Buffalo Bills: WR Steve Johnson Offers Hope To Bills Fans After Bengals Rout

Robert Quinn@@RQuinn619Correspondent INovember 22, 2010

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 21:  Steve Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball after a reception during NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bills won 49-31.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Stevie Johnson, the 24-year-old wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, has ignited the city of Buffalo with an astounding breakout season.

Drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Johnson saw limited action in his first two years in the National Football League, waiting for his chance to make an impact.

During those two seasons, he quietly studied and learned from veteran wide receivers Lee Evans, Josh Reed and more recently Terrell Owens.

When the Bills opted against re-signing Owens and Reed for the 2010-2011 season, the No. 2 receiver role was Stevie's for the taking.

Throughout offseason minicamps, he was the fan favorite to earn the starting job, as the team was in dire need of that prototypical 6'2", 202-pound physical wideout that former second-round draft selection James Hardy wasn't able to be.

Johnson has won over Bills fans not just with his play on the field, but his actions off it as well. He is always active on Twitter (@StevieJohnson13), interacting with fans on a regular basis. He offers game-used gear to those who can beat him in Madden 11 (I played him three times with a combined score of 118-7, so I won't be getting mine anytime soon!).

But aside from his fun-loving attitude and added energy to the locker room, Johnson has given the Bills something that even Terrell Owens couldn't: a consistent, precise route runner that isn't just a "decoy."

Last year with the Bills, Owens caught 55 passes for 892 yards and found the end zone just five times after he was expected to not only put up huge numbers of his own, but also assist in opening up Lee Evans, who has been the victim of double teams for his entire seven-year career.

Johnson has already scored nine touchdowns on the year and has caught 52 balls for 728 yards. He has at least three receptions in every game of the year and has three games with over 130 receiving yards.

But when asked about his huge play, Johnson stays humble, telling the media that credit should be given to coaches and quarterbacks before himself: "Man, that's just [Ryan] Fitzpatrick. He put the ball there right where it needed to be. All I did was catch the ball. It definitely isn't all me. The coaches have been calling the plays at the right times, and it's just clicking. "

He continued to praise his fellow receiver Lee Evans, stating, "I'm getting these opportunities because everyone knows about 83. When defenses roll coverage over to 83, they leave me some room to get open, and we just play off each other."

Stevie's energy on the field has given fans at Orchard Park hope and excitement to come out and watch the young San Francisco, California native play. Everything from his awesome mohawk to his tattoos gives off the aura of the young, fun and talented Bills that fans are hoping to see in coming years.