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Drew Pearson: T.O. can play, but he’s not a good teammate

dal_u_owens2x_400 Getty Images

Last week (or this week, depending on when the new week actually begins), the Allen Wranglers figured out something that 32 NFL teams have known for a while:  T.O. may love him some him, but he doesn’t love him some team.

Wrangler G.M. Drew Pearson explained on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio in Dallas the dichotomy that is Terrell Owens.

“To me, there’s no question [Owens] could play in the NFL,” Pearson said, via LarryBrownSports.com.

“But it’s not what happens between the lines with Terrell.  It’s how he handles things outside the lines, being Terrell Owens, dealing with the fans, being a good teammate.  That’s what we were really concerned with developing with Terrell.  Going from T.O. to Terrell Owens.  But it’s so hard to get to close to Terrell.  He lets certain people in.  My opinion is he doesn’t let the right people in to tell him the right things.  I didn’t want to enable him.  I didn’t want to be another one of those guys that have been telling him things all his life that he just wants to hear.  I was trying to be that guy that tells him things that he needed to hear.”

Pearson said that things started well, but then gradually fell apart.

“Terrell embraced [his role] initially with tremendous enthusiasm.  He was a model citizen and did everything right, but throughout the season, that enthusiasm continually deteriorated,” Pearson said. “The things that we needed him to do or expected him to do just weren’t getting done.

“It just wasn’t a good fit in the end.  It was a great fit in the beginning.  It got the Wrangler name out there.  Terrell performed tremendously, was a great teammate and all that.  Somewhere along the line, with him being gone, playing home games and not playing away games, it causes some disruption within your team.  You can’t really build chemistry within your football team with one player doing those kind of things.  What it led to was other players thinking they can do this and they can do that because they saw Terrell do this and they saw Terrell do that.  It was a decision that just had to be made because we are fighting for our playoff lives.”

So why weren’t the Wranglers thinking about these issues when they offered Owens a deal that allowed him to ditch the team’s road games?  It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize that if you allow a player to only play when the team plays at home, some of the other players will realize that there are two sets of rules — and then some of them will be tempted to test the boundaries of their own abilities and privileges.

The bigger question remains why did the Wranglers feel compelled to grandstand when cutting Owens, publicly accusing him of being a bad teammate by refusing to do that which he wasn’t required to do, and also alleging that he failed to attend an event at a children’s hospital?

An ex-Wranglers coach, who was fired in March so who knows what he really knows, supposedly told TMZ that Owens was dumped due to money, not behavior.  Either way, the Wranglers seized on the dumping of Owens to “get the Wrangler name out there,” just like they did when he arrived.  And if they crossed the line, Owens perhaps should consider filing suit.

Still, if he holds out any hope in ever returning to the NFL, the last thing T.O. should do is prolong what ultimately was a huge mistake for him, and for the Wranglers.  Besides, if the team truly doesn’t have any money, the most he could hope for via litigation would be the pink slip to a dying, fourth-rate football franchise.

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23 Responses to “Drew Pearson: T.O. can play, but he’s not a good teammate”
  1. dldove77 says: Jun 3, 2012 8:23 AM

    T.O.’s chances of ever returning to the NFL? Zero-point-zero.

  2. florioleadswitnesses says: Jun 3, 2012 8:27 AM

    What did they expect when they signed an aging receiver known to be a prima donna to a contrract that made made him a partial owner and only required him to play home games? Duh!

  3. sterilizecromartie says: Jun 3, 2012 8:51 AM

    I think TO has been humbled to the point where he actually would be a model teammate. The guy is broke, the last two teams that even gave him a look were Buffalo and Cincy, and he hasn’t had any interest in over a year. The Browns seem like an ideal candidate. But that front office is way too conservative to make the move.

  4. bdert says: Jun 3, 2012 9:04 AM

    Self Sabotaging…

  5. qdog112 says: Jun 3, 2012 9:09 AM

    Wow, they used him to get publicity and he used them to try and get back to the NFL. Now T. O. is a bad teammate, even though no actual former teammates have ever gone on record saying that. To blackball a player who can still play based on anything, is a business based decision. It’s the teams rights to do so. But stop lying about it. It clearly based on things outside the lines. How many guys score 10 TDs and 100 yards in their final year? Google it.

