Stevie Johnson on 49ers receivers: We’re all No. 1 options

Stevie Johnson was a clear-cut No. 1 receiver for the Bills over the last four seasons, something that helped him to three straight 1,000-yard seasons between 2010 and 2012 but not too much team success as the Bills struggled to find other receiving options to complement him.

Johnson is in San Francisco now and things look different on the depth chart. Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Quinton Patton all return from last season and the 49ers have also added Brandon Lloyd and drafted Bruce Ellington in the fourth round to go with Johnson. Tight end Vernon Davis is also in the mix and Johnson said Tuesday he wasn’t worried about who is No. 1 because the team has several players who qualify.

“Right now, we’re all ones,” Johnson said, via the team’s website. “The defense has gotta pick their poison, whether they’re going to double-team Anquan, whether they’re going to double-team Crab, Vernon, me, Q.P. is coming in – you gotta pick your poison. We gotta handle our business.”

That kind of depth is a big change for Johnson and for the 49ers, who spent most of last season relying heavily on Boldin while waiting for Michael Crabtree to get healthy enough to return to the field. That should give the team more flexibility about how to deploy their offensive pieces and could lead to more points, which will come in handy if the 49ers are shorthanded on defense because of NaVorro Bowman’s injury and Aldon Smith’s possible suspension.

63 responses to “Stevie Johnson on 49ers receivers: We’re all No. 1 options

  1. Should be an asterisk- all #1 options, none actual #1 receivers.

    Stevie is no #1. Crabtree is barely a #1. Boldin or Lloyd a #1? What a joke.

    Johnson’s arrival gives the 49ers just another of what they already had at WR. They still need a speedster.

  2. If Brandon Lloyd is near his 2011/2012 form then he’ll have no problem locking down the No.3 slot. Johnson had 52-597-3 last year, thats not “No.1” recieving numbers… thats average slot-WR numbers.

  3. Not saying we have five #1’s but we’re certainly closer to that statement being true than when we actually spoke those words.

  4. Unlike the quarterback position, it’s a good problem to have four talented guys at the wide receiver position.

    The most important aspect is if the receivers will be ok with a lesser volume of targets. If they are, then smooth sailing and no excuses for Colin Kaepernick.

  5. That’s the kind of attitude that has made the Niners a contender since Harbaugh arrived.

    The Team, The Team, The Team.

    It’s going to be awesome to see what Kaep can do working a whole off season with healthy WR, not to mention the stable of RB’s and add in the strengthened defense and it looks to be an exciting year. Get ready Niner Faithful, we’re reloading.

    GO NINERS!!!!!

  6. Stevie was only the number one in Buffalo by default. He was never a true number one option. There might not be enough footballs to go around with 3 big-name wide receivers and a tight end who can get cranky when things don’t go his way. “Can’t win with em”

  7. Kaepernick can’t make more than one read without panicking so the number of quality receivers the 49ers may or may not have is irrelevant.

  8. What’s he going to say next, that they’re all unique and precious snowflakes?

  9. Kap better handle his business. 49ers are a run first team . Run on first down for 2 yd. ,run on second down for 3 yards. Kap doesn’t throw a 5 yd. pass very often….that is completed. There is a little pressure developing on C.K. and the offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The mold of run,run ,pass/run by C.K. must be broken. So many weapons and only one football. I expect more passing and if it doesn’t happen then the offense will be in trouble.

  10. 2013 Andy Dalton Statistics:

    4293 yards – 33 td – 20 int – 6 fumbles

    61% completions

    88 QB rating
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    2013 Colin Kapernick Statistics:

    3197 yards – 20 td – 8 int – 9 fumbles

    58% completions

    91 QB rating

    Kapernick has a bunch of #1 wrs and an All-Pro TE.

    Dalton has A.J., a 5th round #3 quality receiver posing as a #2 wr, and a fumbling te (… and no running game).

  11. @juliusanonymous…. I see what you did there. lol

    I like that Stevie is excited. This is a put up or shut up situation for this years team though. There need to be chips on shoulders. Heck Stevie should have a big ol’ chip after he got Keyshawned by Buffalo. Crab, Q and VD are on the squad. Now the others have gotta work. Let’s get to it kids.

  12. Not this again, harbaugh said the last year and We all knew it wasn’t true, this year alil closer but still not true. Plus, all you need to do is press and kaepernick will take off and run. Another wild card, and this year a first round loss.

  13. The Niners are always a contender and have made great moves lately. I’m just not sold on Kaep, closing out under pressure. Bowman the best linebacker in the nfl is coming off a knee injury. The loss of Whiner and Brown is huge. Arizona and st Louis are getting better. This year Is gonna be much tougher Stevie, ,,,
    That said,
    I’m hoping for another Hawks vs Niners nfc game.

  14. I caught double-team crab at Mardi Gras a few years ago, it is indeed not something you want to mess around with.

  15. Harbaugh said in 2012 he had five #1 receivers.

    Cannot post the link here, but the headline and byline were:

    Jim Harbaugh has five No. 1 receivers

    Posted by Mike Florio on July 28, 2012, 2:09 PM EDT

  16. Our depth, at just about every position, is almost unfair to the rest of the NFL.

    3 months to Preseason!

  17. Boldin is the only real #1 on that roster, the rest are good but not great. It would help if they actually had a QB on the roster like… Alex Smith or someone like that.

  18. Stevie was a spoiled brat in Buffalo. He cost the Bills several games because of his idiotic end zone celebrations and the ensuing 15 yard penalties, not to mention drops at the worst times.

