August 7, 2012

Owens!!!! Owens!!!!! Owens!!!!!

There's a scene in the movie Moneyball where shit gets totally real between Billy Beane and aging superstar David Justice. While Justice takes cuts in the batting cage, Beane tells him how it is in the rawest terms possible- Justice wants to stay up in "The Show" for as long as he can, and Beane wants to wring every last drop of Major League production out of Justice's body.

This is EXACTLY the arrangement between Terrell Owens and the Seattle Seahawks.

Owens is one of the greatest Wide Receivers in the history of the game. Not only has his production been consistently spectacular over more than a decade, he also has a knack for finding the end zone. He's big, strong, soft-handed and still fast at the age of 38 (if that report of a 4.45 forty time at his VMAC tryout is accurate). In his last full NFL season with the Bengals, he caught 72 balls for 983 yards and 9 TDs. It appears he may be fully recovered from his knee injury and the Seahawks just signed him to a veteran minimum contract for one year. Sounds pretty sweet, huh?

Then why are so many Twelves acting like we just signed the demon hellspawn of Mike Vick and Ben Roethlisberger? Because he pulled out a Sharpie at Seahawks Stadium on MNF a decade ago? Because he didn't get along with Donovan McNabb? Because he has generally been a brash, loudmouthed diva? I really can't fathom why I'm supposed to detest this man- He hasn't suited up for a NFC West rival for 9 years, and  his behavior, while annoying and douchey, isn't THAT unusual among supremely talented wideouts.

Plenty of folks are spinning out doomsday scenarios where Owens somehow destroys the Seahawks this season. This is misguided fear-mongering. Owens has EVERY incentive to shut up and play for his next contract in 2013, and he has to know that Pete Carroll would never let him metastasize as a cancer in the locker room. At the first hint of turdy behavior, he'd be out on the street and his NFL career would suffer its final, decisive deathblow. It's not even a safe bet that Owens makes Seattle's 53-man roster at this point. If he can't perform? Cut! If he acts up? Cut! And given PC's track record, you know he wouldn't hesitate.

I can see exactly what Pete Carroll sees in Owens: A year of VERY cheap but significant production at  WR. Owens doesn't need to be better than Rice or Baldwin to help this team make the playoffs- A healthy, focused T.O. gives us a possibly dangerous 6-pack of WR/TE targets for whomever wins the QB scrum: Sidney Rice, Baldwin, Owens, Tate, Winslow and Miller.

I thought we all learned from the Ruskell era that an OCD-level of focus on "character" is a recipe for an awful football team. What has Owens ever done to REALLY earn such violent revulsion from so many Twelves? I honestly don't get it.

Terrell Owens will either help Seattle hit #10winsandaplayoffspot, or he'll end up knocking around in some Arena League- There isn't much chance of any scenarios between those extremes happening. Pete Carroll knows it, Terrell Owens knows it, and all of you out there freaking out over this move should try to understand it.

What do you think, sirs?


Jonathan Dalar said...

I think a lot of the "fear" is misguided. It's a virtual no-risk signing. Why? Because he's not even guaranteed a spot on the 53 at this point, and will provide quantifiable experience at the position to help our quarterbacks out.

I think a lot of the backlash we're seeing from Twelves is two-fold: some from the diva antics he's pulled on some of the more easy-to-hate teams in the league, and because, well, Sharpies write in indelible ink. It's going to take some serious effort on his part to erase the signature scrawled across our minds, even if it was a decade ago.

I'm not jumping for joy at this signing because it comes with no guarantees of anything but talk and controversy, but I'm not condemning the move either. It's really all up to Owens. If he can step up and contribute enough to erase the Sharpie ink from Twelves' minds, I think he'll be just fine here.

Geoff said...

I love your blog and I enjoyed meeting you before the browns game up in the stands game last year, but I think this whole T.O. thing is batshit insane. He's insane and his antics are not worth his nice production as evidenced by every team he has played for.

I also don't think that people not liking TOs personality is anywhere near the level of retardedness Ruskell brought to the table.

kyle smith said...

Doesn't anyone get that T.O. needs us more then we need him...this is his last chance..he is in shape and should add some production to our hawks.....he will behave and have a monster year!

Zem said...

I get both sides of the argument. It is a fact that he's been such a cancer in locker rooms that teams have released him despite his sizeable production. I don't think the reaction by fans is surprising or wrong. He's been a tool, consistently, for years. But, like has been said, if he steps out of line, he's gone. Bottom line. This has a helluva lot more upside than downside. He's always been a hard worker and has always been in great shape.