As anyone will tell you, offense is what entertains and sells tickets. What bigger entertainer is there in the NFL than controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens? He is a play-maker first and foremost, but his presence will also have some positive effects on the rest of the offense.
Terrell Owens is a big receiver. He will be able to go over the middle and make plays in the middle of the field for the Bills, something that their lighter receivers have not been able to do well. This will free up the coverage on Lee Evans and allow him to get open deep more often, giving the Bills a nice vertical passing game as well.
Owens' presence will also help out the other receivers in the Bills' offense. He and Lee Evans will be the two outside receivers, allowing speedy guys like Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish to run from the slot, a position of less pressure that they should be more comfortable with.
And speaking of Roscoe Parrish, his return from injury will be a big help in the passing game, not to mention on special teams where he is a dynamo.
Another big impact player will be rooking tight end Shawn Nelson. Trent Edwards likes to throw to his tight ends, and part of the problem with Edwards' decline last year was inconsistent play by the tight end.
It remains to be seen how Nelson will fill this role, but it will most certainly be better than the situation last year. Also, with TO and Evans drawing a lot of the pressure coverage, Nelson should be open a lot, leaving Trent Edwards a nice safety net if his receivers are blanketed.
We should also not underestimate the arrival of running back Dominic Rhodes. Marshawn Lynch showed last year that he can run over defenders, and Rhodes' play will be key during Lynch's three game suspension.
Fred Jackson also showed potential last year, so the tandem of Rhodes and Jackson will still be very formidable even in Lynch's absence. And when Lynch returns, the Bills will have great depth at running back, a luxury that is becoming a trend in today's NFL.
On the defensive side of the ball, the biggest impact newcomer will be first round draft pick Aaron Maybin. His pass rushing abilities will allow the Bills to get more creative with blitz packages, and will also free up fellow defensive end Aaron Schobel.
This increase in pressure will force some hasty and errant throws, which will allow some of the Bills' less experienced secondary players to have more passes that they are able to deflect or intercept.
The secondary will also get some help in the form of play-making corner Jairus Byrd. His presence will be a nice complement to veteran Terrance McGee, and pending Byrd's development will provide the Bills with a nice lock-down corner combination.
This also adds another threat to a secondary which required Donte Whitner, Terrance McGee, and Ashton Youboty to do the majority of the work last season, which resulted in a coverage that was spread a bit thin at times.
The Bills will be a more exciting team to watch in 2009, count on that. And although the majority of the attention will be given to Owens' direct impact, make sure to watch the effects he has on the other players, and don't underestimate the play-making ability of the defense.
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