Terrell Owens is over the hill. He drops too many passes. He has lost a step. He’s not as effective as he used to be. He is a locker room cancer. No team needs him. No team wants him. Since T.O. was let go by Dallas this is all I’ve heard. Then there was Buffalo. His numbers aren’t great, but his quarterbacks wouldn’t have won games against Pee Wee teams. He doesn’t cause any problems even though he had every reason to be frustrated and angry. When Buffalo let him go it was back to him being over the hill and all that other garbage.
Now he is a Cincinnati Bengal. The same people who call him over the hill and have nothing but bad things to say about him are the same ones that write or talk about how him being in Cincy is going to hurt people like Cedric Benson, Antonio Bryant, Andre Caldwell, and Jordan Shipley because they will get limited touches on the ball. The way I see it is like this: Antonio Bryant signed a four year $28 million contract, which is $7million a year. T.O.’s is for one year $2 million. If Antonio Bryant is that much ($5million a year) better than Owens, he has nothing to worry about. If he can outplay Terrell, then he should be the number two receiver without question. I doubt Cincinnati will play the lesser talented player just because it is T.O. Let Bryant step up and show that he is worth more and can play better than Owens. Same thing with Caldwell and Shipley. If they want to make a difference and not be so far down the depth chart they will want to take every opportunity given to them and make the most of it. If T.O. is over the hill or if he really has lost that much speed, the other Bengal receivers should still get their share of touches. If not, then T.O. deserves them!
As for Cedric Benson, the Bengals will still have to run the ball some and if Benson wants to get his stats, he’ll play a little harder and take advantage of every down he has. If the running game is good, they will use it and he’ll still get his touches. If it is not, then they won’t. This is all on Cedric Benson, not T.O. It is well known that a team does not have to have a good run game to win (Indy, NE).
T.O. does not have a good reputation for being a great teammate, that’s true. But, I don’t believe he has ever been on a team where he felt he could be himself, either. The Bengals will let him have touchdown celebrations. He is wanted by their two best players, Palmer and Ocho. Most importantly I believe T.O. may have finally found a home. A place where he belongs and is appreciated. The Bengals have a team that can win. T.O. only complains when his team is losing and he doesn’t feel like he is being allowed to help them win. This won’t happen in Cincy because they are going to win. Ochocinco knows his numbers are better with another good receiver on the other side so all the talk about their ball hogging and egos go out the window here. They both want the same thing, a Super Bowl win, and they know that together they can achieve that. Also, Terrell has to know that this is probably his last stop. He will make it work so he can continue to play.
All in all, I think people should judge Terrell on his football abilities. He has never been in trouble with the law. He is involved with charity. Just because he is outspoken doesn’t make him a bad football player. There isn’t a single team in the NFL except for Indy that couldn’t have used Owens this year. I’ve hoped for years for him to come back to my Niners. But Cincinnati is a good fit for him. I hope he wins the Super Bowl and shows everyone that he can still play. If it affects the other Bengal receivers, they will step up and get better or Cincy will at least know who won’t put forth the effort, and that can’t be blamed on Terrell Owens no matter how you look at it.