John Schneider Says Signing Terrell Owens Is Not an Indictment on the Other Wide Receivers in Seattle

August 8, 2012 – 9:15 am by Chris Fedor

It’s clear that the Seattle Seahawks opened up training camp with a group of wide receivers that the team was not comfortable with. With Sidney Rice coming off numerous injuries, Seattle brought in Antonio Bryant for a workout and that didn’t go very well. Then the Seahawks signed Braylon Edwards, who is coming off a disappointing season with the 49ers a year ago. Then in their final act of desperation, Seattle signed Terrell Owens. At this point in his career, T.O’s talent speaks for itself. He is one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game. However, the fact that he comes with baggage and the last professional team he played for was the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League have to be concerning to the Seahawks. But Seattle went out this offseason and brought in Matt Flynn to help solve their quarterback quandary. After making that kind of commitment to Flynn, it was vital for the Seahawks to do everything possible to give their new QB some weapons. T.O. apparently worked out well the other day for Seattle and showed that he still has some gas left in the tank. Even if he isn’t the TO of old, the Seattle Seahawks will be an interesting team to follow this season as they search for a return trip to the playoffs.

John Schneider joined KJR in Seattle with Mitch Levy to talk about signing Terrell Owens, how much his workout with the Seahawks played into the team signing him, if this signing shows that Sidney Rice is farther away in his recovery than expected, whether he was concerned with the shenanigans that come along with TO, if a zero tolerance policy was discussed with Owens prior to him signing with the Seahawks and what TO’s role will be in the offense this season.

On signing Terrell Owens:

“We’re trying to run the most competitive atmosphere that we can here. I think we said when we got here we were going to turn over every leaf and check it out. We checked out Antonio Bryant and that didn’t work out. We went down the road with Mike Williams and he wasn’t able to continue at the pace that he was. We were looking for more of a power player if you will and so we heard a lot about Terrell and how he had been working out, we had done a lot of research with the last couple of clubs he was with so we brought him in and he had a heck of a workout so we decided to go ahead and if he was going to do things on our terms then we were more than happy to take a look here.”

How important T.O’s workout was:

“In listening to everybody talk about how he takes care of himself and everything, here is a 38-year-old man that came in weighed 220 pounds and ran 4.45/4.43 and once he did that, I didn’t see that coming because a lot of people talk about how fast they are and they have been taking care of themselves at this time of the year and everything, but this was true. You could see the guys’ passion, you could see his intensity, his work ethic and that obviously rang through in that workout. He ran really well, dropped his hips really well, worked his way back to the ball, didn’t drop a ball and was really quite impressive.”

If this speaks to how concerned the team is about Sidney Rice’s health:

“No. I thought for a guy that was going to have an operation on both of shoulders, I thought he was going to go pretty far into the preseason. I didn’t know how far but he repaired both of his shoulders so I wasn’t sure how quickly he’d be back. Coaches are always going to want players back as quick as they can and then personnel guys are going to say ‘let’s just take care of the guy and let’s make sure he’s completely healthy before we put him out there.’ Now at some point we all recognize that he’s going to have to go out there and get banged around a little bit and be able to react appropriately to his surgeries and his rehab and everything so at some point we need to find that out but we’re not just going to do it to put him out there. He’s doing a nice job, he’s rehabbing and he’s doing everything the way we like to see him do it. In regards to the other players I totally agree and I’ve had discussions with several of them and this is not an indictment on what they’re doing. We have some young guys we are very excited about. If anything we think this guy, with his work ethic, anybody you talk to on his other teams, whether it be Buffalo or Dallas, Cincinnati or Philly, they all talk about him being the hardest worker out there. If anything it will be positive for these guys knowing that they have to step their game up as well and obviously they look up to this guy. He’s a 38-year-old man that has accomplished a lot in this league and a lot of them were in there watching the workout yesterday and all of them were very impressed like the majority of us were.”

Whether he was concerned with the shenanigans that come along with TO:

“That’s something that Pete and I sat down with him yesterday and addressed. Just wanted to make sure that he was part of, like he was in Buffalo and Cincinnati, he was ready to be a part of a team and not the center of a team and I think he seems excited to do that. I talked to him a lot about being up here in the Northwest and I think this is a great place to come to just be off football. You have a very passionate fan base, great stadium, a community that really loves their football team but yet there is not a lot of national media hype around our team and we like that so we had a long talk about that and our hope is that he embraces that.”

If a zero tolerance message was sent to him:

“It goes both ways actually. He recognizes where he’s at in his career and we’ve done our research. He knows what he wants to do and how he wants to finish his career. He has a very clear set of goals and we have a clear set of expectations for him here so I think it was a good talk both ways.”

What T.O’s role will be with the Seahawks

“I think it’s a process that is going to take place. We felt it was early enough in training camp to do something like this. If you do something like this where you’re in more like a panic mode, like the third preseason game then maybe it doesn’t make sense because who knows if you have enough time to really figure out how he’s going to fit in and where he’s at physically. I think this gives us enough time to figure that out. From an expectation standpoint, you were saying earlier that you have a lot of people that are very excited about it and some people that aren’t excited about it, I think with us, in all of our acquisitions, we’re pretty much right down the middle of the road. We have to be even-keeled about everything and not get too far off kilter because that’s when you start getting in trouble is when you start reacting too much to what may or may not be.”

Listen to John Schneider on KJR in Seattle here

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