If you don’t think there was a little worry, you would be wrong. If you didn’t think that there was a modicum of nervousness pulsing through his brain, you would be wrong. If you honestly didn’t think there was an air of desperation…yep, you would be wrong there too. The Buffalo Bills are desperate and desperate times call for Terrell Owens.
While almost 20 teams publicly stated that they had no interest in the mouthy locker-room cancer, the Buffalo Bills quietly worked the phones with Owens’ agent and set up a visit on Saturday…the only visit that Owens would make as a free agent.
The Bills began last season on fire. They ran off 4 victories to start the season, they had a tough as nails defense and an offense that seemed to click when it needed to. Over the next few weeks the wheels began to fall off and the team that everyone was talking about became the team in the AFC East that everyone was “Talking” about.
By the end of the season, the Bills watched the New York Jets cradle a division lead over the New England Patriots. They watched as the previous 1-15 Miami Dolphins climbed ahead of them and eventual win the division and make the playoffs. All the while finishing 7-9. Four games out of first and second place. They needed something. Something as it would turn out would be radical.
Free agency approached and the Bills were rather quiet signing some QB named Fitzpatrick. Aside from that and the FA noise was like crickets chirping at dusk. Then, splash. Rumble. Whatever you want to call it. Stampede. The Bills land a legit WR to compliment Lee Evans and give starting QB Trent Edwards a fiery in your face WR who could go over the middle and sprint to the endzone. He immediately improves the Buffalo offense. But is it enough?
That is the one question that seems to be on the minds of Patriot, Jets, and yes Miami Dolphins fans minds this morning. Can the Bills take the next step with the single addition of Terrell Owens? Owens the cancer, the mouth, the…oh fill in the blank with your own.
The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the toughest teams to play over the last 5 years. Bill Parcells should know, he coached them. As did Tony Sparano on the offense and Jeff Ireland worked the personnel from the offices. Yet for all their star studded high-profile players. The Cowboys won zero Super Bowls in that span. And yes, that is with Terrell Owens.
Last year, they couldn’t even finish the season tied for 2nd. With Terrell Owens. In fact, over the last few years, they couldn’t win a playoff game. Granted the NFC East has been a tad more competitive over those years but make no mistake, Owens isn’t joining the AFC West.
The Dolphins have had some success with another loud WR, Randy Moss. Even through some of the toughest seasons in team history, the Dolphins have kept New England games close for the most part. Even splitting several season series. So does facing Owens twice a year make a big difference? Not really.
Owens is not the same type of receiver that Moss is. He will not go over the top and take a ball out of the air, Moss has far better hands. While Owens uses his body to get separation he still needs very solid timing from his QB and when that fails, he doesn’t normally make the circus catch. In fact, Owens tends to drop a lot of balls. Some of them at crucial times. He pouts on the sidelines when things go wrong and he yells at teammates when he doesn’t get his way. Sure, he can behave for one year and don’t discount the notion that his agent will make sure of it.
Owens will turn 36 by the time he leaves Buffalo for some other team. He will go out and keep his mouth shut and do his job. However, when things start to get into his head…and they will…Terrell Owens will not make any disruptions in this one year audition for his career future. No, Terrell Owens will simply not put forth the physical effort to make the rest of his team better. He will quit. Sure he will go through the motions and put on a good face, but he will quit inside and that’s where the Terrell Owens problem is.
The one thing that Owens has going for him as he begins to look forward to some of the coldest weather he will face in December and crowds that are far worse than he is…yes they will turn on him in heartbeat…is that he has only one year. Which means that his motivation is simply money. One year of silence. One year of playing the game. One year of convincing the rest of the NFL that he is a changed man. Then, he gets one more shot at getting paid.
Money will drive Terrell Owens to behave this season…but money can’t keep him from silently walking away from the Buffalo Bills when winning becomes a struggle.