Terrell Owens: There’s not a doubt I can still play

  • Justin "Arby" Arbogast
(USA Today Sports)

(USA Today Sports)

Terrell Owens always has a way to pop up in the news whether he likes it or not. Good or bad, T.O. has been a polarizing figure in the NFL for quite some time.

After his stint with the Seahawks last season, things went back to normal for Owens. Out of the NFL, hoping that he’d get a phone call. Week after week seeing guys arrested, suspended and keeping their jobs – while he was on the outside looking in, knowing he can still play the game.

“You look at some of the stuff guys are doing now, domestic violence, players killing players, just everything,” Owens said, via the Associated Press. “You have so many guys with off-the-field problems, drug issues, alcohol problems and they’re still given second chances and third chances. They’re putting them in rehab and keeping them on the team. I never had those issues. It’s disappointing.”

The 40-year-old Owens brings up a good point.

While he was a showboating diva while in the NFL, he didn’t have a record with the law. He kept his nose clean and out of jail while he put on his show for the world to see. Annoying, yes. Illegal or harmful, no. His age has been the focal point of his many comebacks, but he says that’s a moot point.

“They brought up my age when I was 35, 36 and I’m still in just as good shape as I was then,” Owens said. “Jerry (Rice) played until he was 42. At 39, I ran a 4.43 40-yard dash. You look at the number of dropped balls and the way guys are playing now and you can’t honestly say I can’t do better.”

Is the media to blame for Terrell Owens forced unemployment? (AP Photo)

Is the media to blame for Terrell Owens forced unemployment? (AP Photo)

He says the media is to blame for his lack of work with teams, saying that they target tons of negative publicity while downplaying the positives, and says there’s no doubt that he can still play.

“No doubt there’s not a question that I can still play,” he said. “But perception, media portrayal is so negative. Anytime there’s a rumor that a team is interested in bringing me in, there’s all this media attention, and the negative things they have to say are more than the positives. It’s not about what I can bring to them. It’s about stuff I did 5, 10 years ago.

The way I carried myself, having fun, being passionate about the game, a lot of people misunderstood that as bravado, being flamboyant,” Owens said. “Trust me, I had fun with it but they never knew the core of my makeup, my character. They based their opinions on someone else’s comments. Why judge a person when you don’t know the person?”

As a media member myself, I can’t deny what he is saying. Owens is highly marketable, both for himself and several outlets. I’ve written about him several times, and while I’ve never bashed him – I can’t deny the majority of the work has been cast in a negative manner, concerning his age and his showboating persona.

In Philly where he gave the interview as he prepared for a charity function, he knows where things went wrong after being kicked off the team for a dispute with then-Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, he knows that the fans didn’t like him, and says that it’s that way for every player. If you’re not an Eagle, you’re nothing.

He talked about the Super Bowl against the Patriots where he came back from a broken leg to produce 122 yards for the Eagles that fell just short of winning a title.

“That’s something I did for the city of Philly,” Owens said. “I wanted to play in the Super Bowl. I understand the fans here. They love you when you’re here, and if you’re not on their team, if you’re not a Philadelphia Eagle, then you’re not going to be liked and so I got that.”

What do you think? Should teams risk the circus by bringing in Owens? Do you think he still has what it takes to suit up and play for an NFL team?

Let us know in the comments below.

 

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