Skip Bayless…If It Doesn’t Make Sense, That’s Because It’s Not True

Skip Bayless is two things for sure: A troll, and consistently inconsistent.

But for a while now, Bayless has been rather consistent about his claims regarding Terrell Owens. Many of them are hilariously and provably false (such as his claims that Owens accused Steve Mariucci of “throwing the game” against the Bears in 2001, that the aforementioned mythical incident was the “last straw” for Owens as a 49er, according to Terry Donahue during Owens’s time in San Francisco, and that Terrell Owens got into a fight with Jason Witten in 2008 after an argument with Todd Haley), but there is one that he has repeatedly made that we know is false through simple common sense.

Bayless alleges that during his time writing for the San Jose Mercury news (2001-2004), numerous teammates of Owens’s came up to him and told him that Owens was “dividing the locker room.”

The problem with this is Bayless – just like every other person on this planet – never accused Owens of “dividing” anything until 2005 (which was Owens’s 10th season in the NFL), after Owens had been suspended from the Eagles for refusing to adhere to all of the apology stipulations Andy Reid set for him following ESPN taking his answer to a question about Brett Favre completely out of context. It was only after reporters entered the Eagles’ locker room looking for teammates to tell them that they hated Owens – only for them to find that every player either said they liked him and hoped he would be back on the team, or that they didn’t want to discuss the situation and just wanted to move on and play football – that they created the, “this Eagles locker room is divided” narrative. Once Terrell Owens returned to the NFL, the media transferred this claim to one about Terrell Owens himself. It became, “Terrell Owens divided the Eagles’ locker room.” This despite the fact that he wasn’t even in the locker room anymore when they came up with this.

And of course, they retroactively applied it to San Francisco, even though nobody had ever made the claim that Terrell Owens divided the 49ers’ locker room while he was in San Francisco, nor the year after he left. They knew he had “issues” in San Francisco, but they had short memories and limited knowledge, so they just made an assumption that history of this nonsense claim must have repeated itself.

His issues in San Francisco were his controversial touchdown celebrations and the media pitching a “feud” with Steve Mariucci following his public disagreement with Mariucci for suspending him for the celebrations in Dallas in 2000. And in his last year, they claimed he “hinted” at benching Jeff Garcia for Tim Rattay when he did nothing of the sort, then fed that lie to Garcia to upset him and cause tension.

But at no point before 2005 did a single person ever say the words “Terrell Owens” and “divided” and “locker room” in the same sentence.

Bayless included.

Owensdivided1

owensdivided2

Oh, sure, Bayless talked about Terrell Owens all the time during this period.

BaylessOwens1

OwensBayless2

Sometimes he even called him a “jerk.”

owensbaylessjerk1

OwensBaylessJerk2

But once again, the internet proves to be the media’s worst enemy. You can revise history in people’s minds, but the archives are immune to your lazy tricks. Oh, and they never lie.

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99 NFL Complainers/Criticizers and T.O. Ain’t One

Believe it or not, NFL players have opinions, and they often voice them. Publicly. And very often they attach their name to opinions (instead of doing it under the condition of anonymity) about coaches and teammates that, if Terrell Owens said them, would get him relentlessly attacked in the media.

How common is it? Here are 99 different players not named “Terrell Owens” doing everything from complaining about their role on the team, to criticizing coaches, to criticizing teammates.

 

Jerry Rice: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1998-11-26/sports/9811260091_1_jerry-rice-moss-bettis

Rice, 36, loudly complained after getting only three catches for 27 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco’s 31-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He had spent a lot of the game watching fellow wide receivers Terrell Owens and J.J. Stokes.

“Maybe I’ve been spoiled over the years, but this is not 49ers football,” Rice said after the game. “Or maybe the Man’s giving me a sign.

“If you ask me if I’m having a good time, no. Is this something that might want to make you retire, hell yes. All I know is I’m not having a good time. Maybe it’s time for me to move on.”

 

Cris Carter: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-62624754.html

Carter, you might recall, complained that the Vikings did not do enough to allow him to retain his NFL receiving record. “I found it offensive, to tell you the truth,” Del Rio said. “I was shocked to see comments like that, and very shocked to see the comments he made toward Warren Moon. I mean, Warren has not been a bad meal ticket for Cris.

“I know Cris is an emotional guy and he got caught up in that. I don’t believe he would have said those things in a cooler moment. It’s not like it would be a major thing. . . . if I saw him, I’m sure I would just say, `Cris, what was that about?’ But it’s not like Cris hasn’t gotten the ball a lot the last couple of years.”


https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-62572182.html

Receiver Cris Carter was giving what has become an annual, post-playoff-loss interview about the need for Vikings management to spend money and upgrade talent.

“We need some cover guys,” he said. “We made a couple of mediocre receivers [J.J. Stokes and Terrell Owens] look like all-stars today. If you can’t cover receivers and Steve Young is the opposing quarterback, you’re going to get picked apart. You’re going to get killed.”

 

Andre Reed: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-8263573.html

Indeed, these Bills seem more a team than in previous years. It all changed after the (regular season) Chiefs game when the Bills lost and their offense — struggling all season — hit its low point. Reed went public and said the Bills need to throw deep more, Thomas went to the coaches and said he had seen enough of the coaching staff calling worthless plays from the sidelines and that Kelly should be given back the play-calling duties.

“I spoke my mind,” said Reed, which is an understatement. Reed complained that other defenses had not only “caught up to our offense, but had passed it by. I had to say what I had to say about it because things weren’t going well. We were too conservative on offense too many times.”

 

 

Derrick Mason: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-157575937.html

The crowd became increasingly restless as that happened again and again, and Ravens receiver Derrick Mason complained after the game that he wasn’t given the chance to run longer routes and get open for the first down. “We didn’t threaten their defensive backs,” said Mason, who caught just two passes for 16 yards. “Just give me an opportunity to get by them and then let the chips fall where they may.”

 

 

Isaac Bruce: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94302579.html

“I have been crying for the football, and then when I get it, I fumbled it twice and pretty much blew the game,” Bruce said. “Marshall (Faulk) is out of the game. Torry (Holt) is having a good game. I have to step up my game.”

Bruce had complained about not getting the ball enough, but not to Martz.

“I probably said something to one of my teammates,” Bruce said. “I didn’t go to Mike and get in Mike’s face. He has other things to think about. It was kind of out of character for me saying, `I want the ball,’ and stuff like that. I learned a long time ago that when you start doing that, that’s when mistakes happen. That’s when you start dropping the football.”

However, Bruce said there was nothing wrong with wanting the ball thrown his way.

“Why not?” Bruce said. “That’s what I do. I am a receiver. You can’t knock that. When I stop wanting, then I’ll walk away from this game.”

After the game, Bruce walked away from the locker room without talking to the media.


