Monday, May 20, 2013

Owens visit could shake up Bills' special teams


Unrestricted free agent Montell Owens visited the Buffalo Bills Monday, and the special teams squad would certainly like to see him return with a signed contract.

According to Chris Brown of, the running back was in town a quick meeting, though he left without a contract in place. The 29-year-old is a stud on special teams, and his services could be equally as useful on on the offensive side of the ball.

Coach Doug Marrone shared his thoughts on Owens to the media Monday, while also solidifying his stance on transparency between the coaching staff and the players.

"I think you look at a player, a veteran player that has been in this league and has seven year’s experience. Depth at the running back position and would really be a core special teams player for you," Marrone said. "Again, I announced it to the team. They knew this coming in. I am big on communicating. I usually try to give them every day the business of the day. I told them that he was in on a visit."

While Buffalo's return game was dynamic last season, the squad could use some help stopping opposing returners from breaking free. The Bills allowed an average of 22.4 yards per kickoff and the second most yards on punt returns in 2012, an effort that led to three touchdowns against in total.

Owens has proven he can be a proficient tackler, but he also showed his versatility in Jacksonville's meager offense last season. He averaged 14 yards a reception and 5 yards a carry, a threat that could come in handy in the Bills' revamped offensive strategy.

Buffalo's third string running back, Tashard Choice, hasn't yet done anything to work himself out of his back-up role, but he hasn't shown much to solidify it either. Choice was proficient in the run game during bouts of injuries to Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, though his skills were lacking at times on third down and out of the passing game.

Choice signed a one-year contract for $780K at the end of March, which likely isn't enough to scare new GM Doug Whaley from shipping him off if a better offer came across his desk.

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