Stevie Johnson mocks Plaxico Burress
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson regretted his second-quarter touchdown celebration against the New York Jets on Sunday in which he mocked Plaxico Burress by pretending to shoot himself in the thigh, calling it a "stupid" decision.
Johnson, who also mocked Santonio Holmes' "flight" celebration by "crashing" to the ground after running to the left side of the end zone, was flagged 15 yards for excessive celebration. The personal foul penalty led to a Jets' touchdown, which tied the game at 14 right before the end of the first half. New York ended up beating Buffalo, 28-24.
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"Most definitely, because it hurt our team," Johnson replied when asked if he regretted his actions. "It was very stupid. I feel like I cost our team a win on that."
Burress spent 20 months in prison on an illegal weapons charge after accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub three years ago, on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. He signed with the Jets after his release once the NFL lockout ended.
"I've seen worse and I've heard worse," Burress said. "It doesn't bother me at all. The result I'm looking at is that we won the football game and he turned around and dropped three wide open balls to lose the game for his team. If I was a player that's how I would evaluate myself."
He added: "I mean, I've already been through the wringer with that whole situation, so I've dealt with it accordingly and put those things behind me. You're going to see things, you're going to hear things, or whatever it may be, but it doesn't bother me at all.
"He's a young player and I like him a lot. I think he's a great young talent and is going to be a great player in this league."
Burress tweeted later Sunday night that he had talked to Johnson and added, "Its all love."
On the Bills final drive of the game down four points, Johnson missed three critical passes. The first was a well-thrown ball from Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick that Johnson dropped.
Last year, Johnson's drop cost the Bills a potential winning TD in overtime against Pittsburgh. He was inconsolable after that loss, but not quite so devastated Sunday.
"We're human and we've got to learn," Johnson said. "If we stop learning, what's the point of living?"
Asked if he would approach the Jets wide receiver and apologize, Johnson replied, "I felt like I made a mistake for our team, that's it. Anything else doesn't matter to me. I'm only worried about the Buffalo Bills and my teammates. I'm not really worried about what's going on over there. That led to a touchdown for the Jets and it hurt us. I put that on me."
Johnson is known for his touchdown celebrations. He was fined $5,000 by the NFL for a celebration last season in Cincinnati when he scored only to lift up his jersey and reveal "Why so serious?" printed on his undershirt.
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Asked if the complicated celebration at MetLife Stadium was rehearsed, Johnson responded, "It was just a bad decision and it cost our team seven points. I had to apologize to everybody. I talked to coach (Chan Gailey). I can't be doing that. I gotta be more mature."
Gailey didn't see Johnson's moves, but he was unhappy with the penalty.
"I just went and talked to him and (said), "'You can't do that stuff. It costs the team. It's wild.'"
Plenty of the Jets, like quarterback Mark Sanchez, didn't catch it either, so it couldn't have provided motivation for the Jets scoring on the next drive. But those Jets who saw part of it or heard about it thought it crossed the line.
"All I saw was the little Jets flying thing which everbody does -- whatever," tight end Dustin Keller said. "But then I heard that he did the other thing which is ignorant, stupid, embarrassing for him. It's just not something you do. I'm embarrassed for him."
"I think it was a little childish act on his behalf," Holmes said, "but he did what he did. He'll pay for it later."
Aaron Maybin, who was drafted by the Bills with the No. 11 pick of the 2009 NFL draft and signed with the Jets at the start of the season, laughed when he heard about Johnson's touchdown celebration and shook his head.
"Oh man," Maybin said. "He's a comical guy. All the way through last year it was the whole 'why so serious' thing. He's one of those guys where you've got to take the good with the bad. He is as good as he is because he's the kind of guy where he plays with so much emotion and intensity. That's who Steve is and if he lost that he wouldn't be the same player."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Jane McManus covers the Jets for ESPN NY. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.