamed that this is what is shown on the tube.

  65. bouncer827 says: Jan 2, 2012 4:55 PM

    and this buddy boys and buddy girls is the reason i no longer can watch or stand pro foot ball. there is nothing like some back thumping his chest after making a first down when his team is behind 123 to 4 in the 4th quarter. really impressive. same goes for defensive men who strut their stuff when they make some tackle behind the line but never hang their head in shame when they get run over like a freight train.

    keep’em all and the nba while you are at it too.

  66. mornelithe says: Jan 2, 2012 10:43 PM

    @ Bouncer827: Did…you even watch the game? They were up either 14-0 or 21-0 in the first quarter when this happened. I mean, I can understand what you’re saying, but wrong game.

  67. nocookies28 says: Jan 3, 2012 4:12 AM

    The rules against TD celebrations are so unnecessary. Yeah, sometimes they’re pretty ridiculous, but so what?

  68. 07vrod says: Jan 3, 2012 9:37 AM

    The NFL needs to now adopt a “Diva” rule for all these “look at me I’m bigger than the game itself wide receivers”. Enough is enough…they spend more time on trying to out celebrate the next guy then they do in their play books. What ever happened to spiking the ball, or a genuine fist pump…does the player and the rest of the fans really need a full choreography every time a freak’n diva receiver enters the endzone???

  69. Satan's Valet says: Jan 3, 2012 1:37 PM

    mannynh says: Jan 2, 2012 12:30 PM

    He’s a young WR with a lot of ability. The Bills would be dumb to let him go. He’s going to mature into a great WR. Come to the Pats!

    —————————————————————

    What are you kidding? Belichick would drop him in a heartbeat for disobeying an order like that. It’s not a question of whether the rules about celebrations are stupid, those ARE the rules, and should be enforced until such a time as they are no longer the rules.

    Going beyond that, whether it’s an NFL rule or not, the coach says not to do it then DO NOT DO IT.

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