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October 3, 2010

Bills WR, Stevie Johnson Interview

by Max Strauss

Stevie Johnson first went to Chabot College and played as a wide receiver there in 2004 and 2005. He totaled over 1600 yards on 100 receptions and 18 touchdowns there. he then transferred to play for the University of Kentucky. In the 2006 season, he only had 12 receptions, but in 2007 he totaled 61 receptions . played wide receiver for the Ohio State University He entered the 2008 NFL Draft, but was selected in the 7th round by the Buffalo Bills. He only managed two receptions in the 2009 season, but he broke out after we conducted this interview. [UPDATE: In 2011, he produced great numbers still. He just signed a five year contract extension with the Buffalo Bills.]

Strauss : So, Stevie, why do you make it a habit to connect to the fans?

Johnson : The fans actually make us cool. Think about that one for a second haha. For real though the Fans are the ones spreading our names, they pay their hard earned money to see us. They look up to us for strength and inspiration. I think its important to connect with the fans because I am a fan myself. So I somewhat understand how they feel about us. Why not though. Its way cooler being a people person.

Strauss : Who was your childhood star? Why?

Johnson : Deion Sanders. Talk About Swag! I didn’t even know what Swagger was back then but I’m pretty sure he was the definition in his time. He was PrimeTime. Deion Sanders had Style, Charisma, Skills, Confidence, and he was a great showman for the sport.

Strauss : What was your favorite NFL team growing up?

Johnson : San Francisco 49ers & Dallas Cowboys. Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. Where ever they were, I watched.

Strauss : When did you see your first live NFL game?

Johnson : I was maybe fifteen or sixteen. SF 49er game with my Dad. I’ve only been to two professional football games in my life. Outside the fact that I’m in the NFL now. Crazy? I know right haha

Strauss : If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Johnson : Doesn’t really matter to me. Honestly, Everyone is important in someway. You can learn something from anyone. So I’d like to meet everyone.

Strauss : What is your favorite song to listen to before a game? What pumps you up?

I keep my iPod on a Gametime Shuffle with a lot of music I can dance to. I like to dance and get loose. So I have YB The Rockstar, BlackCard Boyz, Jerk Music, Taj-He-Spitz, G5Gi, Ray Guevara, Dre Huss, Messy Marv, Bailey, Ricky Rozay, dro, Juelz. etc. Or I just listen to my own songs with Them Certified FlyGuyz CF WingTeam Marley, and J-Rich. So many I can name. Bay Area Music dude I can just keep going. the ipod is on shuffle lol.

Strauss : What is your favorite movie of all time?

Johnson : Aww, Man.. My wife and I watch so many movies. How can I name one?!? Plus I’m the type of person to see a movie and if its good I say thats my favorite movie. But The Neighborhood Classics are my fav. like Friday (all of them) are my favorite.

Strauss : What is your favorite snack food?

Johnson : I eat a lot of Cereal. Cap’n Crunch, Pops, Apple Jacks. Or I’ll eat a huge pack of Oreos Double Stuff until I’m telling my wife my stomach hurts.

Strauss : What is your favorite type of pie?

Johnson : Sweet potato pie and Pecan Pie. Sweet Potato wins though.

Strauss : What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Johnson : Cookies N’ Cream.

Strauss : What is your favorite TV-Show?

Johnson : I Like Waynes Bros. Fresh Prince. My wife And Kids. Also Martin.

Strauss : What is your favorite meal?

Johnson : Whatever my wife and mom cooks. My dad is also a great cook So whenever they cook it’s Great.

Strauss : What is your favorite video game?

Johnson : Madden and NBA 2K Hit me on Twitter @StevieJohnson13 and challenge me on PS3.

Strauss : Who is your favorite superhero?

Johnson : Superman. He’s Fast, Strong, Can Fly, and Can See Through Things how Awesome is that.

Strauss : What is the one thing you can’t leave your house without?

