Just a taste.
That’s all the Bills and their fans have gotten from Terrell Owens so far. It’s just a small taste of the immense media circus that’s to come over the next six months.
During team OTAs and a brief three-day mini-camp, we have already been regaled by reports of Owens receiving a key to the city of Buffalo, Owens house hunting, and Owens “mentoring” the Bills young receivers.
It’s only the beginning.
Anyone who follows the NFL knows “OTA” is just a fancy term used to say, “guys running around in t-shirts and shorts doing very little.” As much as I love covering an NFL team for a living, even I get bored watching OTAs.
Mini-camp is a step up from OTAs, but it’s still a far cry from training camp.
The three day, June mini-camp’s primary purpose is to gather all the players and coaches together for the first time before the rigors of training camp start up six weeks later.
While there are drills and some offense vs. defense practices that take place, guys like Owens care very little. He’s more interested in his ridiculous reality TV show starting on ABC that I can’t wait to watch.
Mini-camp is more for players like Nic Harris, a former college star, trying to learn a new position at the pro level.
It’s for players like Ashlee Palmer, an undrafted free agent, hoping to make a big enough splash on special teams to earn a roster spot.
Players like Owens are saving themselves for training camp and, most importantly, for when the curtain is raised on opening day to get things started for real.
First off, Owens loves training camp. Say what you will about Owens, but he actually likes to practice. For all of his faults, he has never been accused of not practicing hard.
My reasoning is the football field is the only place where Owens feels like he belongs. I always viewed Owens as a very insecure person who is trying to prove himself to the world.
Well, the football field is where he is at his best, so that’s why he doesn’t mind being at practice. It's his sanctuary.
So as soon as training camp starts, the circus will officially be arriving in Buffalo, or in this case, Rochester. The Bills have been irrelevant for a long time, but the day a team signs Owens, they are irrelevant no more.
While the number of reporters at Bills' training camp and the amount of stories about the team in the national media will most likely double, that’s nothing compared to the spectacle that awaits on opening night.
Last year the Bills opened the season against the Seattle Seahawks. It was a game not accompanied by much national fanfare. The Bills won 34-10.
Most people outside of Western, NY probably didn’t even notice.
Flash forward to this season. It’s Monday Night Football versus the New England Patriots; story lines abound all over the place.
How will Tom Brady look in his first game back from knee surgery? How will Owens perform in his first game with the Bills? Which No. 81 will have a bigger night, Owens or Randy Moss? Are the Bills for real or are the Patriots primed for another Super Bowl run?
We'll find out the answers to theses questions and many more on Sept. 14th.
What a difference a year makes in Buffalo. What a difference Owens makes for the Bills.
So while it may seem like Buffalo has gone T.O. crazy, since they already gave the controversial receiver a key to the city before he has even played a down for the Bills, we haven’t seen anything yet.
It’s only June and the T.O. show is just getting started. Wait until his much anticipated fall season to kick-off.
That’s when the real fun begins.