Terrell Owens has been sports talk gold for over a decade for plenty of reasons, not the least of which because he invented the phrase “throw under the bus.”
(Wait, he didn’t invent that phrase? Could’ve fooled me.)
Anyway, with the World Series drawing to a close and not featuring any west coast teams, and nothing going on with “the league that won’t be mentioned,” there isn’t much to talk about during the week.
So when Owens does some kind of televised workout (I didn’t watch it), it’s an easy talking point. And for those who are used to watching Owens make dynamic plays, it’s an easy question: would the 49ers be interested?
Just stop it.
There are several reasons why the Niners are not considering Owens for their team. Here are five:
1. With the receivers they have and the offense they run, the 49ers don’t need him. Even though Joshua Morgan is on IR, Braylon Edwards should be back on Sunday against Cleveland. Edwards will join Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams and some dude with long hair who used to play for the Packers. They also have Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker, extremely talented receivers who happen to be listed at tight end. Sure, they block (and pretty well, usually), but Davis and Walker are as dangerous in the passing game as anyone the Niners have.
2. Owens underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL less than six months ago.
3. Owens turns 38 before the end of the NFL regular season.
4. According to TMZ, Owens was taken to a hospital in an ambulance after overdosing on prescription pain pills, the second such instance for Owens (if true).
5. Jim Harbaugh has come in and created a selfless, cohesive environment that, along with improved execution offensively and defensively, has led to a completely different team with mostly the same personnel. Harbaugh also has shown a disdain for the media to a certain extent, at least when they focus on subjects he’d rather not talk about (like the QB situation before the season). Adding Owens would be akin to inviting dozens of cameras and reporters to Santa Clara every day, all of them hoping for controversial topics to seize on.
Of all the reasons why Owens won’t ever be a Niner again (and I’m not even going to rehash the old Jeff Garcia feud which probably burned every possible bridge in Jed York’s mind), that last one is key. What would happen if Owens comes back to his first NFL team? Reporters are going to ask Alex Smith about how he’ll react if Owens complains about his quarterbacking prowess. Edwards and Crabtree will have to answer questions about how their roles might change with T.O. around (and Crabtree has shown in the past that he might not answer such questions as diplomatically as the 49ers might like). Vernon will probably face similar questions, since his game is probably as similar to Owens’ as anybody on the Niners.
In short, Owens would come into an idyllic situation and change it drastically, even if he was on his best behavior. If Edwards, Crabtree and Vernon all went down with injuries this week, MAYBE the Niners would think about bringing in Owens out of desperation — although we don’t know if Owens is even a viable NFL receiver at this point or what Harbaugh and/or Trent Baalke think of him. But at this point, the 5-1 49ers already look like they’ve hurdled their biggest challenge: putting in new systems and winning on the road after the lockout took away a significant amount of preparation time.
Why would they want to add a potential headache now?