Playoff-contending Bengals throw T.O. a big lifeline -- and vice versa
Whether it is the controversy that he created in his first four NFL stops with the Niners, Eagles, Cowboys and Bills, or his latest reality show, Owens is still one of the NFL's most recognizable players. That's quite a feat considering he will turn 37 during the season, and by all accounts, is a descending player.
That said, his numbers in Buffalo last season (55 catches, 829 yards, five TDs) were much better than most people think -- especially coming from a Bills team that had serious problems at quarterback and the offensive line. The more telling number, however, is the 15.1 yards per catch Owens averaged over the course of the season. That's right in line with where he has been over the course of his career and should be the first statistic mentioned by any Owens supporter hoping to dispel the notion that he has lost a step. If T.O. can duplicate those numbers this year, there's a good chance Cincinnati will make the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 1982.
The Bengals primarily have been known for their futility over the past two decades. Even when they have a good season and win the division, like they did in 2005, they have been unable to maintain that level of performance. Cincinnati truly believes it can change that this year, and signing T.O. is the latest indication the club is willing to do whatever it takes to be a winner.
And with good reason. Top to bottom, the Bengals have quietly built one of the best rosters in the NFL. They are young, deep, and talented at almost every position. In fact, the only thing that really let them down at times last season -- the passing game -- was the one facet they could depend on from 2006-08.
T.O. will help, as will third-year receiver
It's easy to forget that, back in March, the Bengals addressed their need at wideout by signing free agent Bryant, who was coming off a disappointing, injury-plagued season in Tampa Bay.
So why do the Bengals need T.O., too? The more people you talk to in Cincy, the more you hear that Bryant's knee is in such bad shape and that he's nowhere close to being able to run and cut like NFL receivers should. That means somebody in Cincinnati has some explaining to do. Owner
It is seriously almost comical at this point. Name a guy who seemingly had run out of chances and could no longer get any sniffs in the NFL, and there is a good chance he's currently on the Bengals roster.
But thankfully for T.O., Brown doesn't really care what anybody else thinks, which on some level you have to admire. Then again, USC head coach