By Jim Moore
I’ve been to many Seahawks’ practices over the years, but I’ve never seen a bigger media circus than the one that showed up at the VMAC Wednesday for the arrival of Terrell Owens.
Mingling with local reporters was a gaggle of national newshounds such as Curt Menefee of FOX, Shelley Smith of ESPN and Bucky Brooks and Michelle Beisner from the NFL Network.
I don’t know what they thought, but to my untrained eyes, on and off the field, Owens looked terrific. He made a spectacular diving catch down the right sideline and then followed it up by saying all the right things at his post-practice news conference.
In person, he looks a lot taller than he does on TV, for whatever that’s worth. He’s obviously in great shape and doesn’t look like he’s going to turn 39 in December.
I’m not sure what to make of Owens’ signing. Since his second season in San Francisco, Owens has never had a full season with fewer than 55 catches. Even playing just seven games for Philadelphia in 2005, he had 47 receptions.
Doug Baldwin led the Seahawks with 51 receptions last year, so even if T.O. has a marginal year – by his standards – he could be a solid addition to the receiving corps here.
Owens also seems to be a changed man. He says he’s been humbled and is said to be broke – reports say that his two Dallas condos are facing foreclosure.
He appeared on “Dr. Phil” in May to face three moms who contended that he’s a deadbeat dad to his kids. What was his thought process with that? What told him it would be a good idea to go on a national TV show with three mothers of his children who say he’s behind on his child support?
If he’s matured and mellowed and is truly grateful for his last shot in the NFL, Owens could be a big part of an explosive offense with Matt Flynn, Marshawn Lynch, Kellen Winslow and Sidney Rice.
But that’s really, really wishful thinking. Flynn will be a starting quarterback for the first time (we think). Lynch has a DUI charge and a possible short-term suspension looming. Winslow and Rice have injury concerns. Then there’s Owens with all of his baggage.
When you’re talking explosive, it usually refers to Owens’ off-the-field behavior, which typically features inappropriate comments and celebrations. He’s the king of wearing out your welcome everywhere he’s been.
Best-case scenario: Owens leads the team with 65 receptions for 900 yards and becomes the first Pro Bowl receiver from the Seahawks since Brian Blades in 1989. He also serves as a tremendous mentor for younger receivers, who blossom as a result. He takes pressure off of Rice, who consequently flourishes himself.
Worst-case: After missing a full season, he’s half the player he used to be. But he still thinks he’s the greatest thing ever, his ego takes over, he publicly calls out Flynn and becomes the sideshow that he’s always been.
To think that it will end up differently here is foolish, but I’m a fool who thinks it could.
Jim Moore also writes for his website, www.jimmoorethego2guy.com, and the Kitsap Sun’s website. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo. He co-hosts “The Golf Show with Jim Moore and Shon Crewe” on the podcast page of 710Sports.com and “The Kevin Calabro Show,” weekdays 3-7 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.