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Owens happy with change to coach Phillips

IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens was asked what he got out of
his only season with Bill Parcells.

"Nothing, really," T.O. said Monday, the last day of the
Dallas Cowboys' first minicamp since Parcells retired.

Owens obviously isn't going to miss Parcells, and has already
noticed how different things are under new coach Wade Phillips.

"Everybody knows he's a laid-back coach, obviously a little
different than Bill. ... I don't think you have to be a
disciplinarian to get your point across," Owens said. "I think
having a new head coach is good for everybody.

"It's a little bit more relaxed. I think you can tell that by
the atmosphere in the locker room. I don't think I just have to
really spell it out for you, but I think it's very evident."

After two operations this offseason to repair a torn tendon in
his right ring finger, the same one he broke while blocking in a
game in September, Owens surprised many people by taking part in
the three-day minicamp.

T.O. caught passes and participated in all offensive drills
without any problems from the finger.

"I don't think you have to be a disciplinarian to get your point across. I think
having a new head coach is good for everybody."
-- Terrell Owens

"I didn't know if he was going to be able to practice or not,"
Phillips said. "But once he was cleared [by doctors], he practiced
well."

When Owens had the second offseason surgery in March, he wasn't
expected to be catching passes until the second minicamp in June,
and maybe not even until training camp in late July.

"I don't know if I have special healing powers, or what the
case may be," he said.

Owens plans to continue doing rehabilitation on his finger, but
admitted that he had already caught balls from former NFL
quarterback Mike McMahon in Florida before doctors cleared him for
the minicamp.

With Parcells gone, Owens apparently couldn't get wait to get
back on the field.

"Come out here and try to get a little work, get back to the
team atmosphere. I think everybody is kind of excited about this
season," he said. "If I wasn't ready, then I wasn't going to
practice."

Parcells isn't missing Owens either.

In a New York Daily News column published over the weekend,
Parcells said the Cowboys signing Owens last year "was not my
decision. I had to do the best I could with him, which is what I
tried to do."

Owens said it doesn't matter what Parcells is saying now, and
that it doesn't bother him.

"It's funny, people can say a lot of things when they're
gone," T.O. said. "It's really not surprising, but why would he
say it now? I'm pretty sure you guys asked him that question
before."

During the first two days of minicamp, Owens declined interview
requests. He said he had nothing to say and that he "might" talk
in June -- which would have been after he is due a $3 million roster
bonus for 2007, when he is scheduled to make $5 million.

But with reporters and television cameras surrounding his locker
Monday, Owens talked for nearly 20 minutes and made his most
extensive comments since the season ended with a first-round
playoff loss to Seattle and Parcells decided to retire.

Owens caught 85 passes for 1,180 yards and an NFL-leading 13
touchdowns -- the best season by a Cowboys receiver since Hall of
Famer Michael Irvin caught 111 passes for 1,603 yards and 10 TDs in
1995, Dallas' last Super Bowl season. But Owens also led the league
with 17 dropped passes.

"I could have played better, but I'm not the one to really harp
on why I had the season I did," Owens said. "I'm not going to say
why I had the drops I had. I knew the reason, but I didn't take the
time out to make that an excuse. ... I played through an injury
that I didn't really talk about, I didn't care to talk about."

There was also plenty going on with T.O. off the field last
season, from an accidental drug overdose to him falling asleep in
meetings and talking about not knowing the playbook.

Still, he's happy to be in Dallas.

"Definitely, no doubt," he said. "We achieved the goal of
getting to the playoffs. It was unfortunate the way we lost, and
everything happens for a reason. Who knows. Had we gone deeper into
the playoffs, we may not have a new coach."