After the Seattle loss, Bruce complained that the offense wasn’t playing hard enough. Vermeil responded the next day by saying Bruce was paid to play and not to coach and should worry about himself. The two hashed out their differences Tuesday. “He’s probably just upset just like the rest of us that we’re not winning games,” Banks said. “You’ve got to come up with some type of reason why we’re not moving the ball.”

(https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4418616.html )

 

 

Torry Holt: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-19531860.html

St. Louis’s Torry Holt complained this week about the poor play of his team’s offensive line.

 

 

Tim Brownhttps://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-69500372.html

Some thought the Raiders (4-10) were on the verge of mutiny last week when wide receiver Tim Brown and quarterback Jeff George criticized the play-calling. Oakland’s stars were openly wondering why the offense that worked so well early in the season had changed.

In truth, however, the Raiders are pioneering a new offensive concept: parallel game plans. From now on, Brown said, he will wear a wristband with his own plays written on it and, if he doesn’t like the plays called by the coaches, he will call his own.

“I’m not going to go out and get embarrassed like this the next couple of weeks,” Brown said. “If I don’t like the game plan, if certain things are not being called, then I’m going to have plays ready to run.”


https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4259895.html

The Raiders gained a season-low 179 yards, and Tim Brown complained about the game plan after catching three passes for just 21 yards.

 

 

Antonio Freeman: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-108295052.html

But Freeman, who occasionally complained about not getting the ball enough as the No.1 receiver and once publicly lamented former No.2 receiver Bill Schroeder’s inability to take pressure and coverage off of him, didn’t say a word about his limited involvement.

((https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-65470466.html): Give him the ball: WR Antonio Freeman complained again this week about not getting the football and insinuated it is because of the double-teams he faces while No. 2 WR Bill Schroeder isn’t respected. After those strong comments, it will be interesting to see how Freeman responds. )

 

Curtis Conway: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4402730.html

Conway was asked what he thought after Sunday’s game, and he complained that some players have tired legs because of too much running during practices.

 

Herman Moore: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-62568335.html

The Lions‘ rangy, thoughtful receiver was about halfway through the seven deadly sins when he got to envy.

He had already displayed lust (for the feel of cowskin between his palms), greed (for the currency of catches) and gluttony (for wallowing in the media inquisition into his team’s latest crucial loss).

Long after the Lions dressing room emptied, Moore was answering and asking questions. After he complained about his unwitting transformation from leading man to best supporting receiver, someone asked Moore about Minnesota’s throw-a-rainbow-and-hope-for-gold approach to deep passing.

“If you have confidence in your receiver, you throw that ball up there,” Moore said. “When I saw the Vikings throw the ball up on those plays, I said, `Oh, God,’ because you know something big is going to happen.

 

Carl Pickens: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pickens-rips-coslet-recants/

“I don’t understand it,” Pickens said Wednesday, adding that he was not happy that Coslet would be back. The comments were recorded by a WLW radio reporter.

“We’re trying to win; we’re trying to turn this thing around out there. And they bring him back,” Pickens said. “What can you do? Obviously the players don’t call the shots around here.”

 

Anquan Boldin: http://www.espn.com/nfl/news/story?id=4645697

Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin says he’s “moved on” after Sunday’s critical comments directed at coach Ken Whisenhunt and his staff.

Boldin said he has no regrets about those comments.

“I said what I had to say and I’m done with it,” Boldin said on Wednesday. “For me, it’s not even an issue. That was Sunday and I’ve moved on.”

The three-time Pro Bowl receiver was held out of Sunday’s 41-21 victory at Chicago because of a sprained right ankle and complained afterward that “no one was man enough” to tell him he was inactive.

He said he felt good enough to play and only found out he wasn’t when he returned to his locker after warmups and discovered his gear was gone.

 

Plaxico Burress: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-9905447.html

Players aren’t heeding Coach Bill Cowher’s long-standing request not to air their complaints. In recent weeks, both Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress have complained that they’re not getting the ball enough, running back Amos Zereoue was visibly upset at being benched and linebacker Joey Porter said the defense isn’t blitzing enough.

“We have to switch up things and do stuff differently,” Burress said Sunday. “When teams see you do the same things for three, four years, it gets kind of repetitive, it gets old.”

Maddox said Burress wasn’t intentionally slighted.

“We tried to get the ball to him. We threw it his way four, five or six times. It was just one of those games,” he said.

 

Hines Ward: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-9905447.html

However, Ward said much the same thing following a 33-13 loss to the Browns on Oct. 5, protesting that he couldn’t help the team if the ball didn’t come his way.

 

Roddy White: http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/182664/roddy-white-wants-wins-a-ring-and-catches

“For me, at the end of the day, I want to catch passes,” White told ESPN.com. “I’m not out here just f—ing around just to sit around to just block f—ing people all day. It’s not what I want to do.

“I’ve contributed to offenses for this franchise for the last nine, 10 years. It always bothers me when I go out and don’t catch any balls in a game because it hasn’t happened in so long.”

 

Johnnie Morton: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-4352117.html

Lions receivers Johnnie Morton and Brett Perriman want more receptions. Morton has only one catch in two games. Perriman, who caught 108 balls last year, had just one reception last Sunday. “I’ve talked to Scott (Mitchell),” Morton said. “I don’t know what the problem is. I’m just going to get open; if he wants to throw me the ball, he’ll throw me the ball. Even one pass would be cool. I’m just having a problem having more carries (five end-arounds for 19 yards) than receptions.” Morton said opposing defenses are reading the Lions’ offense too easily because they know the Lions always pass to Herman Moore.

 

John Jefferson: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/01/09/It-wasnt-that-John-Jefferson-was-upset-last-week/8226410936400/

‘Since I got here, I just felt that I haven’t contributed,’ Jefferson said. ‘It wasn’t my fault. I just wasn’t able to.’

 

Michael Westbrook: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-620688.html

Washington Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook said yesterday he was frustratedby Sunday’s 24-21 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and he was clearly disappointed by his role in the game. Westbrook had just one reception for 15 yards.

“You’ve got 10 receivers in the league that had 100-yard games yesterday,” said Westbrook, who has a career-high 55 catches through 14 games. “I’m trying to make a strong bid for the Pro Bowl, and I caught one ball for 15 yards. How do you look at me as one of the top receivers in the league when I have one catch for 15 yards?”

Westbrook said he saw his limited role as a function of several factors. “It’s a combination of all that stuff: time to throw, game plan, what they have for me,” he said. Asked if he raised the issue with coaches yesterday, he said: “No. It’s not my offense. I’m just a chess piece.”

 

Santana Moss: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-9928863.html

“I am coming out there furious sometimes because I think every time I get out there I can beat somebody. But if I don’t get the ball, what can I do?” Moss said.

 

Antonio Brown: https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/06/06/antonio-brown-complains-about-bruce-arians-mike-tomlin-on-social-media/

“Bruce Arians said he’s a special team guy he caint learn the plays hots n sites,” Brown said on Instagram. “Not Smart Enough.” (“Hots” are “hot routes” that apply during a blitz, and “sites” are sight-adjusted routes based on related factors.)

