Sunday, February 28, 2010

Terrell Owens a Detroit Lion?

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I never thought I would even say this but to see controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens in a Detroit Lions uniform would make a lot of sense!

For a team that's won only two games in the past couple of seasons, he would be a great draw at the ticket offices and put bodies in the stands at Ford Field. Detroit is too good of a sports town to experience blackouts at a stadium which is 15,000 smaller than the 80,000 seat Pontiac Silverdome.

Critics will tell you that Owens is a quarterback killer and his track record with Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo certainly documents that.

However, when Detroiter & Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Jr. signed Owens to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million on March 8, 2009, to give Trent Edwards another weapon, he knew the goods he was buying.

But to Owens credit, he stayed low-keyed all season and managed to catch 55 passes for 829 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown.

In Buffalo, Owens had the opportunity to play near a border Canadian town with Niagara Falls and Toronto nearby.

In Detroit, Owens can hang out in Windsor if he desires where there is plenty of nightlife at Caesars Casino. If he doesn't want to cross the border, there are three casinos he can patronage if he gets bored in Detroit. Maybe he can become friends with new Tiger Johnny Damon.

But Owens is a guy that is third on the NFL career list with 14,951 yards.

Do you think that opposing defenders would pay attention to Owens with Calvin Johnson as Matthew Stafford's primary target? There are enough passes to go around for both receivers.
I'm sure that Owens will remember where his milestone 15,000 yard will come from with a future star signal caller in Stafford who is destined for great things as long as he stays healthy.

Since wide receiver is a position the Lions need to upgrade, we all know about Detroit's recent history of bad draft choices at that position. Just look at the media guide where you'll see Charles Rogers (Michigan State), Mike Williams (USC) and Roy Williams (Texas). Although as it turned out, trading away Williams to the Dallas Cowboys did produce tight-end Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State) along with other draft choices.

Nevertheless, Owens, who played his college ball down I-75 at Tennessee-Chattanooga, is 36-years-old and could come reasonable. Here is a guy who is trying to salvage his career and bolster which should be a Hall of Fame resume.

I think he'd be grateful for this opportunity and from what I've been told about Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, he seems like a genuine guy that has a strong admiration for the man upstairs who does a lot of praying. To take on the challenge of inheriting an 0-16 team, that speaks volumes in itself.

With Schwartz being the former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator, now there is a Volunteer State connection.

Nobody should forget that Owens bounced back from a serious injury to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in their 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 39 in Jacksonville. Since Detroit is a blue collar town, Owner William Clay Ford Sr. would appreciate a guy that works hard to get healthy much faster.

Ironically, Owens shares the same birthday as my mother Shila Morganroth. But it's no ordinary birthday since it's December 7. Owens was born in 1973 while my mother was born on Pearl Harbor Day in 1941.

My mother and Owens are nice but strong and passionate personalities. Perhaps there is an attitude about entering the world on such a historic day that it brings out that extra internal fire that everybody notices and affects those around them.

But if the Lions are indeed committed to getting better, to be able to get a year or two out of Owens since he is a free agent, Bob Barker would tell you that "The Price is Right" for a guy that has caught over 1,000 passes in his career and is a six-time Pro Bowl receiver.

If the Lions are going to lose, then do it by being more competitive and entertaining. Perhaps this years Thanksgiving Game would be more competitive with Owens being part of the story-line as Johnson and Stafford get better. With the NFL Draft just weeks away, the second overall pick, barring a trade, should make the Lions better.

Since Thanksgiving is the only time the Lions ever get a national television broadcast, the focus would be better served at a good game instead of talking about a poor team where everyone is anxious to take the holiday tradition away from them.

Although the Lions and Owens would be classified as the "Odd Couple" that hit series television show had a great run when it aired back in the good old days long before cable television.

Now the Lions version could be a scaled down short term version which leads to NFL relevance as to this date, they are now one of four teams to have never reached a Super Bowl.

Scott Morganroth can be reached as scottsports33@aol.com and his blog can be read at www.scottsports33.com.



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