PHILADELPHIA -- Terrell Owens is back to causing more
trouble with his mouth than with his hands.
Owens apologized to the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, one day
after blasting the organization for not publicly recognizing his
100th career touchdown catch two weeks ago.
"I've had an opportunity to talk with the Eagles organization
and I have learned that the team does not recognize individual
achievements," Owens said in a prepared statement. "It has been
brought to my attention that I have offended the organization and
my teammates. Therefore, I would like to apologize for any
derogatory comments toward them."
Shortly before Owens' apology, coach Andy Reid didn't rule out
suspending the All-Pro wideout following his latest comments, which
included more criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb.
"I take care of those things in-house," Reid said. "I
obviously will address the player and those people I need to talk
to and work this thing out."
It's unlikely Owens would be suspended now that he's apologized.
However, it's still a possibility. In 2003, Tampa Bay declared
wideout Keyshawn Johnson inactive for the final six games and sent
him home because of differences with coach Jon Gruden.
Owens said in his weekly radio show on Miami's 790 AM Friday
night that he expected to play against the Washington Redskins on
"If I am, I am," Owens said of being suspended. "That would
hurt the team."
In an interview with ESPN.com on Thursday, Owens took shots at
the team and McNabb. He made his 100th career TD reception in a
victory over San Diego on Oct. 23, but the accomplishment was not
acknowledged on the video screen. An announcement was made in the
"That right there just shows you the type of class and
integrity that they claim not to be," said Owens, who became the
sixth receiver in NFL history to reach the milestone. "They claim
to be first class and the best organization. It's an embarrassment.
It just shows a lack of class they have. My publicist talked to the
head PR guy, and they made an excuse they didn't recognize that was
coming up. But that was a blatant lie. Had it been somebody else,
they probably would have popped fireworks around the stadium."
Owens also said the Eagles (4-3) would be undefeated with Green
Bay's Brett Favre at quarterback.
"A number of commentators will say he's a warrior, he's played
with injuries," Owens said of Favre. "I feel like him being
knowledgeable about the quarterback position, I feel like we'd
probably be in a better situation."
Owens said on his radio show he merely was agreeing with the
opinion of Michael Irvin, the former Dallas wideout and current
"This is one I really regret," Owens said of the interview,
adding that some clips were taken out of context. "I said earlier
in the interview that we would have a better record if Donovan
Owens previously said on his weekly radio show that he'd prefer
to play with Indianapolis' Peyton Manning over McNabb or any
quarterback. Last year, Owens couldn't stop praising McNabb after
joining the Eagles following eight controversial seasons in San
But their relationship soured after Owens took a verbal swipe at
McNabb's performance in Philadelphia's loss to New England in the
Super Bowl. McNabb responded harshly and the two feuded throughout
the summer, not speaking to each other for a prolonged period.
McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has led the Eagles
to four consecutive NFC championship games, has played through
several injuries this season, including a sports hernia that will
require surgery. He has thrown for 2,034 yards, 15 TDs and seven
interceptions while going through some tough stretches.
Owens has 47 catches for 763 yards and six TDs. He's been upset
with the Eagles since management refused to redo his contract just
one season into the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed when
he came to Philadelphia in March 2004.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens is one of the best players
at his position. With him, the Eagles were dominant last year,
going 13-1 in the regular season and winning five of those games by
21 points or more. They've struggled this season partly because
McNabb is injured, the offense is inconsistent and the defense is
Owens' talent often is overshadowed by the turmoil he's caused
since he defied his doctor's advice and played against the Patriots
in the Super Bowl, catching nine passes for 122 yards just 6½ weeks
after having ankle surgery.
Owens has ranted about being underpaid, and turned a contract
issue into a personal grudge against the organization. He earned a
one-week exile from training camp after a heated dispute with Reid,
which led to a bizarre workout on his lawn in front of neighbors
Owens kept a low profile after returning to the team, and even
managed to mend his relationship with McNabb. He doesn't speak
regularly to local reporters, but has found ways to diss McNabb and
management in his radio show or whenever he grants an interview.
The soap-opera atmosphere Owens has created certainly has been a
distraction to the Eagles, even though players and coaches insist
they're used to it.
"You don't let it be a distraction," Reid said. "That is not
what you do. There are going to be things that happen and you don't
focus on those things. You focus on getting the football team ready
to play and you handle the other things up front the way we do
Defensive end Sam Rayburn shrugged off Owens' latest remarks.
"It's just T.O. being T.O. It's just him talking," Rayburn