The traditionally small market team with limited star power, will have to get used to the increased media attention and possible distractions a player like T.O. brings with him. Owens playing at The Ralph is a very exciting proposition, however will this new relationship work for both team and player?
For the Bills, adding a potential future Hall of Famer to their rather pedestrian passing attack can only be a positive. So far, James Hardy has been a disappointment and defenders have been able to double team Lee Evans and stack the line to stop the run against Buffalo.
With T.O. playing opposite Evans, quarterback Trent Edwards should be able to open up the playbook more often. Reports are that season ticket holders are re-upping and fans are going crazy—T.O. crazy—in Buffalo already. From a marketing stand point this move looks to be already paying dividends.
However, the Bills' offense is most likely the least productive offense T.O. will have played in. Last season the team finished last in the AFC East, they only managed more than 200 yards through the air once in the final eight weeks of the year. Evans barely went over 1000 yards and managed only three touchdowns.
Typically, those kinds of numbers aren’t exactly what keeps T.O. in a good mood. In better situations, although successful statistically, he was unable to win a Super Bowl with San Francisco, Philadelphia or Dallas.
Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, and Tony Romo are also head and shoulders above what Trent Edwards has shown so far. So the question becomes how long will Owens stay positive if the Bills don’t improve in 2009?
The task won’t be easy as their fellow AFC East counterparts should all be improved. New England should have Brady back, the Dolphins are improving and now have a year of success under their belts and the Jets have also been busy in free agency, adding ex-Raven linebacker Bart Scott.
T.O. also won’t be the No. 1 target anymore which may not be to his liking. With a team devoid of many other big names, who will step up and get in T.O.’s face if he gets out of hand, and how will a young Edwards deal with the pressure of pleasing T.O.?
On the bright side is the contract—a one-year deal for $6.5 million. If things don’t work out they wouldn't have have broken the bank and will be able to wash their hands quickly. Also, despite his apparent arguments about Tony Romo and Jason Witten’s relationship last year, since his release all his ex-Cowboys teammates and coaches who have spoken have had nothing but positives to say about him as a teammate and player.
Overall, Owens as a Bill just doesn’t seem to fit and it could be a disaster if the Bill’s can’t make a serious playoff push or if Edwards struggles at all. It will be exciting though and fun to watch. If nothing else it will make for some catchy headlines such as “T.O. lands in T.O.” when Buffalo makes its annual trip to Toronto as part of the Bills in Toronto series.
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