Friday, December 26, 2014

Reid's biggest regret: Owens and McNabb?

Part of my duties here at philly.com include "producing" one of our sports shows: That's What He Said with Bob Ford of the Inquirer and Marcus Hayes of the Daily News.

Reid's biggest regret: Owens and McNabb?

What if Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens had played together longer? (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
What if Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens had played together longer? (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

Part of my duties here at philly.com include "producing" one of our sports shows: That's What He Said with Bob Ford of the Inquirer and Marcus Hayes of the Daily News.

I put the word producing in quotes because all I really do is come up with some topics for them to talk about and arrange a time when we can all shoot.

But the reason I'm bringing this up today is because a recent episode (which will go live on the site in the next couple weeks) centered around Andy Reid's tenure here and what he would change about it if he had the choice.

The idea was this: If you hooked up Reid to a lie detector and asked him what his biggest football-related regret would be (leaving the family stuff out of it), what would he say?

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I'd argue it'd be finding some way to resolve the Terrell Owens/Donovan McNabb saga in the months following the Birds' trip to the Super Bowl.

I know - easier said than done. And maybe, ultimately, that would have proved impossible. I was in college at the time, following the situation with great interest from afar. You could certainly argue that there was nothing Reid could have done, that it was a bad mix of personalities, that Owens had issues at pretty much every stop during his NFL career.

But it's still one of the great what-ifs in Philadelphia sports. What if the Owens situation could have been salvaged? What if he had played more than 21 games in an Eagles uniform?

McNabb started just 19 games in 2005 and 2006 combined, finishing both seasons on the sidelines because of injuries. And the Eagles missed out on the postseason in two of three seasons following the Super Bowl.

Owens' teams, meanwhile, never won a playoff game after he left Philadelphia.

As you've likely heard by now, T.O. tore his ACL this offseason at the age of 37, leading many to wonder whether he's played his final game in the NFL. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said today that his client is not retiring and will be ready for the start of the 2011 season.

The real question might not be about Owens' injury (although a September return would normally seem far-fetched), but rather which team would take a shot on him. Owens had to settle for the Bills a couple years ago and caught on with the Bengals in 2010. He played well (72 catches, 983 yards, 10 touchdowns), but it's hard to imagine a team thinking he's worth the trouble coming off a knee injury (he turns 38 in December). Then again, it only takes one of them to be interested.

Owens' overall legacy is a topic that will be debated for years to come. The numbers are pretty staggering. He ranks fifth all-time with 1,078 catches and second with 15,934 yards. Only Jerry Rice (197) had more career touchdowns than Owens (153).

His first season with the Eagles was an all-timer. Owens set franchise records with 14 receiving touchdowns and seven 100-yard games. His 1,200 yards ranks fifth in the Birds' record books.

Yet, after spending his first eight seasons with the 49ers, Owens spent his next seven seasons with four different teams, rarely leaving any one of them on good terms.

With that being said, I leave you with two questions:

1. How will you remember T.O. - both as an Eagle and overall?

2. Do you agree with me about Reid's biggest regret? If not, what would you say?


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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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