Continuing on with this week's installment of "Around The AFC East" - we turn our attention to Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills. To do that, we welcome in Brian Galliford from Buffalo Rumblings.
Matty I: How concerned are Bills fans right now about Terrell Owens and his potential to be a distraction and cancer in Buffalo? There's no denying T.O.'s talent - but there's also no denying how he tends to ruin teams. Are you concerned about this at all? In particular, are you worried that Owens could really ruin Trent Edwards' psyche if he struggles out of the gate?
Brian G: Honestly, I don't see any reason to be concerned yet. T.O. is saying and doing all the right things at the moment; perhaps he's buttering everyone up for the big fall later on, but I'm not that cynical. It has been an absolute circus with him coming into town, but the distraction has been a good one; he's already making plays at OTAs and developing a rapport with Edwards. I highly doubt you'll hear about many Bills fans being overly worried at this point.
The reality of the situation is that it's a one-year deal. There is very little risk involved with bringing him in on that type of contract. The last player that I'm worried about being negatively affected by Owens' presence is Edwards; he may still be trying to iron out consistency and injury issues, and he's obviously got a lot to prove if he wants to be the long-term starter at quarterback, but he's headstrong, very intelligent and has the support of his teammates. Owens won't change that; what he will do for Edwards is make him a better quarterback.
In the end, however, the ultimate reason that I'm not worried about Owens being a distraction and/or ripping the locker room apart is the presence of head coach Dick Jauron. Say what you will about the man's game-day decision making, his coaching staff hires, and everything else that makes him one of the most contentious personalities in Buffalo, but the guy just knows how to handle people. Owens has never played for a coach that goes about his business the way Jauron does. Will Jauron turn Owens into a do-everything-right choir boy? Clearly not; the point here is that we don't know how the Jauron/Owens dynamic will play out, which is a step up over Owens walking all over every other coach he's played for. It's going to be interesting.
My Take: The honeymoon period is in full swing in Buffalo - there's no doubt about that. There's also no question that I lack knowledge about Dick Jauron's ability to handle people - so I'll trust Brian here. I'm very interested to see how things play out if/when the Bills begin to struggle - especially if Owens isn't getting the ball as much as he'd like. Like Brian said, it's going to be interesting - that's for sure.
Head on over to BR to see how I answered Brian's question about Jason Taylor.