Owens Quiet As Bills Roll Into KC

Buffalo Bills' wide receiver and noted Todd Haley critic Terrell Owens has been surprisingly quiet this week. That's unusual when you consider his lengthy history of attention-seeking behavior. A few years ago, while with the Philadelphia Eagles, Owens once found himself surrounded by throngs of media as he did sit-ups in his driveway.

Over the last few seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Owens always managed to be the center of attention one way or another. During the offseason, he even had a reality show on VH1.

But now, as a member of the 4-8 Bills, Owens is almost anonymous. It must be quite an adjustment.

Owens is still grabbing attention via his Twitter page, however. Early in the season, after being criticized by former New England Patriot and current NBC Sports analyst Rodney Harrison, Owens used Twitter to rip Harrison for his admitted use of the performance-enhancer Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

Then around mid-season, Owens posted a message that congratulated ex-Chief Larry Johnson for signing with the Cincinnati Bengals, saying he knew Johnson was in a better situation than playing for Haley in Kansas City.

As everyone is surely aware, Owens and the Chiefs' head coach spent a year together in Dallas, when Haley was working with receivers. To say they didn't see eye-to-eye would be something of an understatement.

When Haley interviewed for head-coaching job in Dallas following Bill Parcells' retirement, he reportedly told owner Jerry Jones that the Cowboys would never win a thing as long as Owens was there. Two years later, Jones apparently came to the same conclusion and sent Owens on his way, resulting in the outspoken receiver accepting a one-year contract with Buffalo.

Given their history and the fact that T.O. has already taken a shot at Haley once this season, it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion that Owens would run his mouth before this weekend's game. Personally, I was looking forward to it – the lead-in for this week's game would have written itself.

From Owens' perspective, sending another shot or two Haley's way seemed to make sense. It would have presented a rare chance for him to garner some football-related attention. For fans around the league, it would provide another reason – OK, make that a reason – to actually have interest in Sunday's contest.

But Owens has been silent. He's talked about his recent 36th birthday, an upcoming Christmas party he's hosting, and the fact that he's apparently signed on with a modeling agency. But despite going out of his way to insult Haley only a few weeks ago, he hasn't had anything of note to say about this weekend's game.

We could interpret this as a show of maturity on his part, but we all know better than that. So how do we explain his surprising lack of smack?

Owens has never been the sort of player who's content with allowing his performance on the field to speak for him, so that doesn't seem like the answer. Surely the Bills don't want him to be a distraction, but since when is Owens concerned about doing what's best for the team? It seems particularly unlikely that he'd worry about it in his current situation, playing on a one-year contract for an interim head coach.

It's interesting to note that the game immediately following Owens' shot at Haley was the Chiefs' upset of Pittsburgh. From Kansas City's perspective, we can no longer pretend like that game was anything but an afternoon where all the stars aligned for a bad team to pull off a win. But perhaps for an outsider like Owens, that result was enough to give him pause.

With a record of 4-8, the Bills only have one more victory than the Chiefs do. None of Buffalo's wins have come over teams with winning records. They're probably one of the few teams in the league who can see the Chiefs on their schedule and not write it off as an easy win.

Is Owens holding his tongue because he's not confident the Bills can beat the Chiefs? It would be fairly embarrassing if he was beaten by a coach he'd been ripping all week.

Whatever the reason for his silence, the only interesting storyline going into this weekend's game has become a non-factor. Maybe that's just what T.O. was hoping for.

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