Tag:Terrell Owens
Posted on: August 24, 2010 12:32 pm
 

McNabb gets a few things off his chest

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Washington QB Donovan McNabb has a few interesting things to say in the new edition of GQ .

Here are some of his thoughts (and, of course, my responses in bold ):

On the ridicule he took in 2008 when he admitted he didn’t know that if both teams went scoreless in overtime, the game would end in a tie (for the record, I was at the 13-13 game against the Bengals, and it was hands down, the worst contest featuring professionals I’ve ever seen).

The media wants you to be honest and up front with them, and then when you are, they just throw the dagger at you. "Oh, what was he thinking?" There were a lot of responses from other players who said the same thing I did, and then when the referee tells you, "Hey, you get another five minutes to go after this quarter…" Nobody talks about that.

You're in the game and the ref…?

We're in the game, and we go off on third and out, they're out there, and I'm like, "Hey, we need to get this thing going, how much time is left?" I'm looking at the clock and the ref is like, "We've got another five minutes afer this quarter if no one scores." I didn't think nothing of it, but I did hear it. It was a mistake on my part. I've got to know the rules.


OK, so maybe an official gave him faulty information. But it’s still hard to believe – as it was when he first said it two years ago – that McNabb wouldn’t know a rule as elementary as that. Yes, ties are rare. But still, he should have known that games can actually end that way. He deserved to hear criticism about that.

After he was benched in 2008, how did he and coach Andy Reid repair their relationship?

“I had a meeting set up with Andy and [owner] Jeffrey Lurie after the season. We sat down and talked, and I got everything off my chest from '99 on. It went all the way back to the T.O. situation, it went back to us not winning big games, me being criticized for whatever, leadership, whatever it may be, and how no one in the organization ever stepped up and said anything. They'll say something to you in the building, but not publicly. My feeling was, 'I'm out here getting cut up, where are you? I'm always defending and helping you guys, but where's that support?' I thought it was beneficial, because you can sit there and tell somebody you truly love them, you're a big fan, your family loves you, but what about when we're over here in the hot seat, where are you now?

I agree with him. I think McNabb unfairly was a lightning rod during his time in Philadelphia. It goes back to the booing he received during the 1999 Draft (by the way, from looking at that video, there can’t be anything much lamer than painting your face and wearing shoulder pads during the freakin’ NFL Draft).


Did he puke during Super Bowl XXXIX?

No, at no point did I throw up. I got hit and dumped on my face a couple of times…we lost Todd Pinkston…we all were gassed, and there were a couple of times in the game where I got hit either by [linebacker Teddy (sic)] Bruschi or by [defensive end Richard] Seymour, I had grass in my helmet and maybe I lost my wind a little bit, but nothing to the point where I would come out of the game. People can run that game back and forth and find out that I wasn't throwing up, but I guess it's a sexy topic to talk about.”

The question here: do you take Terrell Owens or Donovan McNabb at his word? Me? I’m going with McNabb.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 4:52 pm
 

T.O.: the next Bill Shakespeare?

Posted by Andy Benoit

You may have heard about the open letter Terrell Owens wrote to Bengals fans in the Cincinnati Enquirer Friday. While no one is describing T.O. as the next Thomas Paine, he seems to be getting plenty of praise.

There’s a discussion to be had here. On the one hand, the motif of Owens’s letter is basically “team first, it’s all about winning.” That’s good. But on the other hand, is it really putting the team first when you write a letter to the fan base to begin with? You think the Bengals asked Owens to do that? Of all the free agents who have joined new teams in NFL history, how many felt it necessary to write a letter to the new fan base? (And after signing a one-year contract, no less.)

Below is the letter. It’s up to you – fair or foul?

Dear Bengals Nation,

Feb. 6, 2011 is now marked on my calendar with a big orange circle. As I joined the Cincinnati Bengals and continue my career I'm very excited with the opportunity to be in pursuit of the championship.

First off, I'm thankful to Mike Brown and the Bengals organization for giving me another opportunity to play football.

Second, I'm certain in life nothing is guaranteed - but for us to win the Super Bowl it will take a total team effort.

Third, I'm promising you that the focus will be stronger than you've ever seen it. Life isn't always easy but it's the bumps along the way that makes you stronger. With my "me against the world" mentality as a young man, I've learned that life can be more challenging but I've matured.

