If there is a receiver who knows what it takes to be one of the best in the NFL, look no further than former Bill and future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens.
The 42-year-old last played in the league with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, catching 72 pass for 983 yards and nine touchdowns.
He currently ranks second all-time in receiving yards with 15,934 behind Jerry Rice and is third in total touchdowns behind the Hall of Fame receiver and Randy Moss with 156.
Sammy Watkins, who emerged as a leader with the Bills last season, eclipsed the 1,000 yards mark for the first time in his career in his second year in the league.
“He definitely has that motor and he can definitely get down the field. He has that passion to win. That’s what you want from a receiver,” Owens said. “For a lot of people who look at the receiver position as us as divas and outspoken and flamboyant, we can’t do what we do on the field without a quarterback.”
“There are a lot of components that go into make a receiver ‘a receiver’. You can have all the skills in the world, but if you don’t anybody to get you the ball, or a coach or coordinator that is mindful and can put you in a position to succeed, then that’s a lot of talent that goes to waste. He’s a very electric guy that can get in and out of his breaks, a deep threat. (Watkins) is a great talent.”
Along with Watkins, there are a number of young, star receivers in the league. Atlanta has Julio Jones, Oakland Amari Cooper, Brandon Marshall of the Jets, the Cowboys have Dez Bryant, Steelers Antonio Brown to name a few.
Owens said they’re all difference makers on the field, but added if they’re not healthy they’re not making an impact on game days.
Which player does he believe to be the best in the league?
“I think with the body of work and who seems to keep emerging year after year is a guy named Antonio Brown,” Owens said. “It’s all about consistency and who is the healthiest during the course of the year and at the end of the year. You mentioned a guy, Julio Jones. This guys is a phenomenal talent, but again has been hindered the last couple of years by injuries. Without being healthy, that can prevent you from really sky rocketing and progressing and excelling to the best of your abilities. With all receivers, and at every position. Health is key.”
“The names that you mentioned, all of those guys are great and good at what they do. Again, another guy, Dez Bryant, plagued by the injury bug the last couple of years as well,” he continued. “Those are some of the things as well, that can prevent a guy with extraordinary talent to get to extraordinary levels. If they can remain healthy, the sky is the limit.”