Friday, February 24, 2012
Updated: February 26, 12:05 AM ET
Terrell Owens puts pads back on
By Calvin Watkins
ALLEN, Texas -- Terrell Owens will make his Indoor Football League debut Saturday night as co-owner/wide receiver for the Allen Wranglers.
Owens' team will face the Wichita Wild at the Allen Events Center in a game general manager and former Cowboys great Drew Pearson is hoping will draw near 5,000.
Owens said he doesn't have a goal in mind in terms of catches or touchdowns. But he comes in as the most accomplished player in the league. With five NFL teams, Owens compiled 15,934 receiving yards and 153 touchdowns. He was also a six-time Pro Bowler.
"This is not a situation where I feel better than these guys or I feel like these guys or this league is beneath me," Owens said of the Indoor Football League. "It's about being smart and putting myself in the best situation [for] when that time comes and go in for a [NFL] workout and somebody to bring me in team-wise.
"This is a business opportunity. I'm a player first and business is somewhat secondary with this move. This is something I can put my hat on down the road."
Owens is hopeful a team will either sign him or ask him to workout once the NFL free-agency period starts on March 13. He didn't play in the league last season and that still surprises him.
Owens is coming off a torn ACL -- which he says is healed -- and hasn't used a knee brace during practices with the Wranglers.
He does expect a more physical game in the indoor league. There are only eight players, the sidelines are behind a wall and the game is faster.
"We've been going at it for two weeks now and practicing every day," Owens said. "It's going to be some adjustments going from outdoor to the indoor game and with the system, the routes and the eight players and the field is condensed. The [throwing] windows are a lot tighter for me [but] it will help me in an outdoor situation once I get back out on the field, other than that my body is starting to feel good and starting to feel like I did during the season."
Owens is only contractually obligated to play in home games, but he can also participate in some road games if he gets a portion of the merchandise sales and gate.
The Wranglers hit the road for a four-game stretch after the season opener in Allen. Owens said he might play March 17 at Colorado.
Calvin Watkins is a columnist for ESPNDallas.com.