If it wasn't for the support of my grandmother and the love of my family and true friends, I would be lost. My faith, confidence and maturity keeps me strong and focused on more than just T.O.

The Bengals are now my extended family and I look forward to learning more about your city, teammates, coaches and you all. This is my home and I'm happy to be in the Midwest. I'm confident in our team's chances of winning the title, so anything less than the playoffs is unacceptable to us. It will definitely take a fight but if my gut is correct, Who Dey Nation will be proud this season. I signed here for a reason.

With hard work and unity, this team will restore power and respect. We're focused on playing in Texas on Feb. 6. Just take a look at my calendar, the date is saved. Let's make the Jungle roar this season!

Yours truly,

Terrell Owens aka T.O. aka "I'm Batman!"

 
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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 20, 2010 5:30 pm
 

Eagles-Bengals tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

Just one game on the preseason slate tonight: Eagles @ Bengals (8:00 ET FOX). So what’s a reason to watch?

Well…the McNabb-Owens thing no longer applies here. And Owens is facing his former team, but it’s in Cincy, not Philly, so that’s a little off the mark.

This game does mark the epic return of right guard Stacy Andrews to Paul Brown Stadium, but if we highlight that, then we’re assuming that people care about Stacy Andrews…

Okay, here’s a legit reason to watch: Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham going up against Bengals right tackle Andre Smith.
Graham has been turning heads in practice. Smith finally returned to practice this week (he’d been out with a left foot injury). We’ll assume Smith will see action with the backups in this game.

Both Graham and Smith are super talented and primed for breakout campaigns, as long as they can stay on course. They’re at the beginning of that course tonight.

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 8:39 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 8:41 am
 

Could the Bengals be bailing on Antonio Bryant?

Posted by Will Brinson

That notion seems silly. After all, the Bengals JUST signed Antonio Bryant, the former Buccaneer who was their prized free agent addition on the offensive end, at least until the team landed Terrell Owens anyway.

But Bryant has yet to even start running for the Bengals -- Owens is already cheaper and actually on the field participating in football. Which may be why Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network has heard that it's a "distinct possibility" that Cincinnati will attempt to cut Bryant loose and reach a settlement on the four-year, $28 million contract that they gave him over the offseason.

Remember, Bryant's dealing with a left knee injury that's been an issue for about a full year now -- which makes one wonder how exactly he managed to bypass any examinations offered by the Bengals' medical staff. You know, the ones they usually administer before handing out multi-million dollar contracts?

Provided that the Bengals DID want to cut Bryant loose, they'd probably have to pay him on the high side of the $10 million that they guaranteed him with the contract; after all, even though they didn't completely overload his contract with guarantees and they could just cut him, it's going to take at least close to that amount for Bryant to walk away from a pretty sweet deal.

Given that Cincy has TO (and Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley and Andre Caldwell) in the fold with Chad Ochocinco though, it wouldn't be that surprising if they decided they no longer needed to deal with the headache that Bryant's been thus far and tried to negotiate some sort of deal with the wideout.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 12:43 pm
 

Reasons to watch Sunday's preseason games

Posted by Andy Benoit

Two preseason games on the schedule today: 49ers @ Colts at 1:00 and Broncos @ Bengals at 7:00. Both will air live on NFL Network. Here’s what to watch (or, since it’s preseason, an argument for why to watch):

49ers @ Colts

The debut of San Francisco’s young offensive line. First-round picks Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are both expected to start. Davis, who will initially line up at right tackle, will be the second youngest starter in team history. Iupati’s starting left guard job was locked up when center Eric Heitmann fractured his fibula (forcing incumbent left guard to slide to one spot to his right). Iupati has the perfect skill set for San Francisco’s system.

Broncos @ Bengals

Just another step in the Tim Tebow love fest. Expect the first-round rookie to see action in the second and third quarters. The question is, What kind of packages will Josh McDaniel have for him?

Also, this will be Terrell Owens’s home debut in Cincinnati.

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 12:16 am
 

Winners and losers from the Hall of Fame Game

Posted by Will Brinson

Football is underway. That means two things: 1) we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and 2) it's time for immediate snap judgments!

Sure, firing out winners and losers for one little football game that featured only two teams may seem a bit extreme, but, look, this is all the NFL action we've got right now, okay? So we're gonna break it down.

