Inside The Bills

Why leadership is tricky for Owens

Posted by Chris Brown on October 1, 2009 – 1:47 am

When the Bills signed Terrell Owens they spoke about how he could serve as a veteran leader as much as a playmaker. Everyone assumed Owens would be vocal and authoritative, and make big plays on the field at the same time. That’s what people are used to seeing.

But what has also come with that is a media portrayal of him that Owens believes to be inaccurate. As a result being vocal or stating his opinion he feels runs the risk of being counterproductive for the team.

“It is very frustrating because I think that some of the guys and the coaches want to me step up and be more vocal and say things as a leader,” said Owens. “I feel like sometimes I try to do that, try to say things in a subtle way without being harsh, but other outlets are taking those quotes, making them headlines and making them more of an issue than they really are. I think that that is why the first couple of games I tended not to say anything after the games.”

Owens’ less demonstrative approach is something both he and the media are trying to adjust to it seems with neither too sure about its effectiveness. But one thing Owens is sure of is that by holding his tongue more with the media he’s at less of a risk to have a comment “twisted” as he put it last Sunday.

“I have always been vocal and always spoken honestly and I think over the years that has gotten me in trouble and created some sort of division in the locker room with some of the guys on the team and I just try to do the right thing now,” he said. “Even when I try to do the right thing, it is not the right thing. I am in a situation where I am in a no win situation. So I just try to be the best I can be without offending someone.”

While there’s little doubt it’s something he’s wrestling with he’s probably best served to be a vocal leader behind closed doors in the locker room when no one is rolling tape. He can motivate someone just as effectively speaking to them one-on-one as he can by stating his opinion to the media. Heck maybe he’s even done that already. I could see a teammate appreciating that kind of leadership more. 

“I just want to try to stay positive,” he said. “Keep working hard and hope for the best. That is all I can do.”


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