Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that receiver Terrell Owens can still play in the NFL. Only not for Carroll, as evidenced by the fact that Carroll cut T.O. one day earlier.
Carroll added there’s no doubt T.O. can still play. Why then wasn’t T.O. deemed good enough to be one of the final 75 in Seattle? It would be different if the Seahawks had gone to the Super Bowl in 2011, or if they’d even made it to the playoffs. But if Owens can’t make it past the first cuts for a middle-of-the-pack-at-best team, where would he make if onto the field as one of the last 53?
Possibly in Seattle. Carroll didn’t close the door on bringing Owens back if the need arises.
Still it’s hard to separate coach-speak from reality. Carroll’s actions reflect reality. The fact that Owens is still available two days after being cut, at a time when teams are scouring over the transaction lists for upgrades, means that the wait will once again continue.
We still think Owens showed enough separation and speed to get a chance to land on a 53-man roster. And that suggests there was something beyond his abilities that made the Seahawks decide to not give him an opportunity in the final preseason game to do something that would justify keeping him.
Then again, if that 40-yard over-the-torso catch against the Chiefs didn’t, nothing he does at this point will convince the Seahawks or anyone else to give him a chance to play again.