As to Tomlin, Brown said, “Coach T Bench me on a bye week; said two dogs one bone. God bless em #putsomerestpectonmyname.”

 

Roger Carr: https://www.nytimes.com/1982/07/26/sports/kush-with-the-colts-controversial-architect-of-change.html

Roger Carr, the talented wide receiver with a sprinter’s speed, has asked to be traded, too, although the Colts have not accommodated him. They think Carr, unlike some others, can help them this season. Carr can be eccentric, and the Colts are accustomed to his grumbling. This time, however, he is going out of his way to infuriate Kush and Irsay.

”Kush’s program is asinine,” Carr said. ”His scrimmages are stupid. I don’t know much about him and I don’t want to. He’s already said that it would be, ‘My way or the highway.’ Well, I want the highway.” Part of his protest, Carr said, might include taking his time learning the new playbook. He smiled mischievously.

 

Alvin Harper: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1997/12/02/outspoken-harper-released-by-redskins/2f1c0165-a539-44a1-bdb1-9f0d18c8c4ad/?utm_term=.343660b2635b

Harper’s frustration boiled over Sunday. “It’s ridiculous the way I’ve been used,” Harper said in a story that ran in yesterday’s editions of The Washington Post. “There has been nothing but a whole bunch of lies. They could have given me a chance.”

 

Jason Avant: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/article9233129.html#.VGt_PSggHS8

Veteran wideout Jason Avant said he thought the Panthers could have been a “little bit more aggressive” to give Gano an easier kick.

“I’ve been in the league a long time. I know two things. You never want to give a team a chance to win a game, with how much time was left on the clock. And asking a kicker to make a 50-yard field goal with the game on the line is rough sledding,” Avant said.

“If that’s the only option, yes. But if it’s not, you want to get as close as you can and think score and play to score a touchdown. Because I’d rather the team have to score a touchdown to win the game than to have to kick a field goal. It’s just a lot different. It’s a 30-yard difference.”

 

Earl Campbell: https://www.nytimes.com/1983/11/11/sports/nfl-matchups-reunion-of-unhappy-running-backs.html

Campbell, who ranks fifth in the American Conference with 708 rushing yards and has 7,703 for his career, said after the Oilers’ last defeat, 55-14 to the Cincinnati Bengals, that he was upset at having been removed by Coach Chuck Studley when the Bengals were ahead by 41-0 in the third quarter. He said he wanted to be traded after the season, and he repeated the request on his television show broadcast Tuesday in Houston. ”I think the best thing,” he said, ”would be for me to be out of here as far as playing football for the Houston Oilers.”

 

Shaun Alexander: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-16852.html

There’s the one who spent training camp this summer apologizing for having kept fellow Seattle Seahawks at a distance, creating the perception that the Pro Bowl running back was aloof or perhaps selfish. And there’s the other Shaun Alexander, the one who complained publicly Sunday that he had been “stabbed in the back” by Mike Holmgren because the coach didn’t call a play that would have let him win the NFL rushing title.

 

Jamal Lewis: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-152866278.html

Baltimore RB Jamal Lewis complained during the week about not getting at least 25 carries a game. In Sunday’s loss, he got 9 for 41 yards.

 

Corey Dillon: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-15118543.html

Dillon complained about his reduced role during the season and demanded to be traded at the end of the year. He also blasted several teammates, calling Willie Anderson a “bum” on national television and telling reporters he was embroiled in a “power struggle” with his new head coach.

 

Edgerrin James: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-152903090.html

A week ago, there was little for the Cardinals to feel good about. Receiver Larry Fitzgerald had pulled a hamstring, Edgerrin James had complained loudly about the coaching staff’s play-calling, their rookie quarterback lost his first NFL start and Cardinals fans were dreading the potential embarrassment of a visit by the mighty Bears.

 

Clinton Portis: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/09/AR2008120902829.html

“We got a genius for a head coach, I don’t know, I’m sure he on top of things.

He’s got everything figured out. Hey, that’s up to him. All I can do is when he calls a play is go out and try to execute to the best of my ability.”

 

“One day it’s, ‘Chip [block] on your way out,’ then if you don’t chip and you get out [into a pass route] and the quarterback gets sacked, it’s like, ‘Oh, you need to help this man out,’ ” Portis said. “So they don’t know what they want. They want you to chip, they want you to block, [quarterback Jason Campbell is] on his [rear] all game long, you’re trying to stay in and help, and then it’s, ‘Oh, you should have gone out, they was coming to you.’ ”

 

Stephen Davis: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94337935.html

Davis was extremely frustrated after the game. Before he cut his interview session short, he said: “What we do best is run the ball. We’ve got to do more of that. We passed the ball when we had an opportunity [to run it].”

 

Garrison Hearst: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-72813711.html

”I want to feel more a part of the team by contributing,” Hearst said Wednesday, two days after first voicing displeasure about his limited role.

 

Thurman Thomas: http://articles.latimes.com/1991-01-18/sports/sp-297_1_thurman-thomas

Thomas, a second-year running back at the time, was asked on a Rochester cable TV show in what area the Bills might improve.

“Quarterback,” he replied.

 

LaDainian Tomlinson: https://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/football/new-york-jets-ladainian-tomlinson-criticizes-teammate-santonio-holmes-for-lack-professionalism-after-blow-huddle/mogUVFBslRuMrcuPobNzaP/

After the game, veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson questioned Holmes’ professionalism.

“There were some guys in the huddle unhappy with Tone’s demeanor,” Tomlinson said. “When you have a group of guys fighting their butts off and one guy. (his) demeanor’s not with them, you’re going to get some guys telling (him) how they feel. That’s what you got today.

“It’s tough for guys to follow a captain that kind of behaves in that manner. When you’re a captain guys are looking at you and you’ve got to lead by example and you’ve got to play your tail off until the last play.”

 

Fred Beasley: https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Beasley-Barlow-have-history-of-animosity-2597996.php

Part of it is a culture clash. Barlow had rarely been outside his rough Pittsburgh neighborhood when the 49ers picked him in the third round of the 2001 draft.

When he moved across the country into an unknown environment, his response was to act brash.

“He came in thinking he was Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens, but he hadn’t done anything yet,” said Beasley, who was raised in Montgomery, Ala.

 

Matt Forte: https://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2017/10/jets_matt_forte_critical_of_john_morton_offensive.html

“I only had four carries this game,” he said. “I don’t think we ran the ball enough with this weather being the way it was.”

 

Davonta Freeman: https://www.ajc.com/sports/falcons-freeman-super-bowl-would-have-stayed-the-game-would-have-got-mvp/RTiGkzGHP1bjjsm8LRC6aJ/

Said Freeman on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this week regarding not only the decisions to pass and not run while in field goal range and leading by eight points late but also his curious second-half disappearance from the running game, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “I hate to go there but I was supposed to be the MVP this year of the Super Bowl, but it’s all good, we got another shot. . . . I don’t want to make this no competition thing with me and my quarterback. I’m just talking about from based off that game. Let’s [say] it like this: if I would have kept getting the ball, if I would have stayed in the game, I don’t know why I got out of the game actually. But if I would have stayed in the game, I would have got MVP. I’m looking at my stats and I see my numbers didn’t lie. Look at my numbers.”

