Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Terrell Owens Finally Speaks Up....At Keyshaun Johnson

Terrell Owens, unusually quiet this season, but never at a loss for words when the occasion required it, responded forcefully Wednesday to comments made last weekend by former Dallas Cowboys receiver Keyshawn Johnson now an analyst on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown."

Before I continue any further let me address an issue right there. I loved Monday Night Football when John Madden and Al Michaels were commentating. Their is something grandfatherly and comforting about those guys. They were never bias and always tried to find good no matter how bad a team was playing. I'm pleased they are still on the air, even if its Sunday Night instead of Monday Night Football. Now, those on ESPN who bring us the Monday Night broadcast, aside from the entire show which has become more of a circus for entertainment other than solely for a football game, are extremely harsh and critical and they annoy me to listen to them. So, it wouldn't surprise me if members of ESPN said something controversial.

On the show, Johnson said he believed former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells -- now also an analyst with ESPN -- deserves credit for what the Dallas team looks like now, with a 12-1 record.

In Dallas, Owens sharply criticized Johnson for defending Parcells, saying, "I challenge him to come down here and take my job. ESPN producers, let him go."

Actually....Johnson is right. Parcells deserves every bit of credit for Dallas' season this year because he assembled the team that is the Dallas Cowboys today before he stepped out the door. Perhaps a different coach may have not saw the potential in Tony Romo or didn't want to waste their time with Terrell Owens, but Parcells did. So, I defend Keyshaun with that statement.

Asked in the locker room why Johnson would take the position he did Sunday, Owens said: "I'm probably the reason he's in the booth now. He's going to be a hater and throw me under the bus because he has to defend Bill. He won a Super Bowl and all, but you'd have to check the roster to know he was even on the team.

"We came out in the same year. He was a first-rounder and I was a third. Go compare our stats. He couldn't come down here now and be a third or fourth receiver on this team. Just compare our stats."

Owens swung between addressing the Cowboys-as-built-by-Parcells theory and responding to Johnson's comments.

"It's not a matter of me giving or not giving Bill credit," Owens said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "Everybody wants to make a big deal, that this is the team he built. It doesn't matter. ... My thing is give credit to Wade [Phillips]. The difference between Wade and Parcells is this: Parcells, he didn't use me as a playmaker; Wade, he got the staff, and that's what I'm being used as.

Now, I agree with Terrell Owens. Though Owens may not be the sole reason Keyshaun is in the booth, he is certainly a much better player this year than Keyshaun would ever be and Keyshaun knows and resents that. However, Keyshaun never meant to attack Terrell in the first place. His statements were made towards Parcells, not Owens. Therefore, Owens' comments about how Keyshaun resents him were unnecessary. Also, perhaps Parcells didn't use Owens as a playmaker last year because he led the league in dropped passes!

And then back to delivering a verbal barrage at Johnson:

"Those guys are probably talking about me, chopping it up, drinking coffee," Owens said. "They can have their little pity party and talk about me all day long. It doesn't bother me. There's a lot of people on the ESPN panel and across the country that has observed what has happened this year versus last year. And there's a lot of people that just don't want to give credit for what Wade has done and what wasn't done last year. That's it. I'm not trying to be negative."

You can obviously tell a radical difference in this year's Cowboys compared to last year's and such a difference can not come about unless the team changes coaching strategies. Look at the Chargers: They ran the ball all year with LT last year and it worked. This year, the Chargers brought in a new coach and for the first half of the season, LT didn't run for half the amount of time he did last year, and they were losing as a result of that. Therefore, I do give credit to Bill Parcells for assembling the Dallas Cowboys, but I give Wade Phillips the credit for different style of coaching and practice he has the players do.

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