I'm back at work for a five-day stretch between vacation blocks. What better way to settle back in than by taking shots at Terrell Owens. With NFL camps soon to begin, T.O. still doesn't have a team. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, texted ESPN's Adam Schefter to say he's "very confident" Owens will be signed within a few weeks. Owens, meanwhile, blames his unemployment on the media. He actually suggested that league personnel types have been swayed by reports of his disruptive personality.
Yeah, right. First of all, Owens was a good soldier in Buffalo last year. He wasn't much of a distraction. In fact, T.O. didn't do anything remotely interesting or newsworthy with the Bills. That was all part of his transparent campaign to show the world he was really a good guy and that his antics in previous NFL stops were the creation of sinister sports writers in Dallas, San Francisco and Philadelphia.
This isn't about T.O.'s diva personality. Teams aren't jumping to sign him because he's not worth it on the field anymore. The guy is over the hill. Does he really think teams would stay away just because of his self-serving act early in his career? The NFL is all about performance, and if Owens was capable of producing like a No. 1 wide receiver, he would be on someone's roster. He simply can't accept that. His status as a second-tier reality TV hack is even more flimsy if he can't play.
Owens' biggest sin during his year in Buffalo was being boring. He was irrelevant and barely worthy of attention. It's hard to figure how he ever got to be some kind of media sensation. He's not clever or articulate or terribly introspective. At his best last year, he appeared aloof and bored, determined at all costs not to say anything remotely controversial. He played Buffalo to recast his reputation. It was laughable. After a few weeks, I basically decided to ignore him.
But again, it was T.O.'s performance on the field that really fell short. He had 55 catches for 829 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those are ordinary numbers by T.O.'s standards. But when you look closer, that stat line is more impressive than his actual contribution. When it really mattered, Owens was a virtual non-factor. In eight games against teams that finished with winning records, he had 23 catches for 253 yards and one touchdown (and that came in the finale against a Colts team that was going through the motions).
That's barely 30 yards a game and 11.0 yards a catch against quality opposition. The Jets' Darrelle Revis took Owens out of both games against the Bills. Owens was invisible against the Patriots. Meanwhile, Lee Evans had his worst statistical year playing alongside Owens, who rarely drew double-teams.
It's not the media's fault that Owens doesn't have a job. The NFL general managers are watching the game films. They're as unremarkable as his TV show.