Johnson : Long Trips. Definitely My PS3. Short Trips. Most Definitely My iPod Touch.

Strauss : How long have you played football?

Johnson : Probably when I was twelve or thirteen. I don’t remember. First Year was Jr. PeeWee Football Fairfield-Suisun Indians in California.

Strauss : Did you play any other sports in high school?

Johnson : I Played Basketball and I ran track for a little Bit Then I stopped running track because I was tired of all the running at track practice hahahaa. Hoop was my 1st sport though.

Strauss : When did you realize that you were going to play football in college and in the NFL?

Johnson : Well, I was never actually thinking about being in the NFL until I got to College and balled out. Of course it was the ultimate goal but I had to take it step by step ya kno. Ball in HighSchool get to college, Ball in college (JuCo 1st) get to NFL. So it was Steps.

Strauss : If you weren’t playing in the NFL, what would you want to do?

Johnson : I’d Want To Be A BaseBall Player. But I can’t hit the ball! hahaha Seriously, I’d probably be making Music With my Cousin YB The Rockstar current Artist on Akons Konvict Music Record Label.

Strauss : Describe the hardest change between the jump from high school to college.

Johnson : The Responsibility was the biggest change to me. In High School to be successful all you had to do was know what you were doing and maybe 1 or 2 other people. In college you had to know what everyone was doing including the defense. I Thank Keenan Burton for showing me that at UK.

Strauss : What impact did your high school coach have on your pro career?

Johnson : Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a factor everywhere i’ve been thanks to god. Another blessing is that none of my coaches from AAU basketball. Jr PeeWees PeeWees Jr Midgets High School JuCo and UK none of my coaches treated me like I was the Star you know. I still had to work which instilled a workers mentality to never be satisfied.

Strauss : How did the number process work out in college?

Johnson : Well, the number thirteen was open everywhere I went. In College I wanted something different besides a 80 number. So I thought to get #13. Show them that thirteen isn’t unlucky. Plus 13th amendment and also 1 and 3 together is B which is my Wife’s nickname. But it’s just a number. lol.

Strauss : What was your favorite memory from Chabot college?

Johnson : Not even the football game. Just the practices and hanging out with the guys. it was non-stop comedy. The bond we built from not knowing each other to becoming lifetime friends.

Strauss : What did you learn from playing football at Chabot college? How did that help you at Kentucky?

Johnson : JuCo Life was a struggle. We had to fight for everything. nothing was giving to us. We had to buy our own cleats and gloves and whatever else we needed. JuCo made me appreciate Kentucky a lot more and never to take the experience of Division One for granted. Junior College built strength and character in me that I saw most guys who came straight out of HS to D1 didnt have. they took a lot for granted and most of them guys lost their opportunity. My tough memories at Junior College kept me focused in Kentucky.

Strauss : Who was the hardest player get by at Kentucky? Why?

Johnson : I didn’t pay attention to names in college. I just knew defenses so it didn’t matter who was guarding me. Really I didn’t care. I just wanted to do my Job and that was make plays for my team. I’m just now beginning to pay a little attention to guys in the NFL after talking with George Wilson, Lee Evans, and Roscoe Parrish.

Strauss : What is your favorite memory from Kentucky?

Johnson : My Favorite memory at UK is honestly all of Them. Just Being At Kentucky was an awesome experience for a kid from San Francisco, California. It was a blessing to be there at that University and to be around all the people there and my teammates and coaches. Beating #1 Ranked Louisiana State University and #9 Ranked Louisville Was great. Watching and helping the Fans Storm The field. Man I’m proud to call Kentucky my 2nd home. I Loved it all!

Strauss : What was the combine like?

Johnson : Honestly, The combine sucked hahahaha. No it wasn’t that bad. Well yes it was. We sat around all day and waited to be checked on by doctors. then go to another room and do the same thing. next thing you know your on the field. Thats the only time it was fun. Being on the Field doing things and socializing with the other great players entering the draft.

