King, Peter
September 2004
Sports Illustrated;9/6/2004, Vol. 101 Issue 9, p66
This article focuses on the Philadelphia Eagles football team, focusing on quarterback Donovan McNabb and wide receiver Terrell Owens. Two scenes from one day at training camp paint conflicting pictures of a conflicted man. Scene I: After a morning practice in early August, new Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens chafed at how often coach Andy Reid runs full-speed scrimmage drills during camp. Scene II: After lunch Owens and roommate Donovan McNabb, the Pro Bowl quarterback, returned to their Lehigh University dorm suite to relax before the afternoon practice. Here's why the Owens-McNabb partnership will succeed: The controversial Owens practically begged Reid for the chance to play in Philly, and he doesn't want to screw up this opportunity--especially when so many critics are waiting for him to do just that. Here's why the Owens-McNabb partnership will fail: Owens can be a hopeless me-first guy who in the midst of consecutive two-catch games might erupt in a coach's face on the sideline. In top form, Owens and McNabb are two of the toughest competitors in the NFL, players who can turn a game around with one spectacular play. But it was made clear in the Eagles' three straight NFC Championship Game defeats, and in the Niners' inability to control their pass-catching man-child, that these two players ultimately need one another to get to the Super Bowl. The situation in Philly is so much different for Owens than it was in San Francisco, where for most of his eight seasons he was star-caliber but couldn't hold a candle to the likes of Jerry Rice and Steve Young in the eyes of the 49ers faithful. Because he has more command of the locker room than Jeff Garcia had, McNabb won't hesitate to tell Owens to shut up if he starts acting like a prima donna. INSET: T.O. SOUNDS OFF.


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