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: Jan 5, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:07 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Carson only has 1 more season then little ben. also carson gets to start the season with his team. Wow squeeler nation cant live with the fact that they lost TWICE to cincinnati last year.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:02 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

I'm betting T.O. and the Bengals win more games than McPuke and the Skins. Isn't that what this is all about anyhow? Nobody in the media really cared when Owens ripped Garcia. Be truthful. Nobody in the media really cared when Owens dissed Romo, since he was merely doing their own work for them. They rip Romo on a daily basis. However, the media wailed and moaned when Owens called McNabb out, and they are still wailing to this very day. That is Owens true crime, and the only one the media cares about. Owens, who has never come close to a brush with the law, or been near a strip joint, or even participated in a double homicide, was villified forever by the media because he dared to criticize McNabb. That's it folks. The media will chase Owens to his grave over McNabb and will never let it go, desperate to prove he was wrong about McNabb. And why? Because Owens spoke the truth and it hurt? Because Owens was the only guy on earth not afraid to criticize a black quarterback, and McNabb happened to be the great black hope at the time? Isn't that what all this is really about? Why won't somebody in the media stand up and have the guts to say what it is about Owens that really grinds their gears? Don't hold your breath. It isn't going to happen. Instead, they will take shots at Owens for minor things, and critcize every step he takes, and every breath he takes. It's OK. Most of us understand what's really driving the Hate T.O. bandwagon.

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: July 27, 2010 9:40 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

The real question becomes what happens if:

1) T.O. doesn't beat out Bryant and is told he's the #3 receiver?

2) Palmer gets hurt and T.O. is left catching passes from J.T. O'Sullivan?

3) He gets leveled a few too many times by Polamalu, Ed Reed, etc. while being asked to block for running plays?

Having said all that, I really don't know if this is a good or bad thing.  I think having to play for the Bills last year (and that's not a knock on the Bills... it's just the point that he had no other choices but to play for a losing team in a tiny market) may have forced him to the realization that his career is almost over.  He has to know that he only has a couple shots left at a championship, and can't afford to blow them.

Plus, Owens' arrival likely means one of the other WR's will be pushed out the door... probably Matt Jones who seems to be around 6th or 7th on the list currently.  So you're taking on personality issues for off-field issues, and increasing the talent level in the exchange.

Since: Jul 28, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2010 9:19 pm

Not the Issue!

When it come down to it, the signing of T.O. does not rid them of thier major concern...    Carson's health. Let's face it, he's no Spring chicken. He's a banged-up Autumn chicken, maybe early Winter. The Bengals have nothing on the depth chart behind him. If the O-line can't keep him on the field, T.O. - Ocho means Zero.

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2010 8:56 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

I think there are more factors in play here-
#1-No one is doubting T.O. has lost a step. He was a ghost in the league last year and whether it is more Buffalo or T.O.'s fault, the reality is that it's not the same T.O. That would humble most men, and there is no reason not to believe it has done the same to T.O.
#2-It's Cincinnati. Any other franchise might be more of a concern, but the norm for outrageous behavior in Cincy is normal by T.O. standards. There is a culture of "been there, done that" in this locker room.
#3- Ochocinco is the man here and T.O. respects him. This gives some credibility to the idea that T.O. will fit instead of rock the boat. Maybe it will be like Lebron joining Wade(although add 10 years). These guys will want to be together.
#4-No one else wanted him. Cincy is the city of second chances and there is some built-in gratitude for that.

T.O.'s track record speaks for itself and at the end of the season we might be looking back and saying it's the same old T.O. I think there are enough reasons though to make one think it will be different.

Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2010 8:54 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

Over the last five years, haven't the Bengals become a haven for the criminals and other assorted malcontents?  Antonio Bryant, Ocho, and T.O. - you've gotta be kidding me!  At least Jerry Jones' circus in Dallas always has a talent element.  The Bungles stink on defense and now have a bunch of has been's and never was's on the offensive side.  Goodbye Marvin Lewis!

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: July 27, 2010 8:28 pm

First T.O., then the collateral damage

And how is it they both need each other?  Look I can handle one f'up family member but 2?  Crash and burn I say.

Since: Oct 29, 2008
Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:59 pm


What everyone seems to forget is that TO and Ochocinco are good buddies. TO was even on Ochocinco's reality TV show as one of his close advisors.

I think this is the best possible situation for everyone involved. TO gets to go to a team where he doesn't have to be the star and he'll be able to have a good time. The Bengals get a guy who can stretch the field, which will create openings for Gresham, Ochocinco and Lewis' favorite: the running game.

As for Carson Palmer, he handles Ochocinco fine. Why not TO too? Prisco said it best. TO and Ochocinoc are both hard workers who want to win. They get that they need each other to succeed, they like each other, and TO will learn from Ochocinco's respect for Palmer.

Plus, there should be some freakin awesome touchdown celebrations :)

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