Tuesday night’s decision by Bengals receiver Terrell Owens to vent his frustrations about his latest one-year team created a stir. Though many expected T.O. to eventually blow his top, he did it in a way that provided him a plausible basis for claiming that he was taking aim not just at the owner and coaching staff, but that he was also blaming the players — possibly the 52 not named Terrell or Owens.
On Wednesday, Owens expressed regret for his first rant as a member of the Bengals, but hardly the first of his career. “I guess I shouldn’t have said it,” Owens said, according to the Associated Press. “It was something we were talking about on the show. It was brought up. I gave my comments and my opinions on it, and that was that.”
Coach Marvin Lewis addressed the situation as well, with both a show of support for T.O. and an admonition.
“Unfortunately for Terrell, he gets criticized a lot nationally,” Lewis said, omitting the reality that Terrell brings most of the criticism on himself. “We all — like he said — need to do better, and we all have a hand in winning football games. . . . We haven’t done well enough. None of us.”
But Lewis pointed out the connection between the things that come out of T.O.’s mouth and the contract offers that don’t arrive in his mailbox. “In this case, no one was willing to bring you aboard for a long time and then we ended up doing it late, so don’t hurt yourself in that situation as you go forward,” Lewis said. “There’s a lesson there and make sure. Unfortunately once we say something, we don’t get the chance to take it back. We try, but we don’t get to and it’s too late sometimes.”
One guy who gets it in this regard is the Robin to T.O.’s Batman. Asked to share his views on the role of the owner and the coaches in the team’s struggles, receiver Chad Ochocinco said, “I don’t even cross those boundaries, and you know that.” (He’s right. Ochocinco only chooses once every few years to embark on an all-out effort to get more money or to be traded.)
Two of their offensive teammates chimed in on T.O.’s comments from Tuesday night’s episode of The T.Ocho Show. Tackle Andrew Whitworth didn’t like it. Cedric Benson didn’t watch it.
“I think Scooby-Doo was on,” Benson said.
Hey, at least when you watch Scooby-Doo there’s a minimal chance that Shaggy will find a way to take his shirt off.
UPDATE: Full transcripts of the Wednesday comments from Marvin Lewis and Terrell Owens appear at Bengals.com.