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May 16, 2014
Stevie Johnson hasn't forgotten drop vs. Steelers, says it changed approach to the game

Receiver Stevie Johnson, who is as well-known for end-zone t-shirt displays as he is 1,000-yard seasons, says he's at a point in his career where "it's about handling business first." The new 49ers receiver said this new business-like outlook began late in the 2010 season when, as a member of the Bills, he dropped five passes against the Steelers, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime. The Bills lost 19-16.

"I'll never get over it. Ever," Johnson said after that game.

He was still thinking about it on Thursday.

"When I missed the pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was pretty focused on the just showing up and having 100 yards, having a couple of touchdowns and having fun," Johnson, 27, said at 49ers headquarters. "After all that happened, I had to sit back and realized, 'You have to handle business before you have fun.'"

Prior to the Steelers game in 2010, Johnson was fined $5,000 when, following a touchdown catch against the Bengals, he lifted his jersey to reveal that he'd written "Why so serious?" on the t-shirt beneath it. He also was penalized - and benched - after revealing, "Happy New Year" on his t-shirt following a touchdown against the Patriots.

That celebration occurred more than a year after the drop against the Steelers.

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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