McCourty praises Johnson, Bills wideouts


McCourty praises Johnson, Bills wideouts

By Danny Picard Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO --Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson is nursing agroin injury, and after not practicing on Wednesday, his status is unknown forSundays game against the Patriots.

But with the Bills offense thriving through the first twoweeks of the regular season, it would be tough to believe that Johnson wouldsomehow miss this one.

If he does play, theres no doubt hell be lined up withPatriots cornerback Devin McCourty, who gave the scouting report on Buffaloswideouts on Thursday.

Buffalo, theyre pretty hot, and I think one thing thatsimportant is, they spread the ball around, said McCourty. You talk aboutDavid Nelson and Stevie Johnson, and then you also have Donald Jones, whosplaying very well. So even with Roscoe Parrish down, they still have a bunch ofreceivers that are capable. So it doesnt get any easier week-by-week.

More specifically, McCourty also talked about Johnson, andthe versatility that he brings to the Bills passing game.

I think overall, hes not a guy that you can say, He onlydoes this. If you take this away, then you can stop him. Hes a guy that doeseverything pretty well, said McCourty. Hes a bigger guy, not the biggestguy. But he goes up and gets jump balls. He goes and runs routes inside. Heruns routes outside. He lines up in the slot. He lines up outside. So hes justa versatile receiver that can do everything on the field.

Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will certainly be lookingfor Johnson (if he plays) on Sunday, and when describing Fitzpatricks strengths, McCourty was sureto point out his mind for the game.

The biggest thing is hes a Harvard graduate, so hes verysmart, said McCourty. I think thats what you see . . . Hes kind of runningthat show, and its moving pretty well. I think thats the main thing.

Hes not throwing interceptions. Hes not taking sacks.Hes not making bad plays. Hes just playing pretty good right now.

In the past, Buffalo hasnt been as good as theyve lookedthrough Week 2 of this season. But McCourty said that this group of Patriotsplayers have respected this Bills group since Week 3 of last season, when theygave the Pats a run for their money at Gillette Stadium, losing to New England38-30.

I think for this team, we have a bunch of guys that haventbeen here a long time to know about all those past games anyways, saidMcCourty. So, if you just look at last year, weve been in tough battles withthem . . . So weve already had that respect for them, and I think theyre nowproving it to everyone else.

As for the Patriots defense, it may be without safetyPatrick Chung on Sunday. Chung underwent surgery on his right thumb this week,and his status for Buffalo is in question.

McCourty is confident that someone can fill the void.

Someone will just have to step up, he said. Were notreally worried about that. Well go day-by-day with the guys out therepracticing, and when it comes to play Sunday, guys step up and guys get readyto go.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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