It will be interesting to see the type of reception, pardon my pun, that Terrell Owens will receive from the Buffalo faithful on Saturday night. Owens will be returning with the Cincinnati Bengals for preseason game three. Let’s examine why to boo or not boo T.O.
Reasons to boo: Owens did not live up to expectations last season. He came with promise of leading the Bills out of 7-9 hell (I suppose he technically did). Bills fans had visions of an explosive no-huddle attack with two dynamic wideouts. It didn’t quite happen. He was brought in to be the complementary receiver Lee Evans hasn’t had since Eric Moulds. However, Evans had his worst season as a pro, amassing a paltry 44 catches for 612 yards, both career lows. Owens himself had just 55 catches for 829 yards, his lowest full-season totals (he played just seven games in 2005 with the Eagles) since his rookie season. Owens continued to have some issues with holding onto the football (he’s never had the surest hands in football). Some fans didn’t like that Owens provided little excitement on or off the field, holding back whatever criticisms he may have had for teammates or the coaching staff. On top of all that, he is a self-promoter with an abomination of a television program, and this Batman and Robin stuff with Chad Ochocinco might be too much for many Bills’ fans to stomach.
Reasons to cheer: Owens was on his best behavior in 2009. He never really threw anyone under the bus for his own struggles last season. He accepted responsibility for his down season, even going so far as to apologizing for not delivering on making the Bills a playoff team. The problems with the offense really were not Owens’ fault, as his numbers may be a better indication of how talented the guy still is, having amassed them behind that offensive line and with that coaching staff. Owens may not have loved Buffalo, but he seemed to respect the fans and show his appreciation for them.
My verdict: I’d cheer the guy when he was announced Saturday. I thought Owens played as hard as he could, and didn’t cause any additional problems to a team with many. He didn’t blast the QBs, the first year offensive coordinator, or the crypt-keeper head coach. Let’s face it, Bills’ fans and media did way more of that than T.O. did. I respect how he appreciated the Bills’ great fans, and how he accepted responsibility for his own play. Sure, his reality show sucks, and I prefer a humble player like Lee Evans to the blatant self-promoters, but Owens is who he is. I’m going to predict Bills’ fans agree with me and Owens is greeted warmly on Saturday.