    He’s all about the team now, but wait until he doesn’t get enough balls thrown his way.

  19. Having a Power Run Game with a Effective Passing game makes a team tough for other teams to contain, Harbaugh loves to control clock, however having a fine tune passing game wouldn’t hurt for keeping the offense purring through drives.

  20. He may not have had great numbers last year but let’s be fair, he played for buffalo who had 3 different starters at quarterback last year. He may not be a true NO. 1 receiver but 1000 yards in 3 straight years shows he knows what he’s doing. 49ers got a pretty good receiver

  21. I really liked Stevie for years as a Bill, his “Why so serious” attitude brought some flash, style and attention to the Bills. But the last couple of season have worn thin. His comment about not really working out in the off season. His celebration penalties at bad times during games. His game winning drops. His lingering groin issue. EJ Manuel seemed to favor fellow rookie Robert Woods over Stevie last year. Pair that with the additions of Mike Williams and Sammy Watkins this off season and I can see why OBD (One Bills Drive) decided to put him up for trade. PS Stevie – you are SF’s slot receiver, not their #1….

  22. 5 number ones my arse, only Jim Harbaugh would believe that, but it doesn’t matter anyway because they don’t have a QB that can pass.

    It’s like having really good speakers, but a horrible receiver.

  23. Stevie Johnson is hands down the best route runner in the NFL. But his drops are maddening. He is a #1, just not a great one.

  24. Niners we crew is a lot better then my seahawks but I could never take kap or a journeyman like Alex Smith over the smartest in game qb of all time Russell Wilson

  25. Slow the roll with Patton as a #1, let alone in the same sentence as the others.

  26. you have to truly be an imbecile, if you don’t think the niners have at least a top 3 receiving corp. there isn’t one team in the league who’s fanbase wouldn’t be happy to have Crabtree, boldin, Stevie or v.d. on their team. give me a break

  27. Steive isn’t a number one but he’s better then Mike Williams and for whatever reason one on one nobody save for maybe Megatron has given the elite CBS more headaches then Stevie

  28. I’d take Denver green bay and maybe Atlanta’s options over sf but this year kap doesn’t have anymore who does he have to throw to excuses ! Wilson won it all with wrs who probably wouldn’t start for many other teams save for Harvin and he was hurt and is more a gimmick weapon then wr

  29. The 49ers got a steal in this trade. Stevie Johnson is no doubt the best route runner in the NFL today, not even Revis can cover him, even when the ball was being thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 49ers have no excuses, All the pieces are there, a Lombardi trophy should be sitting in their case after the season is through.

  30. Even if that were true, Stevie – which it’s not – you’d still need a No. 1 QB to get you and your fellow “No. 1 options” the football.

  31. The problem in Santa Clara is Kaepernick.

    He had a WR wide open in the end zone in the Superbowl, and instead lobbed an ill-advised fade pass out of bounds, which cost SF the Superbowl.

    He had an open WR on the left corner of the end zone against Seattle in the NFCCG and instead chose to throw to Richard Sherman on the right, which cost SF the NFCCG.

    Kaepernick had a chance to turn the game around after the Seahawks fumbled in the red zone in the 4th quarter, then promptly threw an INT right to Kam Chancellor (worst pass I’ve ever seen in a playoff game from a so-called starter, btw).

    If you Niner fans think the World Champion Seahawks are scared of your WRs, think again. We’re laughing up here. We want you to throw more passes. We LOVE that you’re collecting WRs.

    Kaepernick is the best QB the Seahawks ever had in a playoff game and is largely responsible for our first Lombardi. You’ll never win anything with Kaepernick, but the Seahawks will and already have!


  32. No more 2 and 3 receiver sets against the She-Hawks. 5 and 6 wideouts for a spread look, then they’ll RUN out of that formation! LOL.

    Legion of lost soldiers won’t know what hit ’em

  33. Now I have to hate one of my all-time favorite Bills, simply due to where he plays.

    That sucks, and hurts…a lot.

    (Something told me last summer to get my jersey signed, sure am glad that I did so.)

  34. LOL @ running out of a 5 or 6 WR set, like this is a game of Madden. So you’re going to have Kaepernick run with only 4 OL to protect him? Great way to keep that “franchise” QB safe.

    I’m sure Seattle’s defense will be really scared of that spread look. I mean, look at what Denver did to us with the spread. It was devastating.

    PS – Kam “Bam Bam” Chancellor wants to know when Stevie can come outside and play. His mama took away his other toy Vernon Davis, because Bam Bam keeps breaking him.

  35. Lol Niners have signed like two veteran receivers in Bolden and Johnson since winning like 12 games like three years ago? They have been in the nfc championship game like 3 straight years? When Dallas was good, the cap went up .20? Interesting how some teams can get away with giving cash to players under the table like Brent Jones said the Niners did in the 90s? lol

  36. The rule says you must have 5 defensive linemen. Then there is the QB. That comes to 6 players who cannot go downfield and catch. Therefore there can only be a maximum of 5 receivers on any given play. The Niners like to keep a back in the backfield to pick up blitzes. So, realistically, they could put 4 receivers on the field. Crab, Vernon, Johnson and Boldin would be difficult for any team to cover. If a defense manages to cover all of them, then we got Gore out of the backfield as the outlet. And the Niners also have backups at the position. Depends on how they come along when the regular season starts, we may have receivers up to our eyebrows. A nice problem to have.

  37. Stable of Receivers and a stable of Running backs can’t wait for the season!


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