There has been an awful lot of analysis the past few days as to how Terrell Owens will impact Buffalo's offense in 2009. And while there's no question he instantly raises the level of the Bills attack, there is also a secondary benefit that he will provide to Buffalo's young secondary.
With veteran starter Jabari Greer departing via free agency this offseason second-year cornerback Leodis McKelvin is expected to step into the starting lineup. McKelvin is certainly an up and coming talent as evidenced by his play last season. Defending a premier playmaker in the practice setting every day like Owens will only serve as a benefit in preparing him for his expanded role in 2009.
"Oh yeah it's going to make you better," said Bills veteran cornerback Terrence McGee. "Going against Lee (Evans) or a quick guy like Roscoe (Parrish), he's very tough to defend one-on-one. Then you add T.O. and now there's three guys that are fast like that every day in training camp, you can't do anything but get better."
McGee as well as every other veteran cornerback in the NFL knows the skill set that has made Owens so difficult to keep under wraps for more than a decade.
"His size, he's a strong guy and he still has real good speed," said McGee of his newest teammate. "Going against big guys if the quarterback puts the ball in the right spot it's going to be a long day for a cornerback. Sometimes the quarterback will put it only where the receiver can get it with a big guy like that."
Knowing most young NFL players make their biggest jump in improvement from year one to year two in the league, Buffalo's top cover man believes Owens' presence along with the returning members of the Bills receiving corps can speed up the development of McKelvin and draft classmate Reggie Corner.
"Just going against a guy like that in practice day in and day out as well as Lee, Josh (Reed) and Roscoe, just veteran guys and now T.O. with his outstanding numbers it's going to be a big help for them developmentally," said McGee.
Preparing for New England's Randy Moss twice a year is no easy task, but with the size and speed dimension that Owens will bring to the practice field he could serve Buffalo's cover men well in getting ready for some of the league's bigger more talented wideouts.
"Most definitely," said McGee. "He's really going to help us in practice."
And if Owens lives up to his history of scoring touchdowns as frequently as he has the past 13 seasons, the playmaking receiver can benefit the defense in yet another way.
"Once you have the offense going and they're scoring a lot of points, you can tighten up on defense a little bit more," said McGee. "It allows Perry (Fewell) to call whatever he wants to call. You can take more chances with what you call on defense. He's really going to help us overall on the field on Sunday. He's going to help us out tremendously."