Whole new ball gameFascinating time for Bills
By STEVE SIMMONS,SUN MEDIA
|Bills QB Trent Edwards would rather talk about Lee Evans than the ego-maniacal Terrell Owens. (Sun Media/Greg Henkenhaf)
Trent Edwards would rather change the subject.
He is being asked -- again -- about Terrell Owens and is pretending not to hear or understand the question.
He knows the question. We know the question. By now, everybody knows the question.
How is his life about to change now that the high-strung, ego-maniacal, me-first Owens is suddenly the face of the once-faceless Buffalo Bills? Or, to paraphrase Jeff Garcia, who spent time -- some good, some not so good -- with Owens in San Francisco: Edwards' life will not be the same.
Before this season, he was just a kid quarterback, maybe on the rise, maybe not. Edwards was one of those National Football League players nobody really paid a lot of attention to. He seemed good enough to not lose the game, not necessarily good enough to win it himself.
So, what will life for him and this team that was nowhere near the mainstream be like when that daily interruption called T.O. arrives full-time in the summer?
"I really haven't thought about it," said Edwards, talking on the telephone while driving down the QEW from Buffalo.
That, of course, is a little white lie. T.E., as they call him, has thought about T.O. How could he not have? He is the quarterback. He has seen the video evidence of Owens on the sidelines, arguing with Tony Romo, pointing at Donovan McNabb, calling out Garcia, with arms flailing and gums flapping. He has heard more stories than we have. The NFL world revolves around the prima donna wide receivers and a soap opera sub-culture.
"I don't know what to expect," Edwards said.
Expect this, T.E.: Your Sundays will never be the same. Your weekdays will be changed. Your days as an anonymous NFL quarterback which, by itself, is something of an oxymoron, are over.
"I'm looking forward to working with him," he said.
This is a fascinating and twisted time for the Buffalo Bills. The future of the franchise is somewhat in doubt. The immediate future is confusing with its star running back, Marshawn Lynch, suspended for the first three games of the season after violating the league's policy for personal conduct. And training camp will be all about figuring out where T.O. fits in, how T.O. fits in, everything T.O.
Edwards, the politician, would rather talk about Lee Evans and that is understandable. Evans was his top receiver last season and for just about every season before that. It was last season, following the one game at the Rogers Centre, where the Bills offence hit rock bottom and an emotional Evans spoke from the heart about the frustration of playing with a team so inept.
That much should change now. Evans becomes the second receiver to Owens. You can't double-team both. This isn't Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, but it's pretty darn good. And it's an upgrade on Eric Moulds and Peerless Price and we know how many catches Price got when he played second fiddle to a type-A receiver. If anyone should benefit from the presence of Owens, it should be Evans and, by some extension, personal distractions aside, Edwards.
"We're going to create some mismatches," said Edwards, looking forward to his second game in Toronto, considering what a disaster the first one was. "I'm looking forward to getting them out on the field and see what we can do with them.
"For me, I just want to get better. I want our team to get better. I know (Owens) is a competitive guy and he is going to want the ball. He likes having the ball in his hands. But you also get the vibe that he really wants to win. We're going to have to figure all that out."
And what about all the nonsense that goes along with T.O., especially for the quarterback?
"I really don't know how that's going to go," Edwards said. "I would hope it (problems) wouldn't happen. You can't just assume something is going to happen. I'm sure there is a right way to deal with things. You would hope you can figure things out behind closed doors.
"The pressure is on me. I want to get better. I want to win more. I want to be consistent for 17 weeks. And if we have a problem, we'll fix that problem and go back to work."
Back to work, but this year, everything will be documented: T.E. and T.O. The new story for the new season.