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Owens-less Eagles Ready for Monday Night Matchup With Rams

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  • Owens-less Eagles Ready for Monday Night Matchup With Rams

    The Philadelphia Eagles have spent the past few days wondering if they'll have Terrell Owens back in time for the Super Bowl -- and if they can make it there without him.

    They'll take the field without their dynamic All-Pro wideout for the first time this season when they host the St. Louis Rams, who are desperate for a win in their pursuit of an NFC playoff spot.

    Owens was acquired this past offseason to help the Eagles get over the hump after three straight losses in the NFC title game, including crushing home defeats in each of the last two seasons. He more than lived up to his end of the bargain through 15 weeks, accumulating teams bests of 77 catches, 1,200 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

    But Owens' season, and the Eagles hopes of an elusive Super Bowl title hit a snag in the road last Sunday against Dallas. Owens had two ankle ligaments torn, including one damaged all the way up to a fracture a few inches below his knee, after being taken down by Dallas safety Roy Williams during Philadelphia's 12-7 win over the Cowboys.

    Owens had surgery to insert two screws in the ankle Wednesday, and has not ruled out a return to the field in six weeks, which would coincide with the Super Bowl in Jacksonville.

    "While it is not unreasonable to hope that he returns to play in six weeks, it is not something we would expect,'' Dr. Mark Myerson said.

    Owens, who was named to his fifth Pro Bowl this week, will be missed by an Eagles' offense that lacks starpower beyond that of veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb. But Philadelphia insists that the loss of its top weapon won't stop it from pursuing its ultimate goal.

    "Yes, it's tough losing a guy like T.O., but the season's not over,'' said McNabb, who was also named to the Pro Bowl on Wednesday.

    Philadelphia has already wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and is just looking to remain healthy and stay sharp for a long postseason run.

    Without Owens, the Eagles will be left with a receiving corps of Freddie Mitchell, Greg Lewis and Todd Pinkston. Those three have a combined 60 catches for 1,073 yards and one touchdown this season.

    The Eagles do have a healthy Brian Westbrook, who missed last year's postseason with an injury and has emerged as one of the more dangerous running backs in the league. Tight ends L.J. Smith and Chad Lewis are also reliable options.

    "We have the full confidence in the rest of the guys stepping up and making the big plays when we need it,'' McNabb said.

    The sputtering Rams have lost four of their last five, but are just one game behind Seattle for first place in the mediocre NFC West and locked in a four-way tie for the final wild-card berth in the conference.

    The Rams had a chance to take control of the division race Sunday, but suffered an embarrassing 31-7 loss in Arizona.

    "We didn't see this coming,'' Rams wide receiver Torry Holt admitted. "If there was any game on the schedule that we felt confident about coming in and winning, it would be Arizona.''

    With starting quarterback Marc Bulger out with a shoulder injury, 39-year-old Chris Chandler lasted just one quarter for the Rams before he was replaced by Jamie Martin, who saw his first regular-season action in two years.

    Martin was signed by the Rams earlier this month when Bulger was injured. St. Louis coach Mike Martz put much of the blame on Chandler, saying the veteran quarterback threw the ball on a run play on the first series and made other elementary mistakes.

    "It's tragic for this football team, for that position to hold this whole football team hostage,'' Martz said, "but that's where we are.''

    Martin completed 16 of 31 passes for 188 yards without an interception after Chandler went 1-for-6 with one pick.

    Bulger, who is out with a bone bruise in his throwing shoulder, insists he will return to the field Monday night to help the Rams restart their playoff charge. He was upgraded to probable on Wednesday.

    "I'm 100 percent,'' Bulger said somewhat unconvincingly Thursday. "It doesn't matter. If I play bad it doesn't matter, and if I play good it doesn't matter.''

    Associated Press

  • #2
    Re: Owens-less Eagles Ready for Monday Night Matchup With Rams

    "We didn't see this coming,'' Rams wide receiver Torry Holt admitted. "If there was any game on the schedule that we felt confident about coming in and winning, it would be Arizona.''
    Somehow I don't see a Billichek coached player making a statement to the fact that he overlooked an opponent, as our "Big Game" buddy did?

