Terrell Owens May Still Be A Touch Over Confident, But He Is Wiser And More Grounded That Most RealizeAugust 10, 2010 – 9:50 am by Michael Bean
Terrell Owens and Ochocinco on the same wide receiver corps – definitely must see T.V. But will the loud-mouthed duo be able to perform once the lights go on for real in September? Most think the experiment will end poorly in Cincinnati. I’m not so sure. Both stars, despite still not being shy of the camera nor afraid to speak their mind, have mellowed out some as they’ve aged. Owens in particular seems to know that a meal ticket in the NFL is no longer a given at his age. If the Bengals can continue to play outstanding defense like they did a year ago, and continue to be a primarily run-first team behind the bruising Cedric Benson, they should again be contenders in the AFC North and the AFC playoffs come January.
Owens joined WQAM in Miami on the Michael Irvin Show to talk about his first preseason game with the Bengals, being worked into the offense early on in the game, being comfortable with whatever niche he has throughout the season, how he’s re-energized by all the talent surrounding him in Cincinnati, his relationship with Ochocinco, how the two know that people are expecting them to self-combust, and some very interesting thoughts on his Hall of Fame credentials.
On how he felt out there in the Bengals preseason game:
“Honestly I felt good. It was good to just get out there and run around and do some of the things that we’ve been learning in practice so to speak. Especially for me because I was a free agent, and I just got signed a couple of weeks ago. And up until that point until I was signed, during the free agency period I obviously had no team. So I had no mini-camps, no OTAs, none of that to go to. So I think it’s a blessing in disguise perhaps the way things have gone. I visited the Bengals in March and then they ultimately decided to sign Antonio Bryant. And then now I got signed with them and then kind of hit the ground running literally because there was really no time for me to do a whole lot because they had started training camp on Wednesday and I joined them that Thursday. So I just had to do whatever I could in a short period of time to get the plays down. With all that being said, I felt like last night was a good first outing, so it’s a good thing for us. We’ve just got to get in sync with one another. As a team, we didn’t play particularly well. There’s a number of fans out there, and the expectations with this team are so high, and we know you can’t win with penalties and turnovers. And that’s something that coach addressed after the game in the locker room, he was very upset about, so we’ve got to just clean it up. Luckily we have four more preseason games before it’s real live bullets, and I think we’ll be ready.”
On being worked into the Bengals offense early and often during the first preseason game:
“You go down that list and you pick out the plays that potentially you have a chance to get the ball. But I think with the offense that we have and the weapons that we have…you know, you look at Chad and Chad is obviously penciled in as the No. 1 receiver. Of course, everybody’s saying that I’m the No. 2 receiver. Myself, I look at is as an offense where Carson has weapons. I don’t look at it as a No. 1, 2, or 3 when he goes through his options.”
On if he thinks it will bother him as the season progresses no longer being the primary go-to-guy:
“Michael, I went through that last year. I wasn’t the No. 1 receiver last year.”
On all the chit-chat about how he and Ochocinco are going to butt heads at some point:
“We know we’re going to be under a microscope. They’ve already labeled us as one of the dynamic duos of this year along with LeBron and Dwyane Wade. So, Chad and I, we’re confident enough in ourselves, in our abilities to know that there are going to be games where we both have to sacrifice the catches. And there may be a game where we have to sacrifice the passing game for the running game, and vice versa. And I think the ultimate thing and everybody knows is we’re trying to win a championship. We’re trying to win a title. So let everybody else put everything, throw all this stuff, throw all this mud, and see what becomes of it. Because other than that, we’re on the field, we’re in the locker room laughing about it. We’re laughing about it. We hear all the chitter and the chatter out there about us bumping heads, about throughout the season one of is going to get frustrated. But the thing is as receivers, if you’re competitive of course that may just happen. But they’re not going to know. That’s the thing, we’re trying to win ballgames and that’s what we’re going to do. I feel like I have been re-energized and rejuvenated because of where I am. I have a great quarterback in Carson, I have a great receiver on the other side in Chad, you got Shipley and Andre Caldwell. You’ve got Antonio Bryant who’s rehabbing and hopefully he gets back on the field, you’ve got a backfield with Cedric Benson and some other notable guys backing him up. And we’ve got a line. If everybody stays healthy…and not to mention, a defense that was ranked No. 4 last year. And the people they’ve added, the pieces that they’ve added this year with Pacman and some other guys that were injured last year and are coming back healthy, if we remain healthy, then we have a legitimate chance. We’ve just got to get through the preseason healthy, and last night we had a lot of guys banged up. But other than that, we’re going to let everybody else do that chit-chatting and we’re going to be laughing and we’re going to be winning ball games along the way.”
About coming together with Ochocinco to try to win a championship and on if that would help his Hall of Fame credentials:
“Of course you look at a bulk of the guys, a number of guys that are in the Hall of Fame, and sometimes when it comes around to that first ballot or second ballot or third ballot, whether you have a title kind of determines whether you go first, second third or whenever. Again, statistically, are my numbers good enough to get in? Yeah. Would a Super Bowl championship solidify my chances to get in? Yeah, I’m sure it will. But obviously like I said, there’s a process of electing guys into the Hall of Fame. My interaction with the media hasn’t always been so well, so I’m sure they might hold that against me. If that’s the case, when it’s my time to be elected, again my thing is I didn’t play this game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I think my body of work speaks for itself. The things I’ve done, I wasn’t motivated by anything other than my family and friends. That’s the only thing that matters to me. I’ve played the game with a lot of passion, a lot of energy. I’ve dedicated myself to whatever team I’ve played for, no matter who it was. That’s how I am, I’m a loyal person, and I’m going to give you everything I’ve got. So if I have to leave this game, and that’s all I have is to be known as someone who’s very competitive and passionate about my job and what I did, then I’m fine with that. Do I need to have a Yellow Jacket to solidify my career? No I don’t. I can get my momma to make me a yellow jacket.”