|Today was the first day of the rest of T.O.'s NFL life. (AP)|
Terrell Owens' first practice with the Seattle Seahawks is in the books and he admitted afterwards that "I'm a little rusty, but obviously it's about competing and I'm here to compete for the job." And even though T.O. spent 15 years in the NFL, he still got his "This ain't the IFL" reintroduction to the league courtesy of cornerback Brandon Browner.
Brandon Browner just threw Terrell Owens to the GROUND in practice— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynESPN) August 8, 2012
After practice, Owens said all the right things, which must provide some comfort to those afraid that he would show up and immediately destroy the locker room. He talked about being "part of something rather than being the center of something," adding, "I think a lot of people don't probably expect me to use that word humble but there have been a lot of moments over the last three years ... that have had me face and use that word.
"I don't want to sit up here and try to emphasis how much I've changed," he continued. "You'll see that as these day go ... It's more about doing than talking about it."
And that's the bottom line: this won't be much of a redemption story if a now-humble Owens doesn't make the 53-man roster. Ideally, he'd be a good teammate and a capable wide receiver.
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So why did the Seahawks sign the 38-year-old Owens, who last played in the NFL in December 2010? They released veteran Mike Williams earlier this offseason, did the same with Antonio Bryant last week, and don't have much experience at the position. Behind Rice, who has played in just 15 games the last two seasons, there's Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu.
"The chance to get Terrell is based on a number of things. I've known him for a long time, I was there when he came into San Francisco, and I've known him throughout the years and all he has been through," coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday according to Yahoo.com's Doug Farrar. "I saw him at the start as a young man trying to make the club, right now he is extremely hungry and humble and determined to end his career on a good note, and he wants to be a part of a team and play football."
Seahawks linebacker coach Ken Norton, who played with Owens in San Francisco, offered another perspective.
"T.O. was extremely hard-working and very focused," Norton told Farrar when speaking of Owens' early NFL career. "He had a good surrounding of veterans -- Jerry Rice, Brent Jones, Steve Young -- all these guys around him, and he really did a great job of learning how to be a pro. I was very impressed with him early on. The things I watched him do in those first five years really impressed me -- his work ethic, and his ability to be around Jerry Rice all the time. Jerry Rice was always coming to practice early and leaving late, and Terrell was right with him the whole time. He has a good upbringing. "When you look at his numbers, he produces. And that's what we're expecting to get."
Considering that T.O. is also playing for close to the league minimum it's pretty much a no-risk signing. If it works out, great. If not, Carroll can cut bait and move on. So far, so good.
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