  6. jcioffi1485 says: Jun 3, 2012 9:32 AM

    Another black man who cannot handle fame, fortune and fidelity. T.O. Can only play for his favorite three teams, “Me,Myself, and I”

  7. wussbasket says: Jun 3, 2012 9:34 AM

    Why are we still talking about TO? He’s finished.

  8. mwcarolina says: Jun 3, 2012 9:41 AM

    sterilizecromartie, i would agree with you if it hasnt been shown time and time again that he does act like this and even for an IFL, he had these issues pop up. Owens will show up and behave at first, but then if he’s there for 3 years or more, expect old TO to pop up.

  9. t8ertot says: Jun 3, 2012 9:43 AM

    News flash

  10. covercorner says: Jun 3, 2012 9:50 AM

    T.O. can start a popcorn restaurant.

  11. johnnyjagfan says: Jun 3, 2012 9:51 AM

    Mental illness.

  12. marionbarber24isgod says: Jun 3, 2012 9:51 AM

    I actually think T.O. can still play at an NFL level. I became a T.O. fan when he spent three years in Dallas and put up crazy numbers with Tony Romo. And part of me wants Dallas to sign him as our #3 receiver, but we just don’t know for sure how it’s going to play out. I believe he can help any NFL team at the receiver position, but clearly a team runs the risk him single handedly obliterating their locker room and an chemistry that may be there.

  13. nycoccet says: Jun 3, 2012 9:56 AM

    Im an Eagles fan so i know hes a douche but someone how i feel bad for the guy. I think a team would give him a chance but the media circus that would follow is the determining factor. If you sign him you tell him straight up, first problem you cause your cut nd back to being broke with zero.chance of getting a job anywhere.

  14. ripster65 says: Jun 3, 2012 10:07 AM

    I read somewhere that his playing in road games was dependent on the road team sweetening his payout. Apparently, none of those teams cared to do that therefore he played no road games. I’d have been honored to play for Drew Pearson. Not terrell, he has no honor. No way this clown should ever have his name in the H.O.F.

  15. cidman2001 says: Jun 3, 2012 10:08 AM

    I can’t understand why the Bengals haven’t signed him yet?

  16. phillyphan72 says: Jun 3, 2012 10:30 AM

    Broke team with a broke player…

  17. ripster65 says: Jun 3, 2012 10:38 AM

    sterilizecromartie…great user name..LOL

    If you’ve heard Jim Brown’s comments on Trent Richardson, who’s not yet even taken 1 NFL regular season snap, could you imagine what he would have to say about terrell (yes, terrell…no more initials, no more caps…dude’s not worth my caps)? Brown was/is an exec advisor to the Browns so I’m sure he’d have something to say about that.

  18. SparkyGump says: Jun 3, 2012 11:02 AM

    It’ll be interesting to see how the player handles the end of his career. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Karma is a —- well you know.

  19. upperdecker19 says: Jun 3, 2012 11:07 AM

    “It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize……”

    Combined a rocket scientist with a brain surgeon to form an ultra smart guy for this one?

  20. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Jun 3, 2012 11:25 AM

    seems like the team treated t.o. like he has treated teams for the past decade and a half. as soon as it wasn’t good for them, they decided to blow him up, instead of vice versa.

    i’m guessing the line of sympathetic nfl front offices will be pretty short….

  21. marshmont says: Jun 3, 2012 11:30 AM

    drew pearson was an amazing player. he sounds like a very cool man. t.o. has to be over the hill. his age, recent injurys, his behavior. i don’t feel sorry for him one bit. he is the poster child for “bad apple”…..

  22. bsizemore68 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:46 PM

    TO big problem is he has never grownup, he is still a baby, he needs to look in the mirror to see what the problem is. Bill

  23. Deb says: Jun 3, 2012 3:05 PM

    The NFL has a lot of fresh receivers that may be less talented than Owens, but they’re also less trouble. And they’re younger and faster. It’s beyond me why any team would bring that mess into a locker room.

    As for Owens’s future … it won’t matter whether he retires now, stays in the IFL, or returns to the NFL. He can’t seem to see that the enemy is T.O. No matter where he goes or what he does, if nothing changes, he’s likely to wind up self-destructing.

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