Blog Entry

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:34 pm

So the Cincinnati Bengals sign Terrell Owens, and people want to know who gets the first get-well card. I'd suggest Marvin Lewis, followed by Carson Palmer.

Trust me, it's a close call.

It's not only that Lewis will have to deal with the inevitable disruptions that come with hiring Owens; it's that he'll must deal with Chad Ochocinco, too, if and when he complains that not enough passes are coming to him. I mean, you add Owens to a mix that already includes Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant.Tell me how you keep all of them happy campers. My guess? You don't.

Now I know what you're thinking: Owens wasn't a disruption last year in Buffalo. In fact, we barely heard a peep from the guy. But that's because we barely heard a peep from the Bills. They stunk, and Owens was a non-factor. The Bills aren't exactly a high-profile team, and when Owens went there I thought he might fade into oblivion if the Bills faded. As it turns out, he did.

But now he has an opportunity for lights, camera, T.O., again, and pity the poor souls who get in his way. The head coach is first in line because Owens has demonstrated over and over again he cares more about himself than he does his head coach, and if you don't believe me ask Andy Reid. Or Steve Mariucci. They put up with him until they could not, which didn't take long -- with Reid sitting him down midway through his second season in Philadelphia.

When the season was over he let Owens walk, which tells you how much Philadelphia valued him. It didn't.

But the quarterback will be in Owens' line of fire, too, and I feel for Carson Palmer when Owens thinks he's not included in Carson's party. Too many times he's complained about not getting the football, and too many times he savaged the quarterbacks who made him famous -- trashing Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo. Pardon me, but weren't all these guys Pro Bowlers? 

If Owens is smart he'll shut up and play as he did in Buffalo. Cincinnati needs playmakers to take the load off Ochocinco, and Owens will give you glimpses. He turns 37 this season, and he's not the receiver who regularly pulled down a zillion passes, produced over 1,000 yards in catches and had double-digit touchdowns. But he can be a receiver who is better than what the Bengals had to go along with Ochocinco last season, which, basically, was next to nothing.

Of course, that is if he decides to be a team player. He can be, and he has been. But he's not someone you can trust. He's a volcano waiting to erupt, and there's no telling what or who will push him over the edge. Frankly, he wears me out, and I don't live in the same locker room with him. The guys who do? I wouldn't trade places with them. If they're not listening to him pontificate, they're asked about something he did or did not do to drew attention to him. That gets old.

Look, the problem here is that it's not just T.O.; it's T.O. in Cincinnati where you have two guys cut from the same mold. Ochocinco likes the spotlight as much as Owens, and he'll do anything ... and I mean anything ... to get it. So you have two guys playing the same position, demanding one football and playing to one camera, and that sure sounds like trouble waiting to happen -- with Lewis and Palmer the first casualties.

For their sake I hope I'm wrong.

Category: NFL

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2010 6:50 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

I think everyone is underestimating the mental stability of both Coach Lewis, Carson Palmer and the Bengals organization as a whole. These guys have dealt with more than this situation can contribute. Has anyone noticed  since TO and Ochocinco have had their realtiy shows that there are less outbursts. They have another outlet for self promorion other than the football field. One last thing, nobody trains harder than these two. Look at their upper bodies ..... With shirts off they make Anquan Boldin, and D Mason look like the michelin man and a scare crow.

Since: Jun 20, 2009
Posted on: July 30, 2010 3:27 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

How can they only go 2-6 at best on that away schedule?  Carolina and Cleveland can certainly be beaten by the Bengals.  Then they'll probably lose to NE, IND, and NYJ for sure, and go 1-2 or 2-1 against ATL, PIT, and BAL.  That's 3-5 or 4-4, and going 3-5 on the road against that schedule should give them a decent chance for the wild card spot.

I'm not saying it's a given that they contend for the wild card, I'm just saying we shouldn't count them out now that secondaries actually have to respect their passing game.  And the Ravens' and Steelers' secondaries are definitely suffering, with the exception of Polamalu (Reed is good but they probably won't get a full season out of him).

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:27 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Fyzer: Stink on defense?  They finished 4th in the league.  Do you know anything about he Bengals?  Obviously not!

Yes, we know about the Bengals. 

They had an a surprisingly good year last year which means they are due to fold for the next 3-4 years.  Bengals fans are talking about "last year's number 4 defense" as if it's a guarantee this year... as if it's been getting better every season as is prepared to lead the league this year.  Next thing you know, they'll be talking about the glory of their past Super Bowl appearances.

Last year, the Bengals got to feast on an easy schedule against a weak NFC division and the lighter half of the AFC opponents.  The Steelers and Ravens had down seasons (yes, winning seasons are considered down seasons).  Do Bengals fans really think that is going to repeat?  Really?  This season you get a division winners schedule.  It's what makes repeating so difficult.  Good luck with that.

@ NE, @ CAR, @ CLE, @ ATL, @ IND, @ NYJ, @ PIT, @ BAL.... hmmm 2-6 at best?  Then Cincy hosts "pushovers" PIT, BAL, NO, MIA, SD.

I see a 6-10, maybe a 7-9 season at best.

The question was, "Do you know anything about the Bengals?"

Well, on October 3rd, if the Bengals aren't going into Cleveland with a "must-win" situation to avoid the division basement, look me up and remind me of this post.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:54 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

heitert3:   He has to know that he only has a couple shots left at a championship, and can't afford to blow them.

You make it sound like he was choosing between a number of suitors and he chose the one the had the best chance at a title.  This would only be true if the Lions, Chiefs, Browns and Bengals lined up.

If he were chasing a title, he wouldn't have picked the Bengals.  The Bengals chose him.  He's been whining for weeks that nobody loves him.  Nobody wanted him!

I agree it's unknown whether it's a good thing or a bad thing.  Based on history, the Bengals will be 2-to-4 games behind the division leader at the halfway point and he'll become a major issue in the locker room.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:20 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Stink on defense?  They finished 4th in the league.  Do you know anything about he Bengals?  Obviously not!

Since: Jul 15, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 1:53 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

In addition to your comments above, Ocho could care less if he is not producing big time stats if the Bengals are winning.  If you ever watch him play and someone else scores, he's the first one celebrating.  This whole "not enough mouths to feed" issue is a non-issue with these guys.

Since: Aug 10, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 1:19 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

excellant point

Since: Aug 10, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 1:14 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Are you kidding me? The Bengals are on the verge of having an elite defence. Stupid comment Bro!

Since: Nov 12, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:59 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

iggle65 you must have the Bengals confused with another team. The Bengals YOUNG defense finished 4th last year and dominated some good teams. I know your problem and it's that you realize the Eagles have no chance of doing anything this year. Sorry about your luck, I guess you won't be watching the SB because you hate TO.

Since: Jan 30, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 11:51 am

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Vive_Lebron you nailed it on this one.

TO and Ochocinco are best friends. They have a mutual respect for each other. That should keep their fighting to a minimum. And if they aren't fighting, then the Bengals just got a solid receiver that can provide another threat for them.

Yes, both TO and Ochocinco love the spotlight, and love having the ball, but I think their mutual respect for each other will allow this situation to work. And if they get the offense going, and the defense remains tough, the Bengals may really be tough in the AFC.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or