Thursday, August 16, 2012
Much at stake for T.O. in Seahawks debut
By Mike Sando
Two NFL players have finished a game with at least 10 receptions for 220 yards and a touchdown over the past two seasons.
Calvin Johnson was one. Terrell Owens was the other.
Owens was two months shy of his 37th birthday when he accomplished the feat for Cincinnati against Cleveland on Nov. 3, 2010. Now 38, Owens is to make his 2012 exhibition debut for Seattle against Denver on Friday night.
A few thoughts on his prospects and on Owens in general:
- Forget about 10 receptions for 220 yards. We should instead watch to see how aggressively Owens plays, whether he's a willing blocker, whether he catches the ball well, and how much he plays.
- Owens has always been a competitor. He has responded well in practice after watching Braylon Edwards, his primary competition for a roster spot, score a touchdown and generally play well against Tennessee last week. Owens was not active for that game, but he knows the stakes. He was fortunate to get an opportunity from Seattle, and must capitalize on the chance.
- Edwards has responded to Owens' arrival. Competition is good.
- The Broncos allowed only 7.6 yards per reception to Chicago, which was playing without Jay Cutler, last week. Preseason stats aren't all that meaningful, of course, but that is an unusually low figure. Will Owens find room to operate? We saw Seattle's defensive backs perk up and defend Owens with abandon when the receiver initially reported. Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter are the Broncos' starters. Owens figures to get into the game early enough to face them. He's been playing primarily at flanker.
- Seahawks backup quarterback Russell Wilson showed against the Titans a willingness to trust a big receiver. The pass he threw to Edwards for a 39-yard touchdown comes to mind.
- Owens last caught a preseason touchdown pass in 2007.
- If Owens earns a roster spot, he could face one of his former teams, Dallas, in Week 2 at Seattle. But if Edwards plays at least as well until then, that would lengthen the odds for Owens, who is older. It's tough keeping two veteran wide receivers with similar skill sets when neither plays special teams.
Back in a bit with a couple thoughts on a San Francisco 49ers roster move (Nate Byham waived/injured).