Strauss :What was your draft day experience like?

Johnson : Draft Day was OK at best. I was expected Early 2nd day. It started off cool. Seeing my friends get drafted. waiting…. then the expected time coming…. then passing….now I’m getting a little frustrated…laying on the couch with my lady….. she’s getting pissed hahahaa…. we ended up falling asleep and I just ended up waking up to a call from the Cowboys saying they would like to sign me as UFA after draft. So I spoke with them for a little bit. Then I Spoke with the Miami Dolphins they said they would like to sign me UFA. Then all of a sudden I got a call from Buffalo and with the 224th pick in the 7th Round the Bills Selected me. It was A great feeling. The Family and Block was excited. I was very happy, then thought about how late I went. From then on I said I’m going to be on a mission to be one of the factor Wide Receivers out of my draft class.

Strauss : Why are you #13 in the NFL? Why?

Johnson : For the same reason I stated earlier, lol.

Strauss : What is your favorite memory as a Bill?

Johnson : My 1st touchDown against The Jets on the Road. It was The best. 1st NFL TD and Doing the sticky fingers after I scored. I’m surprised I didnt get fined when I look back at the film of that. There’s more where that came from.

Strauss : Could you have predicted how far football was going to carry you? Why?

Johnson : Nah, I never could have predicted it. I only saw NFL serious my @nd Year at Kentucky. So I’m Just Trying to keep it rocking.

Strauss : What do you look for when you watch film? How important has film been to your development?

Johnson : I watch every route a WR run and see how the DB react to them so I know how to run it against them. I watch for Defensive coverages how they hide them. and I am also highly critical on myself when I run routes so I find something almost all the time with a route I ran and how I can get better and be consistent. Well this will be my 1st big year in the NFL so we shall see. I know it was great for me in College so I’m hoping the same goes here with the Buffalo Bills.

Strauss : What has been the hardest thing for you to do since you started playing football?

Johnson : Leaving My Family. I wish I can take them with me everywhere including Away and Training Camp. It’s so much easier when they are around. Just the comfort of my Wife and two kids.

Strauss : Who is your best buddy on the Bills?

Johnson : I don’t have one best friend, I kinda bounce around talk to everyone. Like I said I’m still a fan, even though I am in the NFL so all the guys I talk to I’m basically soaking up game from them.

Strauss : What is your nickname? Why?

Johnson : Stevie Styles is the nickname my Big Cousin TeShawn T-Lowe Gave me. He said I was versatile and had many styles. So he called me Stevie Styles and it just stuck with me since a teen.

Strauss : What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?

Johnson : Meeting my wife in high school, I believe she made me better. Also giving me guidance. She also showed me my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, On July 4th 2008.

Strauss : What is your favorite charity? Why? Why do you donate? Why should people donate?

Johnson : Right now I dont have one main charity. However, I’ve started a Certified WingTeam that has yearly camps for the kids in the community check it out at and

Strauss : What is an experience that changed your life?

Johnson : My Family. Seeing My kids born. Raising Them with My wife. ITs Amazing and it opens a mans eyes to the Real deal. No more games you know. YOur not only trying to feed yourself. Now you have a responsibility with a family.

Strauss : What is your favorite quote?

Johnson : Live. Love. Laugh.

Strauss : For someone aspiring to play football in the NFL, do you have any advice for them?

Johnson : Don’t ever give up on something you feel strongly about. Keep Pushing. And its always competition. So always work on your craft to get better. Stay humble and really try to be the best that you can be. Be yourself To the fullest. Set Goals and Go after them.

Strauss : Is there anything you want to tell your fans that I have not asked?

Johnson : I Really Just Appreciate All My Fans Out there. I am as Real As They get. I interact and like to have fun. I’m just like yall.

Strauss : Thank you for your time.

Johnson : Thanks, Stay Fly and keep doing what you do bro.


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