Buffalo Bills Chief Operating Officer/General Manager Russ Brandon
I’ll be brief. Thanks for everybody coming out on short notice. It’s obviously a great day for the Buffalo Bills organization. We’re excited to add one of the premier playmakers in a playmakers league, so with no further ado, I’d like to introduce the new wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, Terrell Owens.
Wide receiver Terrell Owens:
Thanks for having me and I’m very excited to be here, but first I want to thank God for the opportunity. God is good. I know I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. I want to thank the Buffalo Bills organization, Mr. Ralph Wilson, I just got off of the phone with him, talked with him briefly, and this is an opportunity for me to kind of, the story will kind of write itself. I don’t really have a whole lot to say. It’s been a pretty interesting couple of days for myself. I know a lot of my teammates back in Dallas, I’ve had a lot of support from those guys. It’s very unfortunate, but now, I must move on. This is another new beginning for me, so I’m just looking forward to this opportunity. I know I’ll help this organization out, and I’m looking forward to getting with Trent (Edwards), Lee (Evans), and the guys, putting some points on the board, that’s what I’ve done everywhere I’ve been and it’s going to continue. I’m looking forward to the opportunities.
On when the deal came together:
You’ll have to talk to Drew (Rosenhaus). I’ve just kind of been at home, relaxing and once he and I met with Jerry Jones and Steven Jones, and we parted ways, the next day, he got busy, so once he told me that these guys were interested, I was looking for a home.
On what made him decide to sign with the Bills:
You never know. God has a place for me. He has a plan for me. This may not be the most ideal place for a lot of people, but I’m the guy. I beat to my own beat sometimes, my own thinking, my own intuition. Well, for me, this is an opportunity. It’s an interesting situation, no matter what uniform, I put on, I perform, so it’s not a matter of what tipped the scale. It could be money, it could be this, you never know. I will say that it’s an opportunity. I saw how the Bills started last year and they made some eyes open last year, so if I can be that extra added piece to the puzzle to get them to the playoffs and make something happen, then that’s what I’m here for. At this point in time in the league you can’t really just sit and say, ‘ok, this team is going to get to the Super Bowl.’ When I was inDallas, we were picked to be in the Super Bowl and we didn’t make the playoffs. Nobody would have thought that the Arizona Cardinals would have been in the playoffs. At this point of time in my career, it doesn’t really matter about the team that you think is going to make it to the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl. It’s all about X’s and O’s, going out and making plays and I looked at the defensive side of the ball, and I looked at the offensive side of the ball. These guys have all of those pieces, you know? If I can add to that we’ll get where we need to be.
On his previous divisiveness and selfishness with his former teams:
That’s all hearsay. If you look at all of the comments that have come from all of my teammates with the Cowboys, it’s all been positive. Prior to that, I can’t really… I don’t really want to get into it. I’ll let my teammates speak highly and I think they have done that. They’ve spoken and they speak loudly as to what transpired.
On what role he hopes to play in the locker room:
I’m going to be the same person that I was the last three years with the Cowboys. When I’m on the football field, I’m a passionate guy. I demand a lot from myself and from the guys around me. I’m sure those guys and some of the guys around the league and in the locker room that I was with for three years all know that whatever is being said out there, it’s not accurate.
OnBuffalo Bills QB Trent Edwards:
Trent has tremendous upside. As I said earlier, as a player, you kind of watch games, you watch highlights, and I think Buffalo gave themselves a buzz. They were hot at the beginning of the season, they didn’t finish well, but with someone like myself, I can come in, I can add that extra piece, and we can get over the hump. WithTrent, I saw tremendous upside. I saw he was an accurate passer, one of the things I asked my receiving coach was how many times has he been sacked last year? And with that being said, that means he’s getting protection, and if he’s getting protection, we’re going to get open.
On how much longer he would like to play:
Right now, I’m just focusing on the 2009 season, that’s about it. I feel like I can still play. I can still run and as long as I’m healthy, I’ll continue to play. People have asked me that the past couple of years and I’ve always told them, as long as God keeps me healthy and I’m able to be productive, then I’ll play.
