Terrell Owens finally came out of his shell on Wednesday and gave reporters his opinion on topics from how the Cowboys will fair this season to dogfighting and everything in between. It’s no secret that T.O. has been in high spirits for a while and has done very little to create a stir either in camp or preseason, but he will inevitably take the opportunity to clear the air at some point.
With the departure of Bill Parcells in the off-season and hiring of Wade Phillips, Owens has been extremely cooperative and openly optimistic with the change. Of course a $3 millon signing bonus doesn’t hurt matters either, but there is no denying things are looking up in his book.
“Any time you can go into a season without any legitimate distractions:yeah, you’re going to go out there and play free, you’re just going to have an overall better feeling about yourself,” Owens stated.
This year’s start was a far cry from the drama of last season, when early injuries, the prescription pill incident, and a broken finger suffered early in the season caused things to go “stale” as Owens put it. Owens made it a point to also highlight the fact that his problems have never been about illegal actions, even joking with reporters that they don’t give him “enough credit” for that. He gave most of the reason for this as , “:.a credit to the way my family raised me. I know right from wrong just as well as other guys. I just tend (to) not put myself in situations where things may come up.”
Last year, his motto at the start of the season was “get your popcorn ready”, while this year’s is “butter the popcorn.” So lets get to some of the topics and questions covered in the interview:
Donovan McNabb – “Donovan is a good guy. I did what I had to do when I saw Donovan. I apoligized. He is a good friend. I do regret some of the things that happened. If I could go back and change some things, then I would. He was very receptive to the apology and we have moved on from that.”
Dogfighting: “Being from the South, that’s something that’s very prevalent in that area,” he said, and went so far as admitting to attending one when he was younger. “I don’t condone Michael Vick’s actions with the dogfighting. I think he’ll learn from this situation and move on from it.”
Bill Parcells: “Anything regarding Bill Parcells is not a non-issue, it’s a dead issue. D-e-a-d, dead.”
Last Season’s Results: “I really felt like I let this team down.”
Predictions for this Year: “I am expecting an explosive year. I feel very confident in going on record now saying we are going to make the playoffs. We are going to win some playoff games.”
Not Making the Pro Bowl Last Year: “I know my statistics should have put me there. For whatever reason, I didn’t make it. : I get the respect once I get on the football field. When I step on that field, I know that by the way defenses play me.”
Recent Decline in Making Headlines: “I haven’t made a point to be more quiet. I’m more focused because of some of the things that happened last year. I didn’t want to be a distraction then and I don’t want to be a distraction now.”
More on Dogfighting: “When I say it’s a cultural situation, I’m not trying to bring a racial barrier into it. If anyone wants to dig that up, I will dispel that. I’ve been exposed to it and it’s something that’s very unfortunate for Mike.”
He ended the interview quoting from the plastice wrist band he has been wearing for some time which has the same verse as a plaque at his home for troubled youths, which reads, Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and be of good courage and do not be afraid nor dismayed.”
This was the first of what will probably be many lengthy locker room interviews for Owens and hopefully, none will turn out to be too much of a distraction from what is actually taking place on the football field.