Bengals’ Owens pointing fingers at coaching staff
CINCINNATI (AP) — Receiver Terrell Owens says the Cincinnati Bengals’ lousy season is the result of underachieving “from the top down,” and he particularly points a finger at the coaches.
Teammate Chad Ochocinco asked Owens during “The T.Ocho Show” on Versus cable network Tuesday night why he thinks the team is 2-11.
“I think there’s underachieving from the top down,” Owens said. “You start with the owner, you start with the coaches. And obviously we as players, we are a product of what the coaches are coaching us throughout the course of the week.
“Of course, we have to go out there and play the game. But in order for us to do what we’re allowed to do at the best of our abilities, the coaches have to put the players in the best position.”
Owens has been diplomatic for most of the season, which quickly spiraled out of control. He had only one catch for 22 yards during a 23-7 defeat in Pittsburgh on Sunday that was Cincinnati’s 10th straight, matching the franchise record for consecutive losses in a season.
In the past couple of weeks, Owens has implied that the Bengals are getting out-coached and not making very good adjustments to opposing defenses. His comments on Tuesday were his most pointed yet.
Wearing a T-shirt that said “I (heart) Keeping It Real,” Owens noted that he signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati to improve its passing game and help the defending AFC North champions go deeper into the playoffs. Owens has been productive — he ranks among the league’s top six receivers in catches and yards — but the offense overall is in the bottom third.
“Yeah, my frustration pretty much is at an all-time high,” Owens said. “I pretty much have been quiet all year, but the fact that I was brought in here to kind of help this team get to the playoffs, and to be where we are right now is very disappointing.”
The Bengals have only two winning records in the past 20 years, one of the worst stretches of futility in league history. Owens turned 37 last week and is a free agent after the season. The Bengals have an option to keep Ochocinco for one more year. Coach Marvin Lewis’ contract is up after the season.
Owens asked Ochocinco why he thinks the Bengals are 2-11. Only Carolina is worse at 1-12.
“I’m not sure why we’re 2-11 this year,” Ochocinco said. “But the thing with me is I’ve become numb to the situation of losing, being that I’ve lost for such a long time that I have not been able to point the finger on what it really is.”