Maybe Duke Preston is a sore loser. That bonehead move in the finale didn't help, but no single player was scapegoated harsher for Buffalo's lousy play against 3-4 defenses last year than Preston.
Just call him Brian Holzinger, failing to slap that puck out of the crease.
Or maybe – just maybe – Preston is saying what a lot of players on the Bills are thinking.
On Sporting News Radio Tuesday, Preston said the Bills "might be grasping at straws." Just a hunch, but I don't think he was alluding to the team's highly touted signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
There are two ways to look at Buffalo's signing of Terrell Owens. It's either a bold, cavalier move of brilliance. Or, as mentioned here it's a destructive move of quasi-liberal desperation. As he bolts for Green Bay, Preston is making his opinion clear.
"If you look at my four years in Buffalo, we only beat New England one time," Preston said. "Green Bay has kind of historically been at the top of its division, almost the New England Patriots so to speak. So to go another team and another division that kind of is on the upper tier of it instead of trying to claw their way into the upper tier is a cool opportunity."
No doubt, Preston must be giddy that he won't be snapping the ball against nose guards anymore. His days of getting driven in the backfield and blasted the next morning on the radio are over.
With the Packers, he'll be a spot, fill-in. Nothing too taxing over his two-year, $2 million contract. But his "straws" comment may serve a telescopic look into the Bills team. You think the core players on the team are really happy that the team has welcomed a jersey-selling, team-killing nightmare? No employee in their right mind ever wants a head case raging in the cubicle next to them.
It's something we always hear about, but can never comprehend – the locker room dynamic.
Other sports are different. Big egos are not as destructive in the basketball standings. The L.A. Lakers won three straight championships with Shaq and Kobe cultivating deep, daily tension. Doesn't work like that in football. With 53 players instead of 12, an egomaniac like T.O. is able to create more wedges and more divisions throughout the roster.
The distraction worsens over time, infecting the team's core like a virus.
By now, it's a drill with T.O. A blueprint to rebuilding, really. With three teams, Owens effectively blew up locker rooms and set franchises back. Think his new Bills' teammates don't know this? They know Buffalo signing Owens is half-bold, half-asinine. They know his past. For a look into T.O.'s timeline of team obliteration, go to this link. It only lasts to 2006, yet contains 23 bits of team alienation. We all know about the alleged suicide attempt, sit-ups in his parking lots, and fights with assistant coaches. But the minute details on this timeline leading up to these mainstream incidents are interesting.
Remember, back in 2001 after San Francisco blew a 19-point lead against Chicago? After the overtime loss, Owens accused head coach Steve Mariucci of taking it easy on his good friend Dick Jauron (the Bears' head coach).
"I think it's funny, but ... his buddy system with all the coaches around the league, I think he tries to spare them sometimes,'' Owens said after the game.
Ahh, the circle of life. Maybe Preston isn't just a disgruntled former employee. Maybe he hinted at frustration from the inside.
Russ Brandon showed a ton of guts signing T.O. a month ago. The one-year contract gives Owens ample incentive to shut up and play – he'll want a multi-million deal next year. But for the time being, Preston is right. Buffalo is acting out of desperation.
Tyler Dunne is the Publisher of BuffaloFootballReport.com and also writes for The Packer Report. Contact him at email@example.com.
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