Winners
Doug Free -- He's was the most talked about player on the Cowboys this offseason (somehow). And he showed exactly why the Cowboys had faith enough in him to let Flozell Adams go. Granted, it was just one serious, but he looked strong, agile and acc-ur-ate, if I may quote Ben Wallace. Given Alex Barron's struggles and the injury he suffered on Sunday night, there's no reason to think Free's job is in trouble.

Jordan Shipley -- The rookie out of Texas managed to make two catches for 17 yards, which is pretty impressive when J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer are throwing the ball. But he made his biggest impression when he made a sick 63-yard punt return to setup Cincy for their only touchdown of the game. Consider that not only is Carson Palmer being very vocal for Shipley but that Antonio Bryant is injured, and it's entirely possible we see Shipley getting a lot of action in the slot early in the season. He would do quite well there.

Tashard Choice -- Choice's "job" (read: third-string running back) is necessarily in jeopardy. But the better he performs, the more action he'll get during the regular season. And that's not even counting when the oft-injured Felix Jones eventually goes down, which he will. Choice piled up 41 yards on just seven attempts and looked vastly better than any other running back on the field outside of this guy ...

Marion Barber -- He didn't do anything -- two runs, one for five yards and one for two yards -- really special. But it's what he didn't do (fumble in the red zone) that separates him from Jones. And considering that many people felt like Felix could take over the starting role this year, well, that's a good thing.

Terrell Owens -- There's nothing special about two catches for 18 yards, but the good news for the prima donna is that it looks like the Bengals are willing to cater to him. Either that or it was just all fun and games spending the offense's first quarter targeting him at every opportunity. For Owens' part, he really did nothing wrong outside of he and Chad Ochocinco's eye-rolling Batman/Robin interview before the game. Also, he signed autographs for fans during the entire second half.

Losers
Felix Jones -- See above. If you're trying to steal carries during a season in which you bulked up to make yourself a better "between-the-tackles" back, do NOT fumble the ball on your first red zone carry of the season. There are only so many opps that Jones will get in the preseason to prove he carry the ball there before Wade Phillips just hands Barber the rock every time.

Alex Barron -- He got injured and blew any shot he had of getting the upgrade to left tackle.

Brian Leonard -- He's not exactly a fantasy monster or anything, but Leonard became a fan favorite (I think anyway -- I was rooting for him) after beating out "better" players for a roster spot during last season's Hard Knocks . Now the report is that his ankle injury "doesn't look good," which, obviously, is not good. I'll make the frowny face if Leonard is down for an extended period of time.

Dez Bryant -- His status isn't exactly getting crushed, but it's really important to note that the Cowboys have plenty of weapons on their squad. Roy Williams showed some life, Miles Austin is clearly the No. 1, Jason Witten is there, etc., etc. All I'm saying is that anyone expecting a 2,000 yard season out of Bryant already might want to slow their role.

David Buehler -- Three-for-four ain't a bad percentage, when you're talking about field goals. But he nearly missed his second one, and 2/4 would have people talking in hushed tones on Monday. He needs to crush it all preseason to keep his job on lockdown.

John Phillips -- He's at the bottom only because he was balling so hard that he suffered an injury later in the game. Phillips ended up being the early star of the show, catching four balls for 60 yards (and the first two were on horrible Jon Kitna passes, no less) and laying down some pretty sick blocks. He probably won't be seeing a ton of playing time because of Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett, but let's just hope the injury isn't too serious. (Edit: Moved him to the "losers" section since it appears he tore his ACL . Ugh.)

Jordan Palmer/J.T. O'Sullivan -- If Carson Palmer doesn't stay healthy this year, things will not go well for the Bengals.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 9:04 pm
 

2010 NFL Hall of Fame Game: 1st quarter notes

Posted by Will Brinson

As we noted earlier, this IS preseason football, so there's only so much we can hope for.  That being said, the first couple of series were still pretty revealing for Bengals and Cowboys fans in the first quarter of kind-of-real-but-still-fake football action, which ended with the Cowboys leading 3-0.

Oh, and if you want to hang out and talk football during the game, follow us on Twitter. We're quite chatty .

Doug Free, whose blocking skills the Cowboys plan to hang much of their offensive success on this season, looked both sharp and strong, keeping Tony Romo free in the pocket and opening up holes for Marion Barber and Felix Jones.

