Terrell Owens joined Wednesday's episode of Undisputed to discuss his issues with the Hall of Fame voting process, the perception that he's a bad teammate, and his history of problems with various franchises throughout his career.
In a conversation with Skip Bayless that got contentious at times, Owens addressed his first season with the Eagles, and talked about the on-field incident with Donovan McNabb that was the beginning of the end.
Skip Bayless: “You go to Philly and you sign another big contract. What was it? Seven years, $49 million? And everything was peachy-keen from the start, because it was you and Donovan [McNabb]. You were roommates and soulmates all through that first training camp. And you know what happened, it started to fall apart with Donovan.
T.O.: “There was a game, I can’t remember if it was… we were playing the Giants or the Browns or whatever the case may be, but throughout the course of practice, there were designed, specific plays for myself. Ran it over and over. Knew it was going to work in the game. Ran that play to a T. Open, wide open, I didn’t get the ball. I could hear my teammates from the sideline, ‘why didn’t he throw the ball?’
So I go back to the huddle and I was like ‘dude, I was open.’ And you know what his response was to me? ‘Shut the F up.’
That was disrespectful. I’ve never disrespected any of my teammates to that degree. And I didn’t make a stink about it on the field, I let it ride.I didn’t argue about it, i said ‘cool.’ But I went in the locker room and addressed him after the game, man-to-man. Knowing the things that had happened in San Francisco, I didn’t want that to happen in Philly.
Went up to him, addressed him, told him I didn’t appreciate that and don’t let that happen again. For whatever reason, I don’t know how he took it, he didn’t like it. And that’s how things started to unravel.
So these are things that you aren’t made aware of that I’ve tried to do to make myself a better person and a player based on things that happened in San Francisco.”
Terrell Owens: I tried to change after what happened in San Francisco
Skip Bayless: “Is it fair to say you and Donovan then just fell completely apart?”
T.O.: “I don’t know what happened with Donovan. Trust me, when we got in between those lines, I did my job. I didn’t necessarily have to talk to him on the football field, practice or whatever. For me, it wasn’t an issue.
As the season rolled along, it was people that brought it to my attention that it was an issue. To go into Lincoln Financial Field, do what I did, have 70,000 people chant your name, ’T.O., T.O.' Maybe that got under his skin. But, for me, I didn’t have anything personally against Donovan, because I went there to achieve the goal of helping them get to the Super Bowl.”
Terrell Owens: Ask my coaches what type of teammate I am
Shannon Sharpe: “So you’re saying from the moment that Donovan addressed you in front of your teammates, and you having aconversation with him after the game, that was the beginning of the end of your relationship?”
T.O.: “I think it was, but again, I tried to be the better person. Unbeknownst to you and others that are getting sideline information.”
Skip Bayless: “I’ve heard Donovan’s story straight from his lips, and it’s upside down from your story.”
T.O.: “You can ask the teammates. You can go to Philly, you can ask the some of the staff. Again, even from Ray Sherman, who coached me in Dallas. He basically has said ‘tell them to call [me].’ Talk to him. These are the guys that have coached me. If you want to know the truth, call him."
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T.O. on his relationship with Eagles coaches:
Skip Bayless: “OK, but the head coach in Philly and the coordinator in Philly, you began to have issues with and feud with Andy Reid and Brad Childress, right? You had some issues with them.”
T.O.: “Andy Reid, I love Andy Reid. Never going to say anything bad, best coach I ever had.”
Skip Bayless: “Brad Childress, not so much?”
T.O.: “For whatever reason, he probably had his perception prior to me coming there, so again, it is what it is.”
T.O. on coming back from injuries to play in the Super Bowl:
Skip Bayless: “So you didn’t love your contract after two years, your seven-year deal, and you began to have issues with management. And it got so bad in Philadelphia that Terrell Owens, again at the peak of his powers, got suspended and then deactivated. They just basically sent you home, and then the next year they released you, right? That’s a pretty ugly end to what looked like a fairy tale Philly story.”
T.O.: “Well, you know Skip, it’s sad to say I went there, I played, I did beyond what was expected, I went to the Super Bowl, I played with two screws and a plate in my ankle, broken fibula. Played in that game, and guys like yourself call me selfish for playing in that game.”
Skip Bayless: “That’s because three of your prominent teammates said you forced your way back in.”
T.O.: “What force? How can I force my way into the game?”
Skip Bayless: “That you just weren’t ready to play and the Patriots knew it and you were no real threat to them, and yet Donovan force-fed you the ball. What’d you have, nine for 122?”
T.O.: “That’s force-feeding me the ball? If they would have given me a couple more we probably would have won, Skip. I can’t force my way into a game. If I wasn’t medically cleared to play or they didn’t think I was ready to play, they wouldn’t have put me on the football field. I went to my doctor, he didn’t clear me. I had to sign a waiver from the Eagles to play in that game. Come on, man, are you serious? But according to [the media], I was ‘selfish’ to play in that game.”