 

Joe Mixon: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000865969/article/joe-mixon-unhappy-with-lack-of-carries-in-bengals-loss

The Cincinnati Bengals‘ offense earned 19 total yards in the second half of Sunday’s 29-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Running back Joe Mixon has an idea about how the Bengals‘ offense could have gotten on track: Give him the ball.

“It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m seeing [Le’Veon Bell] got the ball 35 times, and I got it seven in the first half and then don’t touch the ball again,” Mixon said, via Katherine Terrell of ESPN. “[Jeremy] Hill only got one touch in the second half. It’s frustrating to us running backs. We feel like we’re in the room and we feel like we’re part of the offense. If it worked in the first half, why not do it in the second?”

 

Isaiah Crowell: https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/12/20/isaiah-crowell-upset-about-role-in-browns-offense/

“I’m sure that I can help my team more than I really do and more than I’ve been given the opportunity to do,” Crowell said, via ESPN.com. “Really, it just upsets me. Sometimes I feel disrespected about it, but I can’t even think about it. That’s the coach’s decision.”

 

Chris Johnson: https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/chris-johnson-unhappy-role/story?id=21459911

“No disrespect, I love Tennessee and would love to be in Tennessee,” Johnson told The Tennessean. “But I feel like I am wasting the prime years of my career if I am not used right. You feel me? It is crazy to look at backs around the league and see the opportunities they have.”

“I feel like if they are not going to use me the way I am supposed to be used and let me be the horse, then I would rather them let me move on,” the 28-year-old Johnson told the paper. “Their money would be wasted on me. I feel like if they are not going to use me right, let somebody get me that’s going to use me the right way.”

 

Jim Kelly: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1989/10/10/Kelly-says-Ballard-should-shoulder-the-blame/2687623995200/

Kelly suffered the injury, which could sideline him for four games, in the third quarter when he was hit by Colts defensive end Jon Hand.

‘It should have never happened,’ Kelly said of the hit. ‘(Hand) should have been blocked. Watching film, I don’t know what Howard was thinking. It seemed like he was looking outside to see if a guy blitzed or something… and not at the guy over him (Hand).’

Kelly said he was getting pressured from Ballard’s side throughout the game.

‘I think four out of our five positions (on the offensive line) are very solid,’ Kelly said Monday. ‘I don’t even need to tell you guys what position they might need to make a change in. I can’t stand up here and say they should do it or shouldn’t do it. I don’t make the decisions.

‘But something has to happen.’

 

Ben Roethlisberger: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000113063/article/ben-roethlisberger-questions-steelers-playcalling

“I just don’t think we called the right plays to get (Miller) the ball,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “There were a couple of times we called plays that we didn’t execute correctly.”

Something isn’t right in Pittsburgh. Big Ben is at his best calling plays from the no-huddle, but the no-huddle was scrapped for much of the final two quarters Sunday. Roethlisberger is running out of softly worded excuses for why.

“It’s tough for me to answer right now,” Roethlisberger said. “In the second half, we didn’t do much of it — and it’s disappointing. …

“The end of the first half, we were getting into the no-huddle stuff. That’s when we started moving the ball. Taking shots, taking the short stuff, whatever they were giving us, so that’s when we’re at our best and that’s what we need to do.”

 

Matt Ryan: https://www.12up.com/posts/5292123-matt-ryan-criticizes-kyle-shanahan-s-play-calling-during-super-bowl-li

Ryan referenced the play-calling was slow from Shanahan, and also questioned his decisions after the Falcons had gotten inside field goal range late in the fourth quarter with a chance to ice the game.

“With the way Kyle’s system was set up, he took more time to call plays and we shift and motion a lot…” Ryan said. “We talk about being the most aggressive team in football. And I’m all for it. But there’s also winning time. You’re not being aggressive not running it there.”

 

Alge Crumpler: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/bobby-petrino-falcons-birds-article-1.229239

Then, after a 20-13 loss in Tennessee on Sunday, tight end Alge Crumpler ripped into Petrino’s offense by saying “(The coaches) keep telling us, ‘Trust us, trust us.’ We’ve been trying to trust them the whole time. … It just seems like the agenda that we have offensively is preparing the guys that we have in this locker room for the future. I’m not saying the coach isn’t trying to win the game. But there just seems to be too much going on.”

 

Ben Coates: https://www.newsday.com/sports/nfl-report-unhappy-coates-released-by-pats-who-blame-cap-1.397313

He caught just 16 passes in the first eight games of this season, a trend that

led the typically quiet Coates to sound off.

“If this is the way they want it, what’s there to say?” he said after going

without a reception in a 27-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 31.

“Just release me. Be my guest.”

 

Kellen Winslow II: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d80bc717b/article/winslow-confirms-staph-infection-criticizes-browns

“I heard from Romeo Crennel and I heard from my position coach (Alfredo Roberts) when I was in the Clinic. I heard from my teammates,” Winslow told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “But I never heard from the main man – Phil Savage — and that really disappoints me. Sometimes I don’t even feel a part of this team.”

 

Bruce Smith: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-110655639.html

It’s time for Bruce Smith to go.

Smith decided to skip the chain of command and go right to owner Dan Snyder last week about his diminished playing time with the Washington Redskins.

“I can’t help the Redskins win if I’m not on the field,” Smith complained to reporters after last week’s loss at Miami.

 

Ed Reed: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-30520578.html

While Patriots coaches were praising Flacco, his teammate, safety Ed Reed, went on Sirius XM NFL radio yesterday and criticized his quarterback.

“I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit by that [Houston] defense,” said Reed. “They had a lot of guys in the box on him. And, I mean, they were getting to him. I think a couple times he needed to get rid of the ball.

“He could have made audibles or anything like that, checks or whatnot.

“It just didn’t look like he had a hold on the offense. You know, it was just kind of like they were telling him [what] to do, throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys. And he can’t play like that.”

 

Reggie White: https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-7653569.html

According to Didinger, many Eagles are unhappy with their outstanding quarterback, RandallCunningham, who they feel is more interested in his personal stats than winning; and there is a clear division between the offense and defense, with the feeling that some of the top defensive stars, such as Reggie White and Jerome Brown, were coddled by Ryan.

White recently criticized Cunningham in print as not being a team player and held him partly responsible for the firing of Ryan.

Last year many players were alienated because others, including White and Brown, slacked off in practice, and because Ryan made it apparent in team meetings that he favored the defense.

 

Joey Porter: https://www.sportsnet.ca/football/nfl/dolphins-porter-0/

Joey Porter says he wants to be released by the Miami Dolphins because he was frustrated about his reduced role last season and doubts his relationship with coach Tony Sparano can be repaired.

