Monday, June 07, 2010

The Lord giveth.... and occasionally the Lord playeth silly buggers

-- I'm tired and covered in mud. God - in all his wisdom - decided to pour on the sunshine in the afternoon while I was out cutting trees. As a result I spent the best part of 7 hours drowning in my own sweat. Then with the hard physical work done and a bonfire on the go to dispose of the cuttings, he decided to open up the heavens and pour on the rain and thunder. It took a lot of creative placement of the cuttings and plenty of tendering to keep the fire going and get the job done. As a reward I anticipated coming home to find that the NFL off season had suddenly exploded in activity. I was sorely disappointed. Some holdouts in Indianapolis and Terrell Owens on the set of NFL Total Access basically constituted this weekends news. Honestly, I'm not that interested in the holdouts, but Terrell Owens does raise some eyebrows. Owens is one of those annoying people that manages to look 26 despite being 10 years older (the exact reverse of me). He attributes his physique and conditioning to his personal trainer (don't we all?) and although he's pretty old for a receiver, Owens can still run. I don't buy the whole "he's lost a step" argument. A 'step slower' Terrell Owens is still faster than many players in the league. He has height, strength and good route technique. His catching ability is still superior to many in the NFL and he's even cleaned up his act in terms of his supposed reputation to cause disruption. This is probably the biggest moan I have about TO critics. If TO is causing trouble in the huddle etc, then it's the job of the coaches and - in particular - the quarterback, to slap him down. Part of being a QB is leading the team. That means enforcing the rules of the huddle and telling receivers in no uncertain terms why they're not getting the ball. If you have to shout at the guy, so be it. The QB is king (or should be) and has to exert that authority. It's not Owens's fault that teams and their quarterbacks have been insufficiently strong to correct Owens when he's in the wrong. Of course we also have the last season in Buffalo. There are many complaints about how TO performed in 2009. For that there is a simple answer: he was playing in Buffalo!! Let's not sugar coat things. Buffalo last year were terrible all over the field. Expecting Owens to come in and be a one man season changing player is unrealistic. He's a good player, but just like everyone else in the league he is a piece in the grand puzzle, not the guide that shows you where all the pieces go. And judging by the quality of some of the passes thrown to him last year, no wonder things went bad. Larry Fitzgerald would have struggled in that offense. There is one point I will cede to the anti-Owens camp: He's not a number one receiver and should not be paid number one money. Any deal Owens gets should find itself falling well short of the Antonio Bryant deal in Cincinnati (reportedly $7 million a year for four years). That's just the reality. He's 36 and he's essentially just a number 2 receiver. $5 million a year is not realistic. As long as Owens can appreciate that fact, there is no reason he shouldn't have a team to call home by the start of the 2010 season. If I was a head coach, I'd give him a roster spot. Gladly. Well, I'm off to bed for a very much deserved kip, even if I do say so myself. But rest assured I'll have my thinking cap on all the time, trying to find a subject worthy of discussion in these dark days of the off season. Till then, have a great day everyone.

No comments: