Owens ushers in excitement

T.O. will instantly change the climate in Buffalo. For once, the Bills are in the spotlight...

Whether it's your popcorn, your chicken wings or your playoff expectations, just make sure you get ready.

With the inking of Terrell Owens to a reported one-year, $6.5 million contract, the Buffalo Bills have escaped irrelevancy.

Buffalo is still waiting to be pinched awake from its usually dull free agent slumber because this seems too good to be true. The eccentric Terrell Owens – a former San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas standout – comes to the eastern shores of Lake Erie.

And we thought Donte Whitner's personality was too big for Western New York.

From a PR standpoint, Buffalo should win a medal of some sort. Sports fans around the country spent the rest of weekend attempting to pick their jaws up from off the ground.

Terrell Owens. To Buffalo. Yes indeed.

I can't remember the last time the Bills were the first story off the top of SportsCenter as well as the cover story of SportsIllustrated.com. And it should be music to Bills fans' ears to hear Buffalo get analyzed on every sports show in America. Heck, it feels good to hear "T.O. is going to tear apart the Bills' organization."

Ahhh, at least NFL fans realize Buffalo still exists.

Merchandise-wise, navy-blue Owens jerseys will sell like hotcakes. There will surely be a spike in ticket sales. The cavalries of fans about to cancel their season tickets will renew. As a result, excitement will pump into the team on a national scale. Look for the Bills to play under the lights much more than usual. Buffalo had a grand total of two primetime games in the last three years. Count on this trend changing fast.

All because of T.O. Boy, it sure has been a while since the limelight focused in on the city of Buffalo.

The more interesting facet of this signing will not be known until mid-season, of course. The play of Terrell Owens will be dissected every play of every week. His locker room demeanor will be magnified through a microscope, as will his relationships with his coaches. His reaction to the city of Buffalo might make Willis McGahee's seem complementary. McGahee's backhand at the city may seem tame after this T.O. experiment ends.

But still, in his prime, Owens is one of the best five receivers in the league. Even at 35 years old, T.O. elicits a certain amount of fear in defenses. Owens had at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his three seasons with the Cowboys. Perhaps even more impressive, he only missed one game over that span. He isn't declining in Marvin Harrison-fashion quite yet. Owens has plenty of game left – and it'll unfold in Buffalo.

Sure, the dropped balls will come. Owens led the league in dropped passes with 33 in 2008. According to STATS, Inc., Owens caught less than half of the passes thrown to him last season. While these alarming statistics signal a downturn in Owens' career, it's hardly a reason not to take a chance on him.

T.O. brings instant credibility to Buffalo's stale offense. He's the piece of the puzzle Dick Jauron kept talking about last season. The 14-year wideout adds a foreign, dynamic dimension to Buffalo's offense. Owens, Lee Evans, Roscoe Parrish, Marshawn Lynch, and Fred Jackson are all playmaking game-changers. All of a sudden, the Bills have a potent offense.

If Trent Edwards can spread the ball around – getting T.O. and Evans their fair share – the Bills will finally return to the playoffs after a nine-year drought.

If Edwards can't get T.O. the ball enough? Well, we all know the consequences. This season should be exciting to say the least.

Keep pace on all T.O. talk inside the ROCKPILE forum where Owens fever is running high!

T.O. TRACKER

We have you covered on all angles of this monumental signing…

--- Butter, Please: Bills sign T.O.

--- Rampant Desperation

--- "America's Team" to "North America's Team"

--- Say It Isn't So, Mr. Wilson!

--- Reward Outweighs Risk with T.O.

--- "We needed to take it up a notch"

--- Edwards makes a statement


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