    These small things seem to be the difference these days, and also seem more and more to point to coaching and basics.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Owens-less Eagles Ready for Monday Night Matchup With Rams

      The sense of urgency, for whatever reason, has been missing from this team for a number of years. It sparks up for a quarter or two, now and then, and is gone.

      What I wouldn't give for quality O-line play over the past 3 years. :confused:

      Maineram :ramlogo:

      Comment

      Related Topics

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      • DJRamFan
        [Eagles] A Grief Interlude
        by DJRamFan
        By Shannon Ryan

        Inquirer Staff Writer


        Like the rest of the city, Terrell Owens' teammates know he was brought to Philadelphia to help the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.

        Now it looks as if they are going to have to do it without him.

        Owens likely will miss the rest of the season, with only a sliver of hope of returning from an ankle sprain, joint damage, and a leg fracture in time for the Super Bowl - that is, if the Eagles can make it that far without their star wide receiver.

        His teammates said they were disappointed but determined, and knew they would have to pick up the slack.

        "I feel for Terrell," quarterback Donovan McNabb said in a statement. "He's worked hard. We've all worked hard to try and bring a championship to Philadelphia. I know he will do everything he possibly can to get better and be a part of what we want to accomplish."

        "In any event, we have to move forward," McNabb said. "We have a number of weapons on offense and we all just need to go out and make plays."

        Linebacker Ike Reese said the Eagles would look to "do it collectively."

        "We can't hang our heads," Reese said. "There will be some guys, some young receivers, who will have to step up."

        Everything can't be put on McNabb's shoulders, Reese added.

        Owens will undergo surgery tomorrow. He was in Baltimore seeing an ankle specialist yesterday for testing, which revealed the extent of his injuries.

        Afterward, Owens talked on the phone to many teammates, including wide receivers Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston, free safety Brian Dawkins, and McNabb.

        "I just wanted to let those guys know that I'm behind them," Owens said yesterday afternoon. "I'm going to be their biggest cheerleader."

        Since arriving in Philadelphia this year, Owens has been an offensive spark, deemed the missing ingredient for a team that has lost the last three NFC championship games.

        Reese said he was looking forward to seeing Owens perform on the big stage of the playoffs, for which the Eagles have secured the home-field advantage and a first-round bye.

        "I knew in the postseason he would go to another level," Reese said. "I know he was brought here to bring our playing in the postseason to another level."

        The Eagles have dealt with end-of-season injuries to key players in the past.

        Last year, it was running back Brian Westbrook.

        If there is a bright spot, offensive tackle Tra Thomas said, it is that the Eagles have been through this drill before.

        "We just have to keep working," he said. "Everyone has to step up when a key person goes down."

        More than being worried...
        -12-21-2004, 10:33 AM
      • Nick
        Owens skips minicamp and McNabb has something to say
        by Nick
        Owens skips minicamp; McNabb responds to criticism
        By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer
        April 29, 2005

        PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- With Terrell Owens absent, Donovan McNabb didn't miss his target.

        While Owens skipped Philadelphia's first mandatory minicamp practice on Friday, McNabb responded sternly to the All-Pro wide receiver's stinging comments about the quarterback's performance in the Eagles' 24-21 loss to New England in the Super Bowl.

        ``I don't play games in the media,'' McNabb said. ``I'm not going to sit here and try to have a war of words. I'm a man at what I do. If there's a problem with anyone, and they feel the need to lash out, they know how to get in touch with me and we can handle it like men.''

        Owens -- who is holding out, presumably because he wants a new contract -- took a verbal shot at McNabb in an interview earlier this month. Some Eagles said McNabb was so ill in the fourth quarter against the Patriots that he couldn't call one play in the huddle.

        ``I played every snap they allowed me to play,'' Owens told ESPN.com. ``I wasn't even running until, like, two weeks before the game. But I made sure I was in the best shape possible. I wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl.''

        McNabb, who made a recruiting pitch to get Owens to Philadelphia before last season, insisted he wasn't tired or sick in the final minutes against New England, though it appeared at one point he was either coughing or struggling to catch his breath.

        ``If you say I was winded, if you say the (offensive) line was winded, if you say the defense was winded, that's fine,'' McNabb said. ``But to be tired and dropping to a knee, that didn't happen.''

        Without mentioning Owens, McNabb had strong advice for his most loquacious teammate.

