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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Jauron on Owens: 'We're planning on it working'


 
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  Dick Jauron is confident things will work out with Terrell Owens in Buffalo.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

DANA POINT, Calif. -- AFC coaches sat down Tuesday morning for their annual media breakfast at the NFL owners' meeting.

Nobody was more popular than Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who was greeted by a horde of reporters, microphones and cameras when he sat down at his table in the St. Regis Hotel. He wisely didn't bring any scrambled eggs. He wouldn't have any time to eat in between comments about Jay Cutler.

Forty feet away, Buffalo Bills coach Dick Jauron was handling a more manageable scene. He still was one of the more popular coaches, but reporters casually would drop in for a bit, ask a couple questions and move along.

The line of questioning from about a dozen reporters was familiar. They all wanted to know how the Bills were going to handle Terrell Owens.

Jauron generally was good-natured on the subject in between quick bites of mixed fruit, but his eyes narrowed when NBCSports.com columnist Tom Curran pressed him on the risk Owens presents in the context of broken quarterback relationships left behind.

"I would start by saying he's also won a lot of games wherever he's been," Jauron said sharply.

Curran asked, "At what price?"

"That's not my thing to decide," Jauron replied. "We're not winning enough games. Our goal is to fight and get into a playoff spot."

Curran then followed up by asking how the Bills intend to protect third-year quarterback Trent Edwards from experiencing the same grief as Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo.

"Trent will be capable of protecting himself," Jauron said. "We're a football team. He's not alone.

"All those issues, we're not planning on this going the way you're saying it's going to go. We're planning on it working. If it doesn't work, just like any player we bring in, we'll deal with it when it comes up."

The Bills would be bucking history, Curran noted.

"That's all right," Jauron said. "I don't mind bucking history."

Other T.O. tidbits from Jauron throughout the course of his breakfast:

What's your reaction to Owens not showing up for Monday's start of the voluntary conditioning program?

Dick Jauron: There's a lot of players across the league that didn't show up on their first day. There were a number of other players that we had that didn't show up. But nobody's asked me about them. It's not mandatory. It's a word we can't use regarding this part of our offseason program.

We anticipate he will be around. Historically, he has not been around for a lot of these workouts. He understands the conditioning, strength part of it. He's always been in shape and certainly has a great work ethic. ... He's got a program that's been exceptional for him.

We've got to get the timing and terminology, but none of that is happening right now. There's no on-field work. No classroom work. We have faith he'll be in.

Will you research Owens' background to ensure mistakes aren't repeated?

DJ: The only way that I've addressed it is to tell him that it's a new chapter in his book. It's a new chapter in our book. We will write it ourselves. I don't address it other than that, and it's not any different than, really, anybody that comes to us.

We understand the differences between Terrell and other people that have come to us. I don't know that in my experience I've ever been anywhere as a coach -- certainly not as a head coach -- that acquired a veteran player that had those numbers. Those numbers in our game are really incredible.

We're aware of his skills. We're aware of the focus on him. We'll have to deal with that. Some of them are issues that are front-office issues, media department issues. The size of the coverage will increase. Other than that, it's just football for us, and from that part of it you've never heard anything but the best -- his work ethic, his work habits, which really translates to leadership on the field, the way he practices.

How will Owens impact the offense?

DJ: He scores a lot of touchdowns. That's s huge plus for all of us. We need to score more. We need to be more competitive in a great league and a great division.

If you score a lot of touchdowns, you attract a lot of attention. When you're attracting attention, then they only have so many ways they can configure the defense. If we can run the ball effectively, the defense has to make more decisions.

They've got to decide what they want to do and how they want to do it. We've got to recognize it and take advantage of it. That's what he brings, and his numbers bear it out.