The individual success of Terrell Owens is well documented. Second all-time in receiving touchdowns (139), fifth in receiving yards (14,122) and tied for sixth in receptions (951), Owens is an elite performer. But as Owens prepares for his first season with the Bills, his focus is on the success of the team.
"(My) motivation is really just to get this team to the playoffs, to come in and be instrumental in the success of this team," said Owens. "I think everybody witnessed what this team did last year and obviously, unfortunately for them, we didn't finish well, but it's a new year."
Buffalo's 5-1 start was erased with a second half slide, which resulted in a 7-9 record and another year without a postseason berth. But Owens is optimistic that the Bills' fortunes are set to change.
"It's a new year for every team, so that's the approach that we're taking with the addition of myself and some other guys," he said. "If that's going to raise the level of play and create more wins, that's why I'm here, so I'm looking forward to the opportunities."
And those opportunities figure to be numerous within the scope of Buffalo's offense. Owens is encouraged by the talent level at the skill positions on offense, but also recognizes that they'll need help from the defensive side of the ball to consistently win.
"You look at Trent (Edwards), he's back there delivering the ball, he's throwing it around. You've got myself, Lee (Evans), Josh (Reed), and a lot of young guys and our backfield is stocked with some very capable running backs, so I'm definitely looking forward to putting points on the board and really making a difference this year," Owens said. "Our defense is going to be strong, we can keep guys out of the end zone, and make it a competitive ball game, I like our chances down the stretch."
Buffalo's 2009 schedule certainly appears more daunting than that of last year on the surface with the AFC and NFC South the two divisions on the slate in addition to their own. However, circumstances through the first few weeks of a season can change the NFL landscape dramatically, as evidenced by the season-ending injury to New England's Tom Brady last season in week one.
Coming in as a high profile weapon with high expectations, Owens insists he doesn't feel the pressure to prove himself. He believes he's already done that in his time in the league. For the veteran receiver it's more about working hard and helping the team consistently put points on the board.
"There's no pressure on me at all," said Owens. "I know what I'm capable of, I'm very thankful and gracious for the opportunity that the Bills have given me and I'm going to embrace it. I feel good. I can play this game. I know (offensive coordinator) Turk (Schonert) is going to throw the ball down the field.
"I feel very confident in the guys that we have in the rotation and that we have on the offensive side of the ball. I know I don't talk much about the defense, but those guys fly around. I'm looking for some big things from those guys and they're going to be instrumental in some of the things that we're doing on offense."
Owens has played in one Super Bowl in his career, but did not emerge victorious. Though he'd like to return to the big game, and would be more than happy to do so with the Bills, there is a more important goal that much be achieved first.
"I think the goal for every team is to win the Super Bowl," said Owens. "But I think to get this team to the playoffs, get us to the playoffs. That gives us an opportunity to win the Super Bowl and we just have to take it one game at a time. We're going to start that in New England on September the 14th and we're going to work our butts off to go up there and get a win."