Porter told the Dolphins’ flagship radio station Tuesday he wants to be waived rather than traded so he can join another team as an every-down linebacker.

“Knowing I’m unhappy and bringing that negative vibe to a team, you don’t want me coming to the stadium with that look on my face, ‘Why am I here?”‘ Porter told WQAM.

The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker’s campaign to be released went national with an appearance Monday on ESPN. A pledge from the Dolphins that he can play full time in 2010 is unlikely, and he told WQAM that wouldn’t salvage the situation.

“I wouldn’t believe them,” he said.

Porter said as his role diminished last season, he talked with Sparano only on Sundays and stopped speaking with football czar Bill Parcells or general manager Jeff Ireland. Porter was unhappy about being replaced by pass-rush specialist Cameron Wake in some situations.

“I’m an every-down player,” Porter said. “I’m supposed to be out on the field when the game’s on the line. I was on the sideline in the fourth quarter cheering. …

“My mind wouldn’t be there because I’m frustrated that I’m on the sideline. It’s hard for me to accept that after being in the Pro Bowl just a year ago. Now all of a sudden I’m taking a back seat — for who and for what?”

 

Tamba Hali: https://twitter.com/MikeGarafolo/status/888845930698608640

“watching both Steelers game from sideline and playing 15 and 7 in the last game I’m still ???. Am I needed in KC anymore?”

“Can someone explain to me how I played 58 snaps in the first game when we made the greatest comeback in Chiefs history?”

“I was told the reason I wasn’t playing was they wanted me fresh for the playoff.”

“Fans should know this. only played 7 snaps last year 2017 playoff game against the Steelers.”

 

 

Charles Woodson: http://www.espn.com/nfl/news/story?id=1695742

Woodson, a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback who could become a free agent, has been one of Callahan’s most outspoken critics. He has
called Callahan stubborn and said he lost the respect of his team.

“He’s really made this thing personal,” Woodson said Monday.
“When things get personal, it’s not a good situation to be around
people that it’s personal with. I won’t play for him.

“He’s not the type of person you want to be around. He’s just
really brought a really negative vibe to this team over the course
of the season.”

“I didn’t give him a chance to finish what he was saying
because I knew he was doing it out of spite,” Woodson said.
“There was no reason for me to sit in there and listen any further
to what he was talking about.”


What do you do about it as veteran players, Woodson was asked.

“You know what’s so tough about that? It’s I think we have a coach with a very big ego, you know what I mean?” Woodson replied. “And he’s not listening to those veterans. And that’s what’s sad about it. (https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Callahan-ignores-Woodson-remarks-2579864.php)

 

 

Dre Bly: http://www.espn.com/nfl/news/story?id=2240566

“If we’d had production on offense, in particular the quarterback position, Mooch wouldn’t have been fired,” Bly told the Detroit Free Press. “If Jeff Garcia hadn’t gotten hurt, we wouldn’t be in this position today. Mooch wouldn’t have gotten fired.”

Garcia missed the first five games after breaking his leg in the final preseason game. He started twice — winning in Cleveland and losing to Chicago — but then missed the Minnesota, Arizona and Dallas games with soreness in the leg.

“We’re all at fault, but I just feel like Joey [Harrington]‘s been here four years, and being the No. 3 pick in the draft, he hasn’t given us anything,” Bly told the paper. “He hasn’t given us what the third pick in the draft should give us.”

 

A.J. Bouye: https://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/articles/jaguars_8217_aj_bouye_throws_coaching_staff_under_the_bus/s1_12680_25515353

“We just started playing soft. We started calling more zone, and they just knew what we were going to run. We were running back-to-back the same calls. … and they just had beaters for it.”

 

Sean Smith: http://www.espn.com/blog/oakland-raiders/post/_/id/20660/what-is-behind-sean-smiths-sudden-change-of-fortune-for-raiders

“Versus come in for a play here and be like, ‘Dang, I’ve been on the bench the whole game and you want me to come in [when] you’re not getting no practice reps all week and all of a sudden game day it’s, ‘Here Sean, go in for one play.’ And you get beat and it’s, ‘Oh, take him out.’ It’s like, ‘Man, what the f—?’ ”

 

 

Landon Collins: https://www.sbnation.com/2017/12/26/16820372/giants-landon-collins-called-eli-apple-a-cancer

“There is only one corner who needs to grow up and we all know who that is,” Collins said on 98.7 FM in New York, via Jordan Ranaan of ESPN.com. “That would be the only person I would change out of our secondary group. Besides, the other two guys, [Dominique Rodgers-Cromarie] and [Janoris Jenkins], I love those two guys. They play hard. They love what they do. That first pick … He’s a cancer.”

 

 

T.J. Ward: https://bucswire.usatoday.com/2017/10/22/tampa-bay-buccaneers-buffalo-bills-t-j-ward-bucs-safety-nfl/

“You got to talk to coach Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter, but I’m at my wits’ end,’’ Ward said, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m tired of it. I mean, that’s not why I came here. I did not come here to rotate. I did not come here to be a part-time player. I came here to make this defense better. Be on the field 100 percent of the time. I destruct offenses. That’s what I do. I need to be out there. You got me in one minute, one minute. Last week, I didn’t even play the first half.’’

 

 

Daryl Worley: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nfl/carolina-panthers/article183929531.html

Worley expressed frustration with being in a rotation on Friday, ahead of Carolina’s Monday Night Football matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

“I don’t know how to put it into words. It’s frustrating, to say the least,” he said. “At the corner – we play a corner position where obviously you don’t want to be in a rotation because as an NFL corner, you want to be able to get in some type of groove, some type of rhythm.

“I mean, if you give up a catch or two, that doesn’t define who you are.”

Worley said he asked defensive backs coach Curtis Fuller and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks “for answers,” but that they simply have told him it was a rotation and nothing further.

“It’s the same old thing every week. We rotate, and then when we get to Sunday it’s kind of a toss-up,” he said. “Whoever makes the calls around here, whoever makes that call whichever one of us should be in the game, I guess they make it on Sundays. I don’t know who makes that call.”

 

Cary Williams: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/11566969/cary-williams-says-chip-kelly-overworking-eagles-practice

“I’m just going to be honest with you,” Williams said. “It’s hard to go out there and fight for 60 minutes when you’re fighting throughout the week to make it through one practice. I’m not the only one. I’m just the only one that’s man enough to stand up here and talk to y’all. It’s obviously, in my opinion, an issue in our starts.”

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What Owens Actually Said After 49ers’ Loss to Vikings In 2003

(https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-108254224.html)

Byline: Daniel Brown

MINNEAPOLIS _ Terrell Owens again treated the postgame podium like a psychiatrist’s couch, airing his thoughts on the dysfunctional San Francisco 49ers with his typically alarming candor.

This time, the most eye-opening revelation stemmed from something he didn’t say. When asked if it was time for a quarterback change, Owens held back on an endorsement for starter Jeff Garcia.

