Dungy on Owens: 'I felt bad for Dick Jauron'

October, 1, 2009
10/01/09
3:40
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham


One day after studio partner Rodney Harrison was a guest, NBC Sports analyst Tony Dungy went on "The Dan Patrick Show" to talk about the fallout from Sunday night's comments about Terrell Owens.
 Owens


While Harrison was more blunt on Sunday, calling Owens "a clown" for the way he behaved after failing to catch a pass in a home loss to the New Orleans Saints, Dungy was more subtle. Dungy said Owens was "hard to coach."

Patrick asked the former Indianapolis Colts coach to elaborate.
"It is tough," Dungy said. "I felt bad for Dick Jauron. You're there, you lose a tough game and you go to 1-2. You've got enough problems to worry about, getting the offense back on track, getting your team [together]. Then you have a press conference that comes off like that with a player that's got to be one of your leaders.

"He's going to lead you one way or the other. I guess that would be my problem with Terrell Owens. You get a lot of productivity from him. You get 12 to 15 touchdowns a year, but you also get the other side of it. That's hard on a coach, and a lot of people don't realize that."
Dungy mentioned he has dealt with receivers who wanted more action and understands the emotions involved. But he explained why he thought Owens is going about expressing himself in the wrong way.
"You're going to have strong personalities, but you can't have the me-first attitude if you're going to be a championship team," Dungy said. "You have to have the idea that 'Hey, when we win, it's great. When we lose, we're all disappointed, and we've got to figure out ways not to lose.'

"Yeah, everybody wants to have their personal stats. Everyone wants to help the team, and I've had receivers that wanted to catch the ball before, but you've got to bring it to me as a coach. You've got to do it within the framework of the team so that we can get things better and not take it out in press conferences and things like that, reality shows. That just doesn't help you win."
Owens chose not to address Dungy's comments on "Football Night in America," but responded to Harrison by sending several taunting tweets about Harrison's four-game suspension in 2007 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Harrison on Wednesday replied to Owens' tweets:

"He can say whatever he wants about my career, but when it comes down to it, I'm a champion. OK? And he'll never have that on his résumé. He'll never be a champion. He'll look at his stats and say, 'I was a great football player,' but he'll never be a world champion."

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