Two NESN Insiders, former Patriot Ted Johnson and ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, both agreed that Owens’ impact will be immense.
The wide receiver with one of the game’s biggest mouths is 35 years old, but he’ll be bringing his best when he makes his debut with the Bills on Monday.
“I think the presence of Owens is a huge part of this game because … the Patriots have found the Bills pretty easy to defend in recent years,” Reiss said on SportsDesk on Sunday with Kathryn Tappen. “They [would] roll help over the top of Lee Evans, and they have that sturdy box against the run and Marshawn Lynch [who is suspended for Monday’s game], and they say, ‘Alright, other skill position players, try to beat us,’ and the Bills haven’t had anyone to really do that in my opinion.
“So now you put Terrell Owens on the other side and that forces the defense to make some tough decisions, and I think Terrell Owens will be a big factor in the game.”
Johnson, a three-time Super Bowl champion as a linebacker for the Patriots, spoke to how the New England defense will approach the challenge.
“I think they’ll be fine,” Johnson said. “The main thing is not letting [Owens] be able to run free. Get guys in his face, hit him after he catches the ball, hit him when it’s legal, hit him as much as you can. Kind of like the old days against the Colts. … I see it being a very physical play from the safeties and corners on Terrell just to get him frustrated.”
Part one of the discussion can be seen below, while part two can be seen here.