“Who knows?” Owens said. “It’s not my position to say we need a quarterback change, but Rat did a good job.”

Rat is Tim Rattay, who came off the bench to throw the 49ers’ only touchdown pass in a humiliating 35-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome.

Garcia completed 11 of 23 passes with three interceptions as the 49ers fell to 1-3.

Owens, in what is becoming a weekly ritual, spent the day fuming over his lack of action.

At one point, national television cameras caught him berating offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

Garcia is not amused.

“I’m really through with answering questions about T.O. and his frustration and his situations on the sidelines,” the quarterback said. “There just really aren’t any answers for me. I can’t speak for that anymore.”

Both players could only look on with envy as the Vikings’ Randy Moss and Gus Frerotte made the quarterback-to-receiver relationship look effortless and glorious. Moss caught touchdown passes of 15, 35 and 59 yards against a defense that struggled for any form of resistance.

The Vikings improved to 4-0 mostly through the simplest of plays _ Moss zipped downfield, bounded high in the air and plucked the ball away from shorter 49ers defensive backs. Moss, who is 6-foot-4, pulled this trick, at various times, against Ahmed Plummer (6-0), Zack Bronson (6-1) and the duo of Rashad Holman (5-11) and Tony Parrish (6-0).

“When you have a guy whose arms reach about 11 feet,” Frerotte said, “you just have to give him a chance to make a play.”

Frerotte, filling in for injured starter Daunte Culpepper, completed 16 of 21 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns. He set a Vikings record with a 157.2 passer rating, breaking the mark of 152.9 set by Warren Moon in 1995.

Moss’ big plays served only to underscore Owens’ frustration.

“It’s nothing that I can’t do,” Owens said. “I applaud everything they’re doing.”

The Vikings led 14-0 in the first quarter and 28-0 by halftime. The 49ers, as they have since their opening-day victory, played like a team that will be unencumbered by a work schedule in January. They committed nine penalties for 55 yards, allowed 6.7 yards per offensive play and failed on three of four fourth-down attempts.

One of their fourth-down flops drew Owens’ ire. Down 28-0 and needing one yard from the Vikings’ 31 late in the third quarter, the 49ers ran Kevan Barlow up the middle and lost a yard. It was after that play that Fox television cameras caught Owens delivering a blistering critique near Knapp, who was sitting on the bench. Sometimes the receiver would yell at the ground, sometimes in the direction of his play-caller. Knapp appeared to glower in return.

“I was so furious,” Owens said. “I know Coach Erickson’s whole objective since he got here is to throw it to me if they see one-on-one coverage.

“I had one-on-one coverage and no safety. I think every fourth-down play we ran, we got stuffed. What am I here for?”

Perhaps pointedly, Owens reserved his praise for a big play by Rattay, who took over for Garcia in the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand at 35-0.

Rattay launched a 37-yard touchdown pass to Tai Streets with 7:37 to play and rescued the 49ers from being shut out for the first time since 1977.

“I was excited when Tai caught that long ball. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that,” Owens said. “Rat stood back there and threw it deep. He gave us a chance. That’s all you can ever ask for as a receiver. The receivers are frustrated. We want to win. Just give us an opportunity.”

Does that means Rattay gives the team a better chance?

“All the quarterbacks can throw deep,” Owens replied. “It’s all about timing. Whoever is going to throw it, I’m going to catch it. I have that ability.”

It didn’t matter what player Minnesota turned to, whether it was Moss or running backs Moe Williams and Onterrio Smith. The Vikings converted five of 10 third-down opportunities and scored touchdowns on all three trips into the red zone.

“Nobody played very well, from me to anybody who was along that sideline,” said 49ers Coach Dennis Erickson, who fell to 32-36 as an NFL coach. “We didn’t play very well, and we didn’t coach very well.”

The Vikings sucked the drama out of the game within minutes. On their first possession, Moss soared above Plummer in the right corner of the end zone for a 15-yard scoring catch. Moss didn’t practice all week because of back spasms, but he celebrated _ injury and all _ by leaping into the first row of stands behind the goal line. Call it the Lumbar Leap.

There was more, in a hurry, as Smith added a 5-yard touchdown on a drive that started after Garcia threw an interception.The rout was on, and the trail led to another messy postgame scene for the 49ers.

“One-and-three,” right tackle Scott Gragg said in a quiet locker room. “Obviously, our expectations are higher than that.”

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Lies the Media Told About Terrell Owens

Ah, the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It’s a place controlled by sportswriters, who have 100% say in who is and is not inducted.

You know, sportswriters. The same people who lied about Terrell Owens since September 24th, 2000, when he infamously celebrated two touchdowns by posing on the Dallas Cowboys’ logo.

owensonstar

That was when they decided he was a villain, despite them previously never having written a single bad thing about him.

They made you forget all about that, though. Now they tell you the problem with him is he was a bad teammate, despite his actual former teammates saying they’re full of shit.

Now they tell you the problem is he “divided locker rooms,” despite the fact that they had never even used the phrase, “dividing locker rooms,” to refer to Terrell Owens, before 2005, which was Owens’s 10th season in the NFL. If you don’t believe me, go to the Google archives. Go to highbeamresearch. Try to prove me wrong. Find a single reference – written before the year 2005 – to Owens dividing a locker room.

You won’t, because it never existed.

Here’s the reality hardly anybody is aware of: The media made up the narrative of Owens being a bad teammate to justify continuing to vilify him after they had already decided he was a bad teammate because of his touchdown celebrations against the Cowboys.

Reminder: Owens’s coach at the time, Steve Mariucci, suspended him for these celebrations.

Once the media identifies a villainous target, they put said target under a microscope. They start reporting on normal etiquette and telling you it’s egregious behavior. They start twisting diplomatic answers to their questions into “outspoken” statements, using words such as “hinted,” “implied,” “intimated,” and “suggested.” And when they do get so much as a tame critical remark about somebody, you’re sure to see words such as, “blasted” and “ripped.”

And of course, the ultimate double standard: If somebody says something bad about them, they’re the bad guy. If they say something bad about somebody else…they’re the bad guy for saying something bad about somebody else.

And it’s OK for a player to bring up publicly discussed “locker room issues” surrounding Terrell Owens. It is not OK, however, for Terrell Owens to bring up publicly discussed criminal issues for other players, such as Ray Lewis and Marvin Harrison.

So in honor of Owens’s upcoming Hall of Fame induction, here is a list of all the things the media lied about regarding Terrell Owens.

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Lies the Media Told About Terrell Owens

They lied about Owens accusing Mariucci of throwing the game against the Bears in 2001 because of his friendship with Dick Jauron. Here’s what Owens actually said.

They lied about Owens hinting at a quarterback change from Garcia to Rattay. In actuality, Owens gave a diplomatic answer when he was asked about that possibility.

