Thursday, August 11, 2005

TO is a Fink

TO is a fink.

But he sure can play.

For that reason alone, the Eagles really ought not pull the plug on this experiment yet. Other than the Patriots, the Eagles are the most adult organization in the NFL. If the quarterback and head coach cannot deal with this maniac- no one can. So, since Owens is awesome-possum, they ought to trust themselves as an organization to handle him. At least give themselves every single possible chance to make TO heel- much like a misbegotten pug puppy. Or Joe Gibbs. Gosh, remember when the NFL respected that old fool. Now the Linc mob pillories Gibbs like a pug- who has wet the rug despite his incontinence medication.

That being said, for the first time, I tend to think the TO experience in Philadelphia is probably over. Philadelphia is generally so proficient in controlling the team’s external presentation. The very fact that TO was oh so publicly dismissed suggests the Eagles were looking for an excuse to make this dispute a civic priority.

Not that Reid and Banner want this- both are not so foolish as to ruminate the football team is better off without this dope. However, if the braintrust have decided TO has got to go- they have set themselves up where it does certain damage, but the least damage, to the team.

Again, I sort of think they have given up. One problem with this whole situation is goes right at two of the Eagles’ organizational blind spots. One, the Eagles really prize order above talent. Two, they believe that wide out is not an important position in a capped league- that you can win with marginal talent out there.

Now, I prize order too. I get it. But the one thing about order, one of the reasons you demand it, is it allows you to keep a guy like TO without eating at the team’s foundation. The second point, well, Reid is wrong. He’s not perfect.

So Owens’ potential departure hurts- yes. Though the Eagles have insulated themselves probably the best they can:

1. They have successfully made Owens out to be the bad guy. Admittedly, this was not hard. But the fans and media aren’t going to go crazy if he leaves- as they would do if they thought the Eagles were dismissing TO solely due to money issues. The team will rally around the popular quarterback and coach.

2. Imagine if Owens pulled this nonsense with, oh, say a Brunell type contract. Remember, it cost nothing to bring him here. Further, TO is right about one thing, the Eagles woefully underpay him. It costs pretty much nothing to cut him- or they might get a decent draft pick if they can trade him.

3. He might even play again. Remember, TO is not like the rest of us humans.

These problems have swirled around him constantly- albeit not this bad- and it has never affected his production. Frankly, the Eagles have never had a problem with his on-field performance. The guy has been a warrior- pure and simple. He plays with determination and guts and skill. The problem is just everything else: sideline behavior, his mouth, etc. But you know what, if he catches two touchdowns Monday Night against the Falcons, this situation largely goes away.

The question is can the Eagles put up with this for five months. And gosh, I’d still like to see them try. TO is really good. I would put up with a lot of negatives- and I think McNabb and Reid can handle them- to put him out there on Sunday.