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Monday, March 23, 2009
Keyshawn says T.O. worth Buffalo's risk


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

DANA POINT, Calif. -- Pointed words have gone back and forth between Keyshawn Johnson and Terrell Owens over the past couple of years.

But Johnson wasn't about to criticize the Buffalo Bills for taking a gamble on the future Hall of Fame receiver. Johnson, an ESPN analyst and former NFL wideout, doesn't see what the Bills have to lose.

 Owens

The Bills have gone 7-9 the past three years under coach Dick Jauron and have failed to make the playoffs since the 1999 season.

"It is what it is," Johnson said Sunday afternoon in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, where NFL owners are gathering this week for their annual meetings. "If you're Dick Jauron, and you're in his situation, you roll the dice because you're probably going to get [fired] after this year anyway if you don't win.

"So what difference does it make? If you win and everything works out, great. If it doesn't work out, everybody goes down. He needed something and the coach needed help. So it works out well for everybody."

Johnson mentioned the 35-year-old Owens "has baggage. Every team that he's been on, you know?" But Johnson isn't convinced the diva receiver will create distractions for Buffalo.

"He can be a bit of a poison pill," Johnson said. "I've never played with him or been in the locker room with him. So I really don't know.

"People said I was a poison pill. But I'd leave one thing and always get hired by the next thing. Who hires somebody that's poison? People don't do that. They stay away from you. So who knows?"

Johnson predicted impressive numbers for Owens, but noted quality will be more significant than quantity.

"It just depends on his chemistry and how he can help the team," Johnson said. "Statistically, numbers-wise, any receiver can put up numbers. All you have to do is throw him the football. But what else do you add to the table?

"Guys have numbers all the time. He'll get his 75, 80 balls, a thousand yards. But will those thousand yards and 80 catches be significant to take them to the next level? Will he make that big catch in that game that you need on third-and-19 with a minute to go on an 80-yard drive with a gusting wind?

"Will he make that catch to put them over the top? That's what I will look for."