No matter what preconceived notions might exist out there concerning Terrell Owens, Bills head coach Dick Jauron is starting his relationship with the dynamic wideout with optimism.
"We'll start with him just like we do with every player that's new here and we'll just build our relationship from this point forward," said Jauron. "I approach every guy that comes here as a unique guy. We'll have a relationship with him and he'll have a relationship with the team. We're excited about this opportunity."
Obviously Jauron is not naïve, but Buffalo's sideline boss did make a point in stating how commonplace interactions on the sidelines are in the National Football League.
"If you think that emotional outbursts don't occur on every sideline on every Sunday, you're sadly mistaken," said Jauron. "They do, between coaches and players and players and players. To the degree that he's had them? Maybe. Do they get the publicity that he gets? No, because of his success and abilities as a player and to the degree of disturbance on the sidelines at times and the prominence of the people involved in them are. They happen all the time in our business, on the practice field, on game day and in the locker room."
Jauron admits that when Owens has been involved in such situations it's national news, and he and his coaching staff are prepared to handle them if and when they arise. But he also warns that exchanges on the sidelines can be inaccurately characterized.
"In some cases you can have a player or players on your team involved in an exchange that's not the most pleasant on the sideline and that's called leadership," Jauron said. "When it occurs with other players it's called disruption. So a lot of it can be interpretation. I am not trying to cover anything up because I have no inside knowledge on any of it. But our relationship will grow from when we met in my office last weekend. That's where our relationship started and it will grow from there."
In fact Jauron is confident that Owens can be a positive example for the youth on Buffalo's roster, particularly at the receiver position, based on what information he's gathered on the game breaking wideout.
"As I have heard from many credible sources, people have never or very seldom been around anybody that works as hard at his craft as this guy," said Jauron of Owens. "So right there you have leadership. That's quality leadership. We're a hard working team as it is and with him we'll become an even harder working team. I think he'll be a good example for a lot of our younger players in how he prepares and his stats speak for themselves."
So while it's obvious that Owens' physical talents will greatly benefit Buffalo's offense on the field, Jauron is confident that Owens will also be an asset as a six-time Pro Bowl veteran who can back up his words with his play.
"The opportunity for him to be a tremendous asset leadership-wise is really unbelievable in our situation," said Jauron. "We're very optimistic."