They lied about Owens’s outburst on the sidelines against the Vikings in 2003 being newsworthy for any reason other than the fact that he was one of their villains. Let Troy Aikman tell you. Let Mike Martz tell you. Let the archives mentioning various players caught on camera doing the same thing tell you. Let this reaction to Jerry Rice (contrasted from Terrell Owens) tell you.

They lied about Owens calling “his quarterback,” Jeff Garcia, gay in an interview with Playboy. The interview in question was in the summer of 2004, when Garcia was on the Browns and Owens was on the Eagles. They were not teammates anymore at the time of this interview. Moreover, as noted in this article, Owens clarified the day after it hit the press that he wasn’t saying Garcia was gay and didn’t know whether Garcia was gay or not.

They lied about Owens accusing Donovan McNabb of getting tired/throwing up in the Super Bowl. That was Hank Fraley and Freddie Mitchell (and Jon Runyan). Owens only made a reference to this story (without mentioning McNabb by name) in an interview with ESPN.coms Len Pasquarelli, when he was taking a shot at the media for criticizing him before the Super Bowl for trying to play, saying his physical conditioning wouldn’t be up to par (which is what Pasquarelli was asking him about). He was pointing out the irony of the fact that after questioning Owens’s physical conditioning, they were now talking about how it was another player who got tired.

They lied about the context of Owens saying the Eagles would be better off with Brett Favre than Donovan McNabb at quarterback, failing to mention he was answering a follow up question (regarding a claim made by Michael Irvin about Favre in place of McNabb) after he had just said that the Eagles would be better off if McNabb weren’t playing injured.

They lied about Owens “destroying” the Eagles in 2005. The Eagles were 4-3 with Owens on the team, and 2-7 without. Now, to any logical person, that proves Owens wasn’t the problem. Oh, but wait. The media being what it is, they use this to try to prove that Owens “destroyed” the Eagles, because he “destroyed” their locker room. But what do you think would have happened had the Eagles been successful after Owens was suspended? Oh, I think I know. Call it a hunch, but I think they would have said, “the fact that the Eagles won after suspending Terrell Owens tells you everything you need to know.” And so the circular logic that we have proof that Terrell Owens is the problem because we know that Terrell Owens is the problem is in tact. And of course, they want you to forget the fact that Donovan McNabb was playing injured and would have season ending surgery 2 weeks after Owens was suspended. You know why? Because that fact isn’t good for their “T.O. destroyed the 2005 Eagles” narrative.

They lied about Terrell Owens accusing Tony Romo and Jason Witten of drawing up secret plays, when Owens never said that – that was Ed Werder citing an anonymous source “who speaks regularly with Owens’s teammates” (hint: the media speaks regularly with Owens’s teammates; Werder was citing a member of the media talking out his ass…perhaps he was even citing himself) and they lied about the meeting with the team’s offensive coordinator being newsworthy for any reason other than the fact that it was one of their villains who was doing it.

They lied about the 49ers being among the teams who “couldn’t wait to get rid of Terrell Owens.” The 49ers discussed extending Owens’s contract before the 2003 season (which was his 8th season with the team) and couldn’t come to terms. Then, experiencing salary cap problems, they gutted their whole roster in the 2004 off-season, cutting Garcia, Garrison Hearst, Derrick Deese, and Ron Stone, and letting Tai Streets and Jed Weaver leave uncontested via free agency (in total, 7 offensive starters departed that off-season). Meanwhile, they had been expecting Owens to leave via free agency, only for Owens’s agent to miss the new deadline to file the paperwork. Unable to afford Owens’s contract (and with Owens seeking to leave), they traded him to the Ravens for a 2nd round pick (which was later undone after Owens filed a grievance and the Eagles, 49ers, and Ravens worked out a 3 team settlement).

They lied about the Eagles getting rid of Owens for “locker room problems.” In actuality, Andy Reid told Owens he could remain on the team and not be suspended so long as he apologized publicly to the organization for criticizing them for not acknowledging his 100th touchdown reception, privately to Donovan McNabb for the out-of-context quote played on ESPN in the Graham Bensinger interview, and privately to the team for that same interview. It was only when he refused that Andy Reid moved to suspend and deactivate him, citing insubordination. This, of course, was also in the context of a contract dispute, and players don’t last long on the Eagles in those situations, anyway. Ask Duce Staley. Ask Jeremiah Trotter. Ask Sheldon Brown. Ask Corey Simon.

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Donovan McNabb’s Problem With What He Thought Owens Said

Aside from the fact that Owens’s reply to Graham Bensinger’s question about the Eagles being undefeated with Brett Favre was taken completely out of context, and was actually not intended as a shot at McNabb at all, it’s funny to note how McNabb said that what actually bothered him about what he thought Owens said was the race of the other quarterback being named.

“In that situation, it was kinda like, ‘That’s unreal.’ That’s just like me saying, ‘If we had Steve Largent, if we had Joe Jurevicius, we’d be undefeated. He’ll now have to answer the question for the whole week about me saying it.”

McNabb’s selection of two white receivers was not by accident. He took Owens’ choice of Favre as disrespectful to McNabb as an African-American quarterback.

“It was definitely a slap in the face to me. Because as deep as people won’t go into it, it was [a] black-on-black crime. I mean, you have a guy that has been criticized just about all his career and now the last criticism is that I’m selling out because I don’t run anymore, by an African-American [J. Whyatt Mondesire, the NAACP chapter president who ripped McNabb in a column that appeared in the Philadelphia Sun].

“And to say if we had Brett Favre, that could mean that if you had another quarterback of a different descent or ethnic background, we could be winning. That’s something I thought about and said, ‘Wow.’ It’s different to say if we had Michael VickDaunte CulpepperSteve McNairAaron BrooksByron Leftwich. But to go straight to Brett Favre, that slapped me in the face, like what I’ve done and what I set out to do”

(http://www.espn.com/nfl/news/story?id=2315565)

Of course, it wasn’t even Owens who chose Brett Favre as the potential replacement; it was Michael Irvin. And then Bensinger asked Owens about Irvin’s statement.

But here’s Donovan McNabb himself saying that what bothered him about the statement was that Favre is white. He then gave examples of quarterbacks he would have been more OK with being mentioned as replacements in the hypothetical scenario Owens was asked about: Black quarterbacks.

So while media and fans alike go on about why the thing Owens didn’t say in the way the media claimed was so hurtful to McNabb, McNabb himself doesn’t even view it that way. McNabb was upset because McNabb is racist, and assumes that racism is the only reason anyone could ever think a white quarterback is better than him.

Also, the fact that this ESPN article refers to it as “Owens’s choice of Favre” tells you everything you need to know about fact checking in sports media.

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“Why didn’t Owens stick with one team?”

When it comes to Terrell Owens, people love to blindly regurgitate idiotic narratives. One such narrative is where they just pretend they don’t know anything about professional sports and go, “if Terrell Owens wasn’t a horrible teammate/team cancer, why didn’t he stick with a team?”

Apparently these people have never heard of free agency, the salary cap, rebuilding, and playing out your contract.

