Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said it back in June, months before the Seahawks gave Terrell Owens another shot at playing in the NFL. And now that Seattle has parted ways with T.O., Pete Carroll is saying it too: the 38-year-old wide receiver can still play.
More than that, the Seahawks coach said the decision to release Owens had nothing to do with reports the mercurial receiver had reverted to his locker-room-dividing ways.
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"Anybody that thinks he had an attitude around here or something like that got in the way is wrong," Carroll said according to NFL.com. "They don't know what they're talking about. This guy was great. He did everything we wanted him to do. He practiced hard, he studied hard, he asked questions, he worked hard in the games. He did everything. He was terrific."
One thing T.O. didn't do: hold onto the ball. He struggled with drops in two preseason games but still showed the ability to create separation, a skill that can't be undervalued in today's NFL. And perhaps this explains why Carroll is so optimistic about Owens' future.
"He's got the competitive makeup to do it, he's physically beautifully fit for a guy of his years, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't wind up in somebody's camp and playing for somebody," he said.
The next question, of course: so who might want T.O. now? The Jets and Dolphins are the obvious choices, though New York is reportedly not interested (apparently, dumping Wayne Hunter will magically fix everything). And Miami general manager Jeff Ireland, just weeks removed from the months-long Chad Johnson era in South Beach, offered a tepid "probably not" when asked about Owens.
So for now, T.O. waits.
Carroll said the Seahawks decided to go in another direction because the younger receivers on the roster better suited the offense. But he added he "wouldn't hesitate" to re-sign Owens later in the season should the circumstances dictate it. And that might be T.O.'s next best chance for a shot at NFL redemption.
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