T.O. exiled to NFL’s Siberia (Buffalo)
It didn’t take long for owner Jerry Jones to disinfect the Dallas Cowboys roster, purging the locker room of negative influences like always-unhappy wide receiver Terrell Owens and veteran safety Roy Williams and eliminating the criminal element by releasing Adam “Pacman” Jones and Tank Johnson.
We’ll probably never know what made Jerry Jones do an about-face from his usual attitude of giving these law-breaking football players, second, third and even fourth chances to become crime-free, but we do have our theories.
The most logical hypothesis is the billion-dollar complex Jones is building and will be ready for use this fall, in which Jones has around $800 million of his own money invested, which will be much more appealing to the football-fanatic public if it is a crime-free establishment.
Secondly, Jones’ new stadium may not sell out every home game like the present one did since it was built, if the team is going to play .500 ball every season and not win a post-season game for another 13-year duration.
A new stadium needs a new attitude by the team’s owner and it appears Jerry Jones has finally snapped to the idea that he can’t continue to do everything that pops into his nearly-empty head, whether it’s good for the organization or not.
This Korner believes that this time of the year when the April draft is the focal point of the team’s business, the Dallas assistant coaches use this period to break down game film position-by-position and isolate each player frame-by-frame in game situations.
When T.O. was spotlighted, the game films revealed that besides dropping way more passes that the other receivers, he also commanded double-coverage by the opponents much of the time.
To most football players, they would be proud of the fact they were helping the team by allowing some of the other receivers to get single coverage on passing plays and making the quarterback’s job much easier in finding open receivers.
But Terrell Owens would come back to the huddle and chastise Tony Romo for not trying to throw more in his direction, causing turmoil both on and off the field because of his selfish ambitions.
Enough members of the coaching staff came to the same conclusion that the team would be much better off without T.O. being such a disruptive force, not only to Romo but also offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and even easy-going Head Coach Wade Phillips.
Although Jerry Jones put a gag order on all coaches and front-office employees other than himself on the T.O. matter, Phillips was quoted in a news release. “I enjoyed having the opportunity to coach Terrell Owens and I appreciate his contributions to our team over the past two years,” Phillips said.
It didn’t take Owens long to find a team that would have him, signing a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills for $6.5 million guaranteed. The contract was worth $2.5 million with a $4 million signing bonus, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Bills’ owner Ralph Wilson issued a statement to WHEC-TV Sunday, “This is a very exciting day for the Buffalo Bills,” Wilson commented. “We all know of Terrell Owens’ tremendous ability and look forward to what he will bring to our offense.”
And former head coach and general manager Marv Levy was just stepping off an airplane in Chicago last week when he was informed that Terrell Owens had signed with the Buffalo Bills. The Hall of Fame coach’s first reaction was wondering if the person picking him up at the airport required a breathalyzer.
“I was surprised, naturally like everybody else,” Levy confessed. “I verified it a little bit later that it was true and that my friend hadn’t been drinking.”
This will be the fourth team for Owens, starting with San Francisco before having trouble getting along with quarterback Jeff Garcia, then moving on to Philadelphia where he got into a verbal hassle with quarterback Donovan McNabb and then on to the Cowboys where he gave Romo an earful before getting his walking papers Thursday.
Some of the football writers believe Buffalo was willing to give Owens a one-year shot because the Bills compiled a 7-9 record in each of the last three seasons and it could be a desperation move to save the job of Head Coach Dick Jauron.
Young Trent Edwards has been the Bills’ quarterback for only two years and will love the idea of having a big-time playmaker like Owens as his target—until T.O. tries to bully him or complain that he isn’t getting enough passes thrown his way.
But he won’t be welcomed by the AFC East defensive backs (Patriots, Jets and Dolphins) whose job just got much harder having to cover a receiver with T.O.’s ability.
As far as this Korner is concerned, it appears that T.O. gets yet another NFL bridge to burn. But it will be a cold day in Buffalo before he becomes a distraction. Of course, it’s cold during a majority of the season in Buffalo, the Snow Capital of the lower 48 states.
KWICKIES…Korean golfer Y.E. Yang hung on to win the PGA Tour Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Sunday pocketing the $1,008,000 first place money and receiving a two-year PGA Tour exemption that goes to a tournament winner. Yang fired a two-under-par 68 Sunday to finish nine under and win by one stroke. Former Port Neches-Groves and Lamar University golfer Chris Stroud finished tied for 64th place and collected a check for $11,648.69.
After dropping the opener of a three-game series to the Nicholls State Colonels 9-5 Friday night at Beaumont’s Vincent-Beck Stadium in the start of Southland Conference play, the Lamar baseball team came back with a vengeance to win 7-3 Saturday and 8-1 Sunday. The two victories over Nicholls State boosted the nation’s No. 23-ranked Cardinals’ record to 12-2 for the young season and 2-1 in SLC play. The Cards complete their season-opening 16-game home stand with games against Prairie View A&M Tuesday and Wednesday before going on the road for the first time this weekend with a three-game SLC series at Central Arkansas.
Some of the head coaches and athletic directors of our nation’s larger colleges and conferences are lobbying to change the format of the NCAA Basketball Tournament’s selection process. Instead of the winners of the post-season conference tournaments getting an automatic bid, they want the conference champions of the regular season get the automatic bid. They also are opposed to some of the smaller conferences like the Ivy League, Southland and Yankee getting automatic bids after winning their respective post-season tournaments and would rather have the best 64 teams entered in the March Madness each year.
The fourth-seeded Lamar Lady Cardinals (19-10) will play against No. 5-seed Stephen F. Austin (15-13) in the eight-team Southland Conference women’s basketball tournament 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Katy. The Lady Cards beat SFA 71-52 in their only regular-season match-up Feb. 7 at the Montagne Center. If LU beats the Lady ‘Jacks it will play in the semifinals Thursday at 2:30 p.m. against top-seeded UT-Arlington (20-9) or No. 8 seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (11-18). The championship is Saturday at 2 p.m. All games will be played at the Merrell Center in Katy. The Lamar men’s basketball team failed to qualify for the SLC tournament.
JUST BETWEEN US…Congrats to former West Orange-Stark and current Hardin-Jefferson head basketball coach Todd Sutherland for getting his Hawks to the state tournament for the second time in three seasons and for the sixth time in his coaching career. H-J (37-6) will meet Lubbock Estacado (33-2) in the first round Thursday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin at 2 p.m. The winner will play the first-round winner between Dallas Madison (51-4) and Stafford (30-5) Saturday at 10 a.m. for the Class 3A state championship.