Of course, Jones fumbled on the one-yard line on the Cowboys' first possession, which is indicative of a few things. One, the Cowboys aren't totally against letting the beefed-up Jones carry the ball in the red zone. But, more importantly: two, Jones might not be cut out for it. Obviously making a snap judgment on one preseason series isn't entirely safe, but if the Cowboys are going to give him run during the preseason as a red zone back, he can't be putting the ball on the ground, or else he won't get shots at it in the regular season.

Antwan Odom was briefly on the ground, terrifying Cincy fans everywhere. Fortunately, it was just a "poked eye."

Terrell Owens was targeted by Carson Palmer. A LOT. But Palmer only went 2/5 for 18 yards (both completions to Owens) while getting sacked once by Stephen Bowen, and pressured a few other times. There's no real need to look at the Bengals' first-teamers and think they're suddenly going to be a pass-first offense, though.

On the next-to-last play of the first quarter, Jon Kitna fumbled -- although Dallas recovered -- on a sack by Jonathan Fanene. The bigger problem is the fumble was caused because Alex Barron did a poor job of blocking (well, the bigger problem for Dallas anyway) on the play. Free's looking pretty good to hold down his line spot.

Tony Romo went 5/10 for 59 yards on the 'Boys first drive, and the numbers might have looked a little cleaner were it not for some "meh" playcalling in the red zone following Jones' fumble.

What were your thoughts?

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 6:52 pm
 

2010 Hall of Fame Game Preview: 10 to watch

Posted by Will Brinson


All due respect to Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Because, well, football's here people. Hope springs eternal right now for nearly every team in the league, and for everyone who loves Sundays the way they should be enjoyed.

And though tonight's game between Cincinnati and Dallas isn't a regular season game, it's still the metaphorical starter waving his proverbial flag for us to get pumped for football. As such, let's run through 10 things to watch for tonight.

First things first, though: make sure to follow us on Twitter , so you can discuss all things NFL as the football season kicks off.

1. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Bengals
Obviously, Bengals fans are going to be interested to see how he fits in with the team. Certainly, timing between Carson Palmer and Owens will be of tantamount importance, but there's no reason to discount watching the defense as well; the Cowboys have a good idea of the damage that TO can do, and seeing the initial schemes that they throw at Chad Ochocinco -- based on Owens' presence on the other side -- will probably give a reasonable indication as to what he should see all season long (provided Owens doesn't prove to be a total non-factor throughout the year).

"I'm a playmaker," Owens said. "I know Michael Irvin has adopted that title, but that's what I do and have done throughout my career is make plays. The coaches know what I'm capable of once the ball is in my hands. They're going to get all of Terrell on the field."

Andy also makes an excellent point about Owens -- how will his demeanor be towards Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys throughout the game? More on this in just a second.

2. Who's carrying the Cowboys' weight?

As we detailed previously, Jones bulked up in the offseason, while Marion Barber lost a few pounds. There's a certain school of thought, expressed quite nicely by Will Carroll at SI.com , that adding pounds to certain body frames can actually be a bad thing.

"Health is a skill, one that linebackers try to take away with every hit. Jones' problem hasn't really been those kind of hits, but in holding together his own body. Bulk often is accompanied by a reduction in flexibility and any additional tightness is going to be even more risky for the tightly-wound Jones. It also isn't going to keep him on the field for his pass blocking either. (It's still bad.)"

Personally, I'm still high on Jones, but concern over someone who traditionally hasn't been able to stay healthy changing his body style (potentially for the worse in terms of health) is certainly understandable. Also understandable: wanting Tashard Choice to look good on Sunday night. He's definitely the third option for the Cowboys, but because of, well, Jones' health he's seen plenty of playing time in the past few years.

3. Cincy's other new weapons
Lost -- somewhat -- in the hype that is Batman and Robin are the signings of Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham since the Bengals last took the field for meaningful football. Bryant won't likely be playing for the Bengals, but Gresham should. And considering that he's supposed to provide the high-end receiving option from the tight end position, well, Bengals fans should be curious to see how he performs, especially with a recent report that he "looked lost" not offering immediate enthusiasm.

Also of interest is the possibility of seeing double tight end sets out of Cincy -- 2009 third-rounder Chase Coffman (who won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in college his senior year) will likely get some action tonight -- which, given the receiving talent at the position, could provide for some very interesting formations during the season.

