I would just like to share this little story about when the Bills drafted Stevie Johnson, and why he is my favorite player on the Bills, and in the NFL. Plus I think it might pump up some people about his resigning (As if anyone isn't insanely pumped up about it already).
Back in 2008 the Bills draft was possibly the most pathetic one to date. We all know how Mckelvin turned out as a 1st rounder. Then James Hardy UGGHHHHH. But in the 7th round we took Steve Johnson out of Kentucky. Nobody pays attention to 7th round picks this is just the receiver who has a ton of flaws and MAYBE can work his way into the practice squad. Of course I did my research on this guy and afterwards I was a bit shocked. All I could ask myself was "HOW IS HE A 7th ROUND PICK?!?!" My first thought was look at his size and speed. His speed wasn't spectacular running a 4.59 at the combine. I thought, ok he isn't a deep threat, but you don't need crazy speed to be a great receiver in the NFL. After I saw that he was 6'2", 200 lbs. I knew he was more of a big receiver which I was fine with, in fact I liked that more than just a speed threat. Then I looked at his stats, he had over 1,000 yards and 13 tds his senior year at Kentucky which was the best receiving season in Kentucky history. That is when I knew. Kentucky is not a football school, very true, but they are in the SEC. And having that type of season receiving on a bad team against the defenses in the SEC is when I realized we might have stumbled onto someone special here.
A few weeks after the draft after it all sank in, I said to my friends at college "Give this Steve Johnson guy 3 years, and I guarantee he will be a very good receiver in this league." Of course they all laughed at me and said I was crazy. Through the next couple seasons he would have a few catches and a touchdown here and there and all of my friends would jokingly go crazy because they knew how much I likes this guy. Then 2010 came around (which we all would like to forget as Bills fans) and he is in the starting lineup and playing every down. He has 82 catches, 1,073 yards, and 10 tds. After the Bengals game where he caught 8 balls for 137 yards and 3 tds in the comeback victory I looked at all of my friends calmly and said "I told you". He was probably my favorite Bill at the time.
Then last year came along and showed me what this guy is truly made of and even though he had a coupe of stupid penalties, he will outgrow that stuff and I loved Gailey for benching him the last game I think that sent a strong message and I think Stevie realizes that and won't pull any of that crap again. The first thing I loved about him this year, he torched Revis both games. I went to college in NY and I hated the Jets before, but now they are my most hated franchise in sports so any Bill that can burn Revis is great. But people thought he had character issues from the celebrations. But I always thought he was just having fun, of course the No Fun League prohibits that so he has to cut back on the fun. But watching him every game this year, watching how he plays, watching him give it his all on every play made me fall in love with him as a player. There were games that he took insanely hard hits and I thought "Oh no, he's done for the game". He would come off the field for a play after being on the ground, then he would run right back to the huddle, CLEARLY in a lot of pain, and he would give it his all on the next play. Seeing him in the huddle wincing in pain then running to the line and running his route, getting hit hard again and gong right back to the huddle in pain and doing it again is the definition of HEART in football.
Everyone who reads this think back to the second half of the season. To be honest, I thought he was going to be out at the end of a lot of games this year. Those games at the end of the year when the receiving core was hurting BADLY and we had like 3 healthy receivers, Spiller had to play wideout a lot of the time. I remember a few of those games where in the 2nd half Stevie would take a big hit and clearly be hurt and in a lot of pain. I remember thinking "We need this game to end because our guys are just getting beat up out there, Stevie is done after that hit we have no more healthy receivers." There would be so many players in this league that would give up in that situation, they're on a bad team, they're injured, they're team is beat up, nothing seems to be going right. But Stevie fought through the pain, he battled the injuries and got back on the field every time he seemed to get injured or knocked down hard. I can tell he wants the Bills to win so badly. Watching him after losses, he seems heartbroken every time these guys lose. He leaves everything out on the field and plays as hard as he can and plays his heart out on every play. PLUS the fact that he gave the Bills a hometown discount tells me even more that he is not some money hungry scumbag receiver like Desean Jackson. He gave the Bills a great deal for both sides which shows me just how much he loves this team and these fans. He is the type of guy that every Bills fan should love.
I just wanted to share that with everyone because I am insanely pumped about this!!