Who’s to blame for the Cincinnati Bengals going 4-12 last season? Terrell Owens says that’s an easy one: The owner and the coaches.
“You start with the head coach, and then you start with the staff on both sides of the ball,” Owens said on NFL Network’s Total Access. “Offensively, we really didn’t have the coaching that we really needed to muster what we had on the offensive side of the ball.”
But Owens wasn’t done with head coach Marvin Lewis and his staff. Responding to NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp naming Bengals owner Mike Brown, Owens said Brown also deserves a heaping help of blame.
“I’ve made a comment about if you’re trying to win some championships, it starts from the top down,” Owens said. “[Sapp] mentioned Mike Brown; I think even before I got there, they said the owner was a little different. Obviously, I saw that.”
According to Owens, the players were good enough that the Bengals should have been a good team. But the players couldn’t do it alone.
“I think if you look at the talent we had in that locker room this year and we mustered four wins, that should let you know something is not right,” Owens said. “Throughout the year, I saw some things that really wasn’t right.”
Of course, there were reports during the season that one of the things that wasn’t right was Owens himself not being a good teammate. And there have been indications that the reason Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer wants out is that he’s sick of having bad teammates, including Owens.
But Owens says the blame for Palmer wanting out starts at the top, too.
“Obviously if you have your franchise quarterback who is supposed to be that guy for your team trying to get out of there, that’s kind of telling the organization something, and that’s telling a lot of people out there something as well,” Owens said.
It also tells us something about Owens that he doesn’t seem to consider the possibility that his arrival in Cincinnati had something to do with the Bengals’ decline from first place to last.