4. Trickeration time?
It's fairly obvious that Owens and Ochocinco like attention. So do the Dallas Cowboys, duh. And since this is the first game of the 2010 season, it seems like a reasonably awesome moment to bust out some first quarter fanciness. If I had to put money on one thing, it would involve Ochocinco throwing a pass to Owens on some sort of end-around. If you've got better ideas, leave them in the comments.

5. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Cowboys
Yeah, I know. Giving the VH1 star TWO of 10 bullet points is kind of feeding the monster. So we'll add Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson too. Since, you know, all three are former Cowboys. That's not to say that we should expect TO to try and extract revenge on his former team. Or do we ?

"Do I think I probably should still be there?" Owens said about his time in Dallas. "Yeah. But that's not the case. You deal with that situation as it comes. I think a lot of people know there are some unfortunate things that happened there ... Again, I still stand by the things I said and what was done and I know it wasn't my fault.''

You may recall that Owens shamed the entire state of Texas by mocking the glory of the Cowboys' star. They temporarily forgave him when he joined the 'Boys for his run there, but considering how many Cowboys fans were in attendance to see Emmitt Smith's spectacular speech last night, would it be surprising to hear some boos for Owens? Of course not.

The only thing less surprising would be Owens abstaining from some action designed to rib Dallas' fans and players a little bit.

6. What do you know about pressure ?
Kickers are considered an afterthought for many people (and "idiots" by folks like Peyton Manning), but the reality of the NFL is that they matter. A lot.

Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner are battling it out in Cincinnati, while the unproven -- but quite brash -- David Buehler should be the guy to take the Cowboys through the season. However, kicking in practice and kicking in an actual game situation are two completely different things. And while preseason games might not matter much for first-stringers or guaranteed starters, for someone looking to lock down a job with an NFL team for pushing an oblong ball between two poles, performing well before the regular season starts is an absolute  must. (Quick update: Looks like THE NUGE isn't bringing his leg to the field today, so it's up to Rayner to try and not look stupid in kicking action for the Bengals tonight.)

7. Will Doug B. Free?
To not worry about his job stability, that is. Doug Free takes over for Flozell Adams on the left side of the line in Dallas, and the reason Adams is gone is that Wade Phillips (and presumably Jerry Jones as well) was confident enough in Free's ability as a blind-side protector to make the move.

Whether Free wants it or not, that's an ample amount of pressure on him. And while Alex Barron wasn't signed in the offseason to compete with Free, he's still there, which only adds to the pressure. Free's been very good in camp thus far (his first two snaps excepted), but that performance would be worthless if Tony Romo got decapitated on the first play from scrimmage.

8. The Big Backup D
Wade Phillips has already said that Jason Hatcher "needs to play anyway" while calling Marcus Spears' 4-6 week injury a "good opportunity" for Hatcher. That's true, and with 8.5 of the Cowboys' 42 sacks from 2009 on the mend, it'll be interesting to see how Hatcher can step in and play. Optimistically, the Cowboys won't need him immediately, but optimism isn't always warranted.

Additionally, Sean Lee won't see time tonight, which means that Jason Williams and Victor Butler should get plenty of backup-LB action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Again, you don't WANT to use them, but finding out that your team is deep at an already strong position isn't exactly a bad thing. If they actually are.

9. Sack lunch
The Bengals defense was superb last year, with one exception: putting the quarterback on the ground before he throws the ball. They ranked 16th in the NFL with 34 sacks, but this year should be different. As Pete Prisco noted in his love/hate for the Bengals camp tour , the line has a lot of depth heading into 2010. The return of Antwan Odom, who was leading the NFL in sacks before he tore his Achilles' last season, is particularly beneficial. If they can generate more pressure on the quarterback than they did last year, it won't be hard to duplicate it. We just need to see that the depth is there.

10. Emmitt Smith's Interview
Another excellent suggestion from Andy -- who tweeted about it earlier -- because, if you recall Emmitt's speech from last night, he was wonderful. Shockingly wonderful, in fact, having memorized the entire lengthy speech, which he delivered without any of his trademark bumbling.

If you're Norby Williamson or George Bodenheimer, are you wondering "Where was that guy when he worked for us?" Because you should be. Smith's time as a commentator was a bit rough and he was an absolute gem as a speaker last night ... with a little preparation. It's worth seeing how he does when he steps back into the booth.

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