On if there were other teams interested in signing him:
There was interest. To get into it doesn’t make any sense right now. I’m here with the Buffalo Bills. I’m a Buffalo Bill right now and right now I’m just going to start with that.
On meshing with WR Lee Evans:
I haven’t talked to Lee personally, but he was on the phone with Coach (Tyke) Tolbert. He was very excited about it, excited about the opportunity to have a threat on the other side. I’m sure he’ll be excited as well. That’s what we tried to do in Dallas with bringing Roy (Williams) there. For whatever reason, midway during the season, that didn’t work out. That doesn’t bother me. I feel like my play kind of speaks for itself. The opportunity kind of presents itself. I make those plays, we make things happen, and as I know, and as everyone knows, Lee’s been doing that since he’s been here. I think we’ll compliment each other.
On if there will be an adjustment for him, moving from a larger market to a smaller one:
No, not at all. I just have to create my own following up here inNorth America. I’m leaving America’s team to come to North America’s team. I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and I’m excited about it.
On switching to a more wide-open conference:
Being a wide receiver, that’s music to my ears. The thing is we’re going to get to work real soon, as soon as we can get on the field. I’m going to get myself from Coach Tolbert the plays down, get the system down, the routes, the system, all of that stuff. The sooner we can get that done, the better we’ll be. It’s all about communication when you’re out there on the football field, anyway. I’m looking forward to the opportunity. Get ready.
Bills COO/GM Russ Brandon
On how the deal transpired:
It moved fast. When you have the opportunity to go after one of the top receivers in league history, one of the premier playmakers, as I mentioned earlier, you need to start quick. Fortunately for us, our good friend Gerry Buchheit flew us down to Miami this morning and we picked up T.O. and Drew and we came back and John Guy went down with us and spent a great day with each other.
On if Mr. Wilson was a force behind this move:
Mr. Wilson, as you know, everything we do, we do as a partnership within this organization. The leader of the organization is Ralph Wilson, our Hall of Fame owner, and it’s great to say “Hall-of-Fame” owner. He gives us the resources to be successful. And when you have the opportunity, like I mentioned earlier, to bring in a player of this stature, and as we told the fans at the conclusion of this season, we needed to win more games, we needed to take it up a notch, we took it up a notch today by adding a player like this.
On if Owens’ history gives him any concern about the move:
Our focus is on winning football games and the production, and everything that goes with that and that speaks for itself, so just the thought of what our receiving corps looks like right now and what our offense can be with Trent Edwards, is really exciting for all of us.
On if the deal is multi-year or one year:
On having a need to win and acquiring an elite receiver:
Well, when you have Terrell, I keep repeating myself, but when an opportunity like this arises, you’d better be able to strike quickly, and when we went into our offseason plan, we went in with a very strategic vision like we did the last couple years and how we wanted to make this team better. And one of thoughts in our planning was to bring a playmaker in and we obviously obtained one of the best playmakers in the history of this game.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus
On getting a deal done quickly:
You know, when you are fortunate enough to work with a future Hall of Famer like Terrell, you would expect to get it done fast because a player like this will not stay on the open market. I figured as fast as he can run is as fast as fast as we would get signed, and that’s fast.
On if his relationship with the Bills was helpful:
I have a great deal of respect for Ralph Wilson and I told Terrell today he was very happy for him, that he would have an opportunity in his career to play for a Hall of Fame owner. I think Ralph Wilson is a pioneer in this game. It’s a privilege to deal with him. I enjoy working with Russ, with Jim Overdorf, with John Guy, these are first-class people. I’m very impressed with the Bills organization and I told Terrell that I think he is going to be very happy here.
On if the deal was struck inMiami:
No, it worked out here. Terrell and I did some soul-searching after he had a chance to meet with all of the coaches, who did a fantastic job in getting to meet with everyone in the organization. We took our time with this and this is something that he prayed on. He spoke with a lot of the key family and friends and it was really a no-brainer.