During a Thursday appearance on PFT Live, Hall of Famer Jason Taylor expressed surprise that receiver Terrell Owens didn’t make it, too. Taylor also provided some important perspective regarding the apparently disqualifying notion that Owens was disruptive.
“Trust me, there’s a lot of people that don’t know 98 percent of what goes on in the locker room out in the public,” Taylor said. “There are plenty of guys that are disruptive in their own way or have a different type personality in the locker room [and] sometimes you have to make that work. That’s the head coach’s job and the locker room’s job, the leaders in the locker room, to massage that, so to speak, and make those different personalities fit.
“I played with guys that were strong-minded and strong personality and that marched to their own beat sometimes and that’s part of what makes them great,” Taylor said. “Some of those teammates that I loved that people think could be ‘disruptive’ maybe. I played with Joey Porter. You know, I love Joey Porter to death; he was a great teammate. One of those guys you want on your team but you hate playing against, and you hear some of these stories. Ritchie Incognito, I played with him and he’s the same way.”
For every Terrell Owens, whose traits became well known because of the intense media coverage he attracted, there surely are dozens of other players whose divisiveness or selfishness wasn’t widely known. Surely, plenty of those guys have made it to the Hall of Fame over the years.
“Most of the things that happen in the locker room deserve to stay in the locker room,” Taylor said. “They should not be out and it’s all easily worked out in there. Unfortunately, sometimes people use the media platform to vent or to air out some dirty laundry and that becomes a distraction for everybody and then that continues to grow and fester and maybe that’s what happened in T.O.’s case.”
It’s an important perspective from a guy who spent 15 years in the NFL. It’s a perspective that the Hall of Fame voters who oppose Owens need to keep in mind when searching their hearts for the answer to the question of whether they’re keeping T.O. out because he’s not worthy or because they simply don’t like him.