The Buffalo Bills’ record in Stevie Johnson’s five-plus seasons with the team is 32-57.
You can understand, then, why Johnson has zero patience for any talk of “moral victories,” including after the latest loss Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We felt like we had the game. We controlled the game, and we ended up coming out with another loss,” Johnson said Monday. “If you’re not frustrated about that, then you shouldn’t even be in this locker room right now. You should be filled up with fire, ready to go at it next Sunday, so that’s how I feel right now.
“No moral victory at all. At all. That’s all it is is a lost opportunity.”
Johnson had little interest in listening to any of the ready-made excuses the Bills could use for their 3-6 start, namely the multitude of injuries the team has suffered.
“Man, it’s the same old story. Injuries are injuries. Enough. Enough of that,” he said. “We’re out there suited up, so nobody should be talking about injuries. If you out there, you out there, man. Enough of that injury talk. I’m tired of that.
“We in the NFL, we’re professionals. We’re not high school football players. We’ve been through a lot, through college, through junior college, high school, all that stuff. ... Right now you play for the Buffalo Bills. It’s no excuse for games like that. We gotta take advantage of teams like that. I felt like we didn’t.”
Johnson was open on the play that has received the most attention from Sunday’s 23-13 loss – the interception thrown by rookie undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel that was returned 100 yards for a touchdown by Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith.
“I shook him, he almost fell. He basically fell into an interception, and that was it,” Johnson said.
“At the end of the day, you know, I’m just happy that me and my coach went over the film and we knew exactly what the look was going to be. That just gives me more confidence to watch more film with the coach, extra film, and go at it on Sunday against the Steelers.”
Johnson said there have been times this season when he’s looked at the number of close games that have gotten away from the team.
“I think it’s natural for somebody to look back and say, ‘dang, we should have had this game, we should have done this,’ but damn, I mean, I’ve been doing this for six years. There’s no moral victories at all, it’s wins and losses.”
With the release of quarterback Matt Flynn on Monday, the Bills created a roster opening. They filled it by signing fullback Evan Rodriguez, a fourth-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 2012.
Rodriguez was arrested twice within a three-month span earlier this year in alcohol-related incidents.
The first came in March for resisting an officer without violence and disorderly intoxication after a car in which he was a passenger was involved in a traffic incident in Miami. The charges were eventually dropped.
He was also arrested in May for driving under the influence, leading to his release from the Chicago Bears.
“A lot of decisions go into where that person is now in their life. Have they learned from that mistake?” Bills coach Doug Marrone said of the decision to sign Rodriguez. “Character is a big thing ... coming onto this team.”
Rodriguez played at Temple. He played in 12 games, with five starts, as a rookie for the Bears.
“You know there’s a short leash. They have to convince people that they’ve learned from that mistake, that they’re ready to move on, and then once they do that then they have to get on the field and obviously perform,” Marrone said.
Rodriguez ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine. He did 18 reps on 225-pound bench press.
“I know that he’s very athletic. Can help us in the H-back mode and I think that he can also help us on special teams, but I think I’ll wait to see what actually happens on the field,” Marrone said.
Running back C.J. Spiller made it through Sunday’s game without worsening his high-ankle sprain.
“I talked to C.J. afterward and he said he felt good,” Marrone said.
“The one concern was when someone landed on it, how would he feel? He said one of those big defensive tackles landed on it. I told him, ‘Well heck, if a defensive tackle, one of their defensive tackles, lands on it and you’re OK, you should be fine.’ ”
Rookie receivers Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and Robert Woods (ankle), both of whom left Sunday’s game, will be evaluated Wednesday when the team returns to practice.
On Goodwin, Marrone said: “When you have that, we’ve just got to get him out on the field and see how he is, so I don’t really know right now. I’ll know a lot when we get on the field and he can go ahead and test it.”
As for Woods, the situation was much the same.
“We’ll rest him through the next two days, today and tomorrow, and then see him on the field,” Marrone said.