UW Grad, Bills WR Evans Fan of T.O.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Count Lee Evans being a big fan of Terrell Owens as a player and personality.
Just don't ask him to be like T.O. now that the two receivers are Buffalo Bills teammates and yet polar opposites on the attention-grabbing scale.
Evans is the reserved, quiet type. Owens is launching a TV reality show. The differences are especially reflected in their touchdown celebrations. When Evans scores, he generally nods his head before flipping the ball to an official. With Owens, anything's possible -- Sharpies, popcorn and pompoms.
So upping the ante for Evans is not part of the equation. That's not his personality and how could anyone this side of Ochocinco even begin to compete?
"It's not that I don't celebrate. Sometimes I get excited. But I'm not about to do a dance or anything like that," Evans said, following a recent voluntary minicamp practice. "I think it'll be great, because he definitely brings a lot of attention. But I don't know if it's something that's going to revolutionize me and what I do."
Not that Evans thinks there's anything wrong with the flare Owens brings to the field.
"Sometimes, they say, opposites attract," Evans said.
That's certainly what the Bills are counting on after they made the bold move to sign Owens in March in a bid to improve a popgun passing attack by adding a bona fide complement to Evans. Though the Bills have been knocked for taking a gamble on a player with a disruptive reputation, there's no discounting Owens' ability.
Entering his 14th NFL season, Owens' production has shown no signs of slipping. He's coming off a season in Dallas where he had 69 catches for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns -- all of which would've led the Bills last season. Owens has scored 10 or more touchdowns in seven of his previous nine seasons.
Evans, by comparison, has led Buffalo in touchdowns receiving in each of his five seasons since being drafted by the Bills in the first round out of Wisconsin. The trouble is, he's yet to score more than nine times in one year, a reflection of how easy it's been for opponents to contain Evans because the Bills have lacked a dependable second threat.
That could suddenly change with the arrival of Owens, who will make it difficult for opposing defenses to key on one receiver.
Safety Donte Whitner sees the potential Evans and Owens can provide the offense after lining up against them during the past two weeks of practice. Whitner's also interested in seeing whether some of Owens' personality might rub off on Evans, because it might earn Evans a little more recognition around the NFL.
"I would like to see it just a little. He doesn't have to change his personality or anything, but just show that he's here," Whitner said. "If he does a little bit of that, it'll bring a little more attention to him and maybe he'll get one of those Pro Bowl nods that he deserves."
Owens doesn't entirely buy the idea that Evans needs to become a more outgoing player on the field to attract headlines.
"From a fan perspective, yeah, maybe he needs to pizazz it up a little bit," Owens said. "But other than that, I'm pretty sure he's getting the recognition from his peers. Obviously, with them double-teaming him, he's got that recognition."
Evans has to think back to high school, when he high-fived members of the marching band, to recall anything close to an extraordinary touchdown celebration.
"I was told when I was young to act like you've been there before," Evans said. "I take a lot of pride in getting there. And definitely, I'd like to get back there more."
Pausing to give the question a second thought, Evans broke into a wide smile and added: "You never know. If it's a big game, a big play or something, you might see me break dance or something like that."
"Ha, ha. I'm just playing," Evans said. "But don't quote me on that."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)