Apparently these people think that the only reason a team wouldn’t keep a player around indefinitely is, “team cancer.”

Hey, the sports talking heads told them so.

It’s interesting to note how Randy Moss also played for 5 different teams. His career followed a very similar trajectory to that of Owens. 7 years with his first team (Vikings) to Owens’s 8 (49ers). 2 years with his next team prior to being traded for a 4th round pick (Raiders) to Owens’s 1.5 & deactivation (Eagles). 3 years and a few games with his next team (Patriots) to Owens’s 3 years with his next (Cowboys). And Moss ended up playing for 3 different teams in the same season after the Patriots traded him, also playing for both Minnesota (again) and Tennessee that year. If we counted the two Minnesota stints as separate teams, he actually played for 6 different teams. And then he retired and returned a year later to play one season for the 49ers. Owens played a year with the Bills and then a year with the Bengals. He was then out of the NFL for a year, given a tryout with the Seahawks the following year, but was cut in preseason when he didn’t make the team.

You have to wonder if that was part of the reason Owens was voted into the Hall of Fame this year. The same people who were so militant about keeping Owens out would have had a helluva time trying to argue, “b-b-b-but, Randy Moss is different!” Their whole argument hinged on, “teams ‘got rid of’ him!”

But of course, that’s not even how it actually happened. Most of this is revisionist history.

Let’s just start with the Bills and Bengals, since this is just silly.

Owens only signed 1 year contracts with those two teams. He finished the year with both teams, and then hit free agency. At ages 36 and 37 (when receivers are considered well past their prime and of retirement age). With the Bills, his numbers were terrible, and the next season, new head coach Chan Gailey publicly stated that in reviewing the film, he thought Owens was getting close to “hitting the wall.” The Bills were a young team looking to build for the future. There was no reason to bring back a receiver whom they thought was a declining veteran nearing the end and take playing time away from their young guys.

With the Bengals, Owens tore his meniscus late in the year and had to have surgery. He then tore his ACL in the off-season and wouldn’t have even been ready for the start of the season. Plus, Carson Palmer had retired. The Bengals were rebuilding on offense. A 37-year-old coming off knee surgery doesn’t exactly fit in the plans.

But people usually just throw in the last two teams for the hell of it; just for the sake of lazy thinking. It’s the first three where they think they actually know something.

The San Francisco thing is hilarious revisionist history, however. That revisionist history began after the Eagles suspended and deactivated him. Nobody was saying the 49ers were getting rid of him for “locker room” reasons in 2004. You know why? Because the 49ers weren’t even trying to get rid of him. They didn’t even have an actual locker room to be concerned about.  They had gutted the whole team that off-season, which included cutting their starting quarterback. And not only that, but the 49ers actually released Jeff Garcia before they traded Owens.The 49ers also cut Garrison Hearst, Derrick Deese, and Ron Stone, and let Tai Streets and Jed Weaver leave via free agency. In total, that’s 7 offensive starters who departed. They weren’t actually trying to field a competitive roster for 2004. They were trying to clear salary cap space, get rid of aging veterans, and start over. They were in complete rebuilding mode; the general consensus was they were a candidate for the #1 overall pick the following year. And that’s exactly what happened. They went 2-14 in 2004-05.

And part of that rebuilding mode plan was the expectation that Owens would void his contract and go elsewhere for more money. In the summer of 2003, GM Terry Donahue had met with Owens’ agent, David Joseph, to discuss a contract extension. They were unable to come to terms. The 49ers weren’t willing to pay him what he was looking for.

But then Owens’s agent missed the deadline to submit the paperwork to file for free agency. This meant Owens remained under contract with the 49ers. This did not fit in with the 49ers’ 2004 salary cap projections, and Owens had made it clear he wanted to leave. He requested and was granted a trade. To the Ravens. After having been told the Eagles were interested and he could start negotiating a new contract with them.

This led to him filing a grievance and, eventually, the 49ers, Eagles, and Ravens working out a 3-team settlement to send Owens to the Eagles.

Not only did the 49ers not get rid of him for “locker room” reasons in 2003, but they had already re-signed him once. He had become a restricted free agent after the 1998 season. The 49ers put the franchise tag on him and eventually signed him to a lucrative new contract. That’s why he played 8 years for San Francisco…or the same number of years Reggie White played for the Eagles (1985-1992). Obviously, the Eagles just couldn’t wait to get rid of White (for him to leave via free agency).

But then Owens moved on to play for the same team White spent 8 years playing for. Here is the one time where a team did actually get rid of him for perceived problems, but not in the way in which the media claims.

The main issue for Owens and the Eagles in 2005 was Owens’s public discontent with his contract. He had asked to renegotiate. And the Eagles don’t allow that.

Just ask Corey Simon. Ask Jeremiah Trotter. Ask Duce Staley. Ask Sheldon Brown.

During the years of that regime, no Eagles player who publicly made it known he was unhappy with his contract ever continued playing for them beyond the upcoming season.

So Owens’s days heading into that 2005 season were already numbered. That was going to be his last season no matter what.

When the media took Owens’s answer to Graham Bensinger’s question about Brett Favre completely out of context, Andy Reid stipulated that Owens talk to McNabb in person and stand up in front of the team and apologize for it. Reid told Owens that as long as he did this, he would avoid suspension. It was only when Owens refused to do it that the Eagles moved to suspend and deactivate him for the rest of the season.

In other words, the Eagles didn’t cut Owens’s last season in Philadelphia short because “locker room cancer.” They cut it short for insubordination. They had also made him apologize for criticizing the front office for not acknowledging his 100th touchdown celebration. He upset the front office, and the media upset Donovan McNabb by making him think that Owens had taken a shot at him (he hadn’t).

The media also wants you to forget that the 2005 Eagles were 4-3 with Owens, and McNabb was playing with a sports hernia injury that would end his season 2 weeks later. They went 2-7 after deactivating Owens. So much for, “Owens destroyed the team.”

Finally, we move on to Dallas. I think this picture says most of it:

https://imgur.com/a/LVWjNHt

What is checked as the reason for his release: On field performance.

What is not checked as the reason for his release: Conduct.

Somebody forgot to tell Owens that they were cutting him because he’s a team cancer.

Maybe they were cutting him because he was 35, rather than in the prime of his career, as numerous Owens critics like to pretend he was. Maybe it was a combination of that and the fact he was coming off a down year, with just 69 catches for 1052 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maybe it was both of those as well as the fact that during the 2008 regular season while Owens wasn’t producing, the Cowboys had traded 1st and 3rd round draft picks for wide receiver Roy Williams, and given him a new contract paying him #1 receiver money.

Of course, there were extenuating circumstances for Owens’s decreased production. Tony Romo missed 3 games with a hand injury and 40-year-old Brad Johnson was absolutely atrocious filling in. And when Romo returned, he was never really at full strength.

But that was their evaluation, not mine. And it was an evaluation that was shared by Chan Gailey and the Bills a year later, as noted earlier.

 

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