Published October 28, 2011
| Sports Network
Late comedian Greg Giraldo once joked that being attracted to women was difficult, because every 10 years he had to give all of his stuff away and start from scratch.
Teams that once had Terrell Owens as an employee can relate, as all had at one time ogled over the physical specimen before his erratic behavior later spoiled the sanctity of the relationship. There's no question the wide receiver's perception pulled a 180-degree turn during his time as a member of the Bengals and Bills, and now Owens is on the rebound looking for another chance to solidify his Hall of Fame credentials.
Conceivably impervious to his prior convictions of being a locker-room cancer or a bad teammate, Owens has yet to catch on with a team this season in large part because of a torn ACL he suffered in the spring. Not all men are created equal, however, and Owens has been blessed with the gift of quick healing. Sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber aids in the recovering process, a procedure the 6-3, 225-pound Owens has been practicing for several years.
Like Tyra Banks in her prime on the runway, Owens let it all hang out in his recent ploy to attract possible suitors for the remainder of the 2011 NFL season, holding a workout in Calabasas, CA on Tuesday. He easily proved he maintained his chiseled structure and kept in shape while rehabbing his balky knee in front of several television cameras and of course, agent Drew Rosenhaus. The onetime star of his own reality show on VH1,
Owens made strong cuts and caught several passes during the sideshow, but the question remains on how the knee reacted to the twists and turns. Is there swelling? Soreness? Those are areas of concern for a team that wants to take a gamble on a 37-year-old just a few months removed from major surgery.
There were no NFL scouts on hand to watch Owens, while Rosenhaus' cell phone never made a peep. Owens still said it only takes one team to show interest and felt very comfortable that he'll playing in the NFL again this year. His agent, brazen as he may be, has also been on top of his lobbying game for the six-time Pro Bowl selection, who had 72 receptions for 983 yards and nine touchdowns last season with Cincinnati and is second all-time with 15,934 receiving yards, behind only the great Jerry Rice.
Owens did get an offer from the Chicago Rush of the Arena League, which Rosenhaus deemed as "absurd" and reiterated how Owens will only be playing in the NFL.
It's understandable if some of Owens' former teams and maybe a few others that would have interest are wary of his past issues re-surfacing once he gets settled in. Not judging a book by its cover has haunted such clubs as the 49ers, Eagles and Cowboys in the past, but trying not to bite the bullet on such a talented player is also a quandary for general managers in the market to improve their receiving corps. One would have to believe Owens can still play not because he can pass The President's Challenge, but because of his conviction to prove any doubters wrong.
Michael Vick affirmed second chances are deserving for those willing to embrace them, and Owens wants his. The veteran receiver should get a shot to catch on with an NFL team and has plenty to teach from his years of success.
Several clubs have been tossed around as possible destinations for Owens, including Tennessee, Oakland, Chicago and even San Francisco. Former teammate and one-time Bengals franchise quarterback Carson Palmer is now with the Raiders after a blockbuster deal a few weeks ago, and was asked about the idea of re-uniting with Owens.
"We have a stable of young horses that can run and guys that can just move," Palmer told radio station KGMZ. "Very young, very inexperienced, but tons of potential, and it's tough to give up a young guy with a lot of potential for a guy that's got a lot of history in the league that's in his late 30s. So I can't see [Owens] coming here, but I had a good time playing with him and he's an explosive player himself."
There's no question Owens is a competitor and can still create problems for any defensive backfield. Even if he's lost a half-step, defensive backs must be aware of Owens on the field at all times or it could be 2004 all over again, when he almost helped the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title. His presence alone would also open opportunities for others on offense.
Owens still has his detractors, but that's too bad for them, because he'll be back in the league again soon.
So get your popcorn ready.
REDSKINS LICKING THEIR WOUNDS
They're all nicked up, and some of that group are out for the season because of injuries for a suddenly-struggling Washington Redskins squad.
Hightower has to be the biggest blow and is done for the year -- his first in Washington -- with a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in last Sunday's 33-20 loss at Carolina. He was slowed by a shoulder injury the previous week versus Philadelphia and did not play in the 20-13 setback. Hightower, who had 88 yards on 17 carries against the Panthers, was having a strong season, save for games at Dallas and St. Louis in which he compiled 65 total yards over the course of both.
"Tim has handled himself extremely well," Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said. "He played very well in this [last] game coming back from the shoulder injury. He was ready to play and he was playing well, so it's always tough to lose a player that leads both on and off the football field."
The Redskins will also miss Hightower's smarts on blitz pickup and are down to Ryan Torain and rookie Roy Helu occupying the backfield. The team also has Penn State's all-time leading rusher Evan Royster on the practice squad and could promote the rookie if another injury occurs.
For now, Torain will handle the load and said he is ready to "go out there and run hard, like I always do."
Meanwhile, Cooley was placed on injured reserve with a fractured finger and was also bothered by a knee ailment during the season. The fan favorite underwent surgery on his hand a few weeks ago and registered only 65 yards on eight catches in five games this season.
Fred Davis had taken over the tight end spot at season's start and leads the Redskins in receptions (28) and receiving yards (423). Davis is also tied with Moss for the team lead in touchdown catches with two so far. Moss is expected to miss five-to-seven weeks with a fractured hand sustained against the Panthers and is Washington's top deep threat.
Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, Donte Stallworth and Niles Paul will all share passes from quarterbacks John Beck or Rex Grossman, depending on who Shanahan deems fit to play under center that week. Grossman certainly isn't right now, as he was just released from the hospital after a bout with pneumonia. He was diagnosed with the illness before the Carolina game and did not leave the locker room. Beck will make his second straight start this week after taking the job from Grossman after the loss to Philadelphia.
Austin played quarterback in high school and could have been used if Beck went down last week.
Washington's second-leading tackler Fletcher is nursing a pulled hamstring and his availability for this week's game against Buffalo in Toronto is in doubt. Fletcher has been a model of consistency in his career, having started 169 consecutive games, second-most among active players behind Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber. He has also played in 214 games in a row, which is tied with Barber for most in the league, and posted 100 or more tackles in 13 straight seasons.
"You know, I'm hopeful to be able to play," Fletcher said. "I'm just getting treatment every day. It's a long way between now and Sunday."
The Redskins, who are 3-3 and tied for second in the NFC East, could switch their linebackers this week if Fletcher is unable to go or give more time to veteran reserve Keyaron Fox on the inside. Rocky McIntosh and Brian Orakpo may also have to move around until Fletcher is 100 percent.
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is currently dealing with a hip injury as well and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe has a knee issue. Both defensive backs should be ready for Sunday's game, however, and could lend a hand to a run defense which allowed 196 yards to the Eagles and 175 to the Panthers. The Redskins fell from sixth in the NFL in run defense to 17th after that rough two-week stretch and are now allowing 117.5 rushing yards a contest for the season.
As a warning to the Redskins, Bills running back Fred Jackson is second in the NFL and first in the AFC with an average of 100.2 rushing yards per game and also among the league leaders with 5.7 yards per carry. Jackson has posted 100 rushing yards or better in two straight weeks and four times in six games this season, and has a touchdown on the ground in five consecutive games (six touchdowns total).
Washington has dropped two straight and three of four contests since a 2-0 start and will alternate games at home and on the road the next six weeks.