It’s hardly a revelation that unemployed receiver Terrell Owens has done something unusual.
But he of driveway sit ups and press conference tears and hyperbaric chamber slumber may have taken weirdness – or at least following bad advice – to a new level this week with his public private workout.
It was public in the sense that NFL teams were invited to attend. It was private because none of them did. Yep, all that showed up were two TV stations.
But it gets better (and not just because ESPN gave the assignment to softballer extraordinaire Rachel Nichols.)
At one point, the 37-year-old Owens ditched his shirt, running routes in just a pair of shoes and some spandex pants, the kind that are pretty popular with people at my gym … women people. I mean, I think capri pants look comfortable, but I’m not going to wear them (in public).
To be fair, Owens remains a physical specimen. Dude is jacked, yoked, ripped, jail big – whatever muscular term you prefer. What’s more, he’s had a tremendous career, maybe even Hall of Fame worthy.
That said, he’s not only inept at making decisions that don’t involve his physical health, he’s apparently not good at hiring people who are capable of doing so.
A quick backstory: I cover a NCAA Division I football program, South Dakota State. Each spring the school hosts a pro day where NFL scouts come and test standout juniors and seniors. Despite being located essentially in the middle of nowhere and often having few legit prospects, scouts always show up. Always. And most of them RSVP (or whatever the football equivalent is) with somebody on the coaching staff.
How does this apply to TO? For starters, it means that although scouts are willing to go pretty much anywhere on God’s green earth to see even marginal talents, none of them thought it was worth their time to go to Calabasas, Calif., to see how Owens looks coming off knee surgery. Secondly, either nobody on Team TO saw this coming or they did and still thought the workout was a good idea. In either case, holy mismanagement, Batman.
It’s one thing to be confident in your client even if he’s not in his prime anymore. But it’s another to risk unnecessary public humiliation. Why not just work things out behind the scenes? Find out what teams – if any – are interested and then quietly bring him to a closed portion of practice to run some routes? Owens is hardly some undrafted rookie with no credentials, no game film. Knee injury or not, he shouldn’t need to be made to look so … desperate. Even if he is. That’s another story entirely.
Will a team take a chance on him at some point this season, say, if a rotation receiver goes down? Maybe. But it won’t be because of anything that did or didn’t happen while wearing a shirt or not on that awkwardly empty field in Calabasas.