The weather’s hot, there are morning and afternoon practices on the schedule and Terrell Owens is getting along with his quarterback. Don’t look now, people, but I think it may be the first day of training camp.
This morning in Rochester, N.Y., the Buffalo Bills became the first NFL team to open its 2009 training camp. And as you might have expected, their chatty new wide receiver was the focus of the attention.
FanHouse wasn’t in Rochester — our training camp trips don’t start until next week (I’ll be at Eagles on Monday and Patriots on Thursday, while Calvin Watkins and Nancy Gay will be visiting the Cowboys, Texans and Vikings, among others, at various points during the week). But thanks to the Bills’ PR department, plus the Twitter feeds of Owens and Matt Warren, we’ve been keeping up on what’s happening at St. John Fisher College all day, and we’re happy to report that, as of Day One, Mr. Owens thinks very highly of Mr. Trent Edwards.
“It’s always a work in progress and I think with a young guy like that he’s eager to learn,” Owens said of his new quarterback. “I heard him say it’s all about winning, and that’s why I’m here. He has a tremendous upside. The guy has the arm strength, and with any quarterback, the success of any quarterback relies on the guys up front and the things that the guys outside can provide for him.”
Edwards, you may remember, was one of the people who pushed the Bills to sign Owens after the Cowboys cut him. After the morning practice on the first day of camp, the QB said he liked the way things looked when he leaned in to take that first snap.
“It’s very quarterback-friendly to step in the huddle and have a guy like Marshawn Lynch in the backfield and Lee Evans and Terrell Owens outside,” Edwards said. “I really like our slot receivers and I really like our tight ends. I think our front five did a great job so far today.”
That’s about as far as Edwards or anybody else is willing to go with the “front five” of the Bills so far. As endorsements go, that ranks right around The Most Interesting Man in the World’s endorsement of Dos Equis. (“I don’t usually drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.”) And in truth, Buffalo’s offensive line is one about which only Chris Berman could be optimistic at this point. Owens and Edwards can play 36 holes of golf together every day, go out to dinner every night, babysit each others kids and sing Kumbaya around a campfire right up until curfew time, and it’s not going to matter if the line can’t give Edwards time to throw to the guy.
But on Day One, it’s hunk-dory. Warren just tweeted from the afternoon practice, “Trent is off this afternoon throwing behind everyone except owens.” The morning session wrapped with fans cheering Owens as he left the field and waving boxes of his cereal at him. Owens said the fans’ reception was good, because it allowed him to spend some time reflecting on how great he is.
No really, that’s what he said. Check it out:
“Sometimes I have to pinch myself,” Owens said. “I realize that I’ve had a following everywhere that I’ve been. I expected nothing different here. I know that the Buffalo fans are very, very fanatic, they’re behind their team 100 percent, and so coming out here I expected nothing less. It definitely gives me an appreciation for who I am and what I’ve done throughout my career. I just take it all in stride. I know that I’m a blessed individual and I know that I have a lot to offer. So I expect to bring some of those same things that I brought to other teams to Buffalo — a lot of success and a lot of wins.”
Shortly thereafter, No. 81 tweeted that he would be taking a nap in between practices.
Yessir. Nothing quite like the first day of training camp.