Terrell Owens to Oakland Raiders: Jerry Rice and I Defend T.O.'s Potential
Whenever anything positive is said about Terrell Owens, it doesn't take long for members of the media to speak out against rationality.
ESPN.com writer Bill Williamson can now add his name to that lengthy list.
Former teammate of Owens, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, recently suggested that T.O. would be a good fit with the Oakland Raiders.
Hard to disagree with a man often considered to be the greatest of all-time at the position.
Apparently not for Bill Williamson.
Asked if he thought Owens would fit in with an NFL team, Rice said he thought the Raiders would be a fit because they could use a veteran to go along with their several young receivers.
Adding fuel to the possibility, of course, is Owens is friends and former teammates with Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer. Owens worked out with Palmer and some Oakland receivers this offseason.
Still, I don’t like the fit."
Naturally of course, I wouldn't have expected Williamson to like the fit.
To agree with Jerry Rice is to accept the notion that Owens could contribute something positive to an NFL organization.
You know, little things like productivity, points on the board, leadership, increased stadium attendance and team revenue.
Don't gasp just yet, unlike Williamson, I'm prepared to substantiate my claims.
While being backed by the least efficient running game in the NFL has to offer (32nd in YPA in 2010), Owens produced at a rate comparable to his prime before being injured during Week 12 of the 2010 NFL season.
Had he continued at that pace for the rest of the season, his production would have been as follows:
Owens (2001): 93 receptions for 1,412 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Owens (2010): 99 receptions for 1,435 yards and 13 touchdowns.
*Touchdown receptions put points on the board, for those who were wondering.
Talk to his actual teammates (as opposed to completely subjective members of the media and the ever-popular anonymous sources) and you'll drag out a laundry list of positive feedback regarding Owens' character as a teammate.
Just ask Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl receiver, Miles Austin.
Or Donte Whitner.
“I know u are! And I’m ready to Vouch for…and let everyone kno how GREAT of a teammate u were in Buffalo!”
Increased Stadium Attendance
You would have to forgo any and all rationality to debate this one.
Even at this stage in his career, Owens is an attraction.
How many fans rush to O.co Coliseum in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Jacoby Ford?
How many fathers point to Louis Murphy and brag to their children about his undeniable impact on the sport of professional football?
Owens would sell more No. 81 Raiders jerseys in a week than Juron Criner will in five years.
I've been told that the NFL is a business, so what owner would want to be a part of that?
Williamson backed up his case though:
"The Raiders are going in a new direction in leadership and I think a player like Owens would not be a good addition to the locker room to start the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen era. Owens can be a distraction. The Raiders don’t need any distractions.
Plus, Owens is 38 and he did not play in the NFL in 2011. Where’s the appeal here?
Rice is right that Oakland’s receiving crew is young. But these players need to play and develop. Having Owens taking away repetitions from the likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and rookie Juron Criner just doesn’t make sense to me."
Again, mastery in the art of "sounding right."
"Owens can be a distraction."
May I ask specifically how was he a distraction in either Cincinnati or Buffalo?
Sans a unsubstantiated and deceiving article by Ed Werder, there really isn't much of anything to say about his years in Dallas, either.
So of course, lets try to be completely subjective about things that happened over half a decade ago. Let's rely on that kind of conjecture to derive impartial perspective.
"Having Owens taking away receptions from the likes of..."
It would only be logical then to assume that by "taking away receptions" from other players, the ball would end up in Owens' hands.
Right, because the aforementioned Oakland receiving corps. have always performed like this on the football field:
God forbid you place the ball into the hands of the second-most productive receiver in the 92-year history of the NFL.
We all know that Owens would be willing to play for the league's minimum salary.
He has the knowledge, physical tools, work ethic, football I.Q. and marketability to make the Oakland Raiders semi-relevant.
Why not allow Denarius Moore and Juron Criner to fill that void instead?
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Any questions, comments or professional inquiries can be directed to his email at email@example.com.
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/theryanmichael
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