Reid says T.O. will stay away until issue is settled

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid called the ejection of Terrell Owens from training camp in-house business, adding the tempestuous wide receiver would not be permitted back to camp until the two of them fully discuss the problem.
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Owens said he was just happy to have a week off.

"I'm going to work with T.O. and only T.O.," Reid said Thursday in his first comments since Owens was sent home Wednesday.

That was about all Reid said despite numerous questions on a variety of subjects about the playmaking, showboating Owens, who was asked to leave camp Wednesday after a heated exchange with Reid.

Owens, meanwhile, emerged from his house in Moorestown, N.J., after noon on Thursday, signing autographs to the delight of several dozen fans who passed the time throwing footballs and yelling Eagles chants in his suburban cul de sac. Owens told reporters he had not spoken to the team.

"Why would I talk to them? They gave me a week off," he said.

When asked why he had the time off, Owens remained elusive.

"What do you think?" he said. "You are asking a dumb question right now."

Owens and agent Drew Rosenhaus -- who had arrived in midmorning -- departed for what the agent said was lunch and a meeting.

Suddenly, Owens pulling a Sharpie from his sock or posing on the Cowboys' star seems downright tame.

On Wednesday, Owens told Comcast SportsNet that his ejection by Reid "was just a difference of opinion. I was defending myself."

Defending himself from what, it's not exactly clear.

Owens refused to say what the argument was about, and the Eagles issued only a brief statement saying Owens was not expected to return to the team until next Wednesday.

But this was the risk the Eagles were willing to take last year when they traded for Owens because they thought he could help them win a Super Bowl.

Now comes this.

For the fifth time in six days, Owens did not practice Wednesday because of a groin injury suffered last week. Instead, he worked out with the assistant trainer for about 20 minutes, catching balls from a machine and doing some light running. He did not speak to reporters or acknowledge the fans who chanted his name.

Between sessions -- the Eagles had a special teams practice Wednesday afternoon that Owens was not required to attend -- Owens and Reid started arguing during a meeting.

Reid asked the injured Owens to leave after their discussion, according to Rosenhaus, and Owens' publicist, Kim Etheredge.

Owens then got his belongings and cleared out of training camp at Lehigh University.

"If the truth needs to be told, then that's what I'll do," Owens said Wednesday. "If he (Reid) wants me to be a man about it and have me really go on the air and really tell the people what happened, then I can. It was a difference of opinion."

With reporters camped on his lawn and helicopters hovering overhead while Owens played basketball and lifted weights, Wednesday's circus scene only magnified the distraction Owens has become to the NFC champions. While Owens was an instant fan favorite last year for helping the Eagles reach the Super Bowl, he's caused constant headaches for management because of his demand for a new contract.

He also damaged his relationship with Donovan McNabb when he took a shot at the quarterback "who got tired in the Super Bowl."

Owens is unhappy the Eagles have refused to redo his contract as he enters the second season of a seven-year, $48.97 million deal. He hired Rosenhaus and threatened to skip camp completely. Instead, Owens reported, then injured his groin last Thursday.

He was day to day and the injury wasn't considered serious.

Owens also skipped a scheduled autograph session with the rest of the Eagles' receivers after Wednesday's practice.

"He was unable to attend because he was injured," Etheredge said.

The Eagles still won't show Owens the money he desperately wants. They have, however, shown the All-Pro wide receiver the door.

Since arriving at Lehigh, Owens has been distant on the field with his teammates. After signing autographs and slapping hands with fans on a nearly daily basis last year, Owens has jogged on and off the practice field, barely acknowledging their chants and screams.

"Just because I don't talk to everybody, that's up to me," Owens said. "Everybody needs to understand the situation is all business, it's nothing personal. The situation is between me and management. They know what's going on.

"I think some people are kind of ticked off because I haven't really said much. They don't pay me to go in there and talk to everybody and be friendly to everybody. They paid me to play and they paid me to perform. That's what I've been going in there and doing."

Last season, Owens had 77 receptions for 1,200 yards and a franchise-record 14 touchdowns before severely injuring his ankle late in the season. He missed the final two regular-season games and the first two playoff games before returning for the Super Bowl, in which he had nine receptions for 122 yards.