        ``Just keep my name out of your mouth,'' McNabb said. ``Don't try to throw names or guys under the bus to better yourself. You never heard me say any names in any situation. You never heard me talk about any given players. I'm the guy to be professional and be a man about things.''

        McNabb said he hasn't spoken to Owens since hearing the inflammatory comments.

        ``If a comment was made about me, it would take that person to call me,'' he said. ``I don't have to reach out to anyone.''

        The soap opera atmosphere surrounding the NFC champions is a stunning turnaround from the calm environment the Eagles are used to. Contract disputes also kept Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbrook and defensive tackle Corey Simon at home, and wideout Freddie Mitchell wasn't welcome at camp.

        ``I told him I did not want him here,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said of Mitchell, the former first-round pick who has talked himself out of town by constantly griping about his role in the offense.

        Owens' holdout could extend deep into training...
        -04-29-2005, 02:48 PM
      • DJRamFan
        [Eagles] A DAY AFTER ... TIME TO REGROUP
        by DJRamFan
        December 21, 2004
        By DAVE SPADARO

        As Terrell Owens moves one day closer to surgery on his injured right ankle/leg, the Eagles have a game against St. Louis to prepare for and a playoff season to face without T.O.
        Reaction among the players to the news that Owens will be lost through the NFC playoffs was dramatic and the mood was upbeat: The Eagles will move on.

        "We know what T.O. means to the team. He's a great player and we hope he comes back and helps us," said wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, who is expected to start in Owens' absence. "At the same time, we're a team. We have other great players to step up in and fill the void. That's our approach. The games continue. We didn't get to 13-1 because of one player. We've had this situation before and we know how to overcome these kinds of injuries."


        Players like Greg Lewis have to step up
        Head coach Andy Reid has yet to announce his plans for the two remaining regular season games -- at St. Louis on Monday night and home with the Bengals on January 2. He'll want to look at his offense, one would presume, without Owens.

        That means the Eagles may continue to play quarterback Donovan McNabb a bit to develop timing and rhythm with other receivers, specifically second-year man Billy McMullen, who could hae a significant role in the final two games here.

        "That's the approach I would take," said ESPN analyst and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski. "You want to have a little something going once you get to the playoffs. You don't want to be right there in a playoff situation not having any kind of game experience to fall back on. So I would imagine Andy will play Donovan a little bit on Monday night, just so he can get a few throws out to his new group of receivers.

        "I think it's a blow to lose T.O., but the Eagles are still the best team in the NFC. They still have weapons on offense. Brian Westbrook is still there. Andy and his staff are as good as anybody at scheming and coming up with favorable matchups. Not having T.O. makes it more difficult, but the coaching staff will find a way."

        Said wide receiver Greg Lewis: "Obviously T.O. is a big part of our team, but this just means we have other players who need to contribute. You have to be ready in the NFL. They always say you're one play away. The time is now to take the next step. We don't have T.O. around for a while to make plays. It's on us."

        These final regular season games are meaningless as far as the standings go, but they will provide a great testing group for the Eagles and the offense. Mitchell, Lewis, Todd Pinkston and McMullen now must be an even more integral part of the passing game.

        While it's unlikely the Eagles will unveil any new tricks in the next two weeks, they do want to have confidence in the attack...
        -12-21-2004, 10:38 AM
      • Nick
        It was only a matter of time, Eagle fans
        by Nick
        Owens: 'I can't do right and I can't do wrong'
        Monday, April 11, 2005
        By Len Pasquarelli
        ESPN.com

        Terrell Owens, chagrined by some of the characterizations of him over the past week, denied on Monday night he switched agents to improve his financial status, but was as elusive in discussing his contract as he is in dodging NFL cornerbacks.

        The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver also insisted his goal is to win a Super Bowl title with his current team, but found time to take a not particularly veiled swipe at Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, with the talkative wide receiver noting at one point that he "wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl."

        What Owens apparently has grown weary of, it seems, are what he perceives as portrayals of him being selfish and opportunistic.

        "As always, there is a lot being written and [reported] without anyone talking to me," Owens said. "I mean, I can't do right and I can't do wrong. It's getting, in some ways, like it was for me in San Francisco. But the one thing that won't change is that I'm going to show up to play and to win. No one can ever [debate] that."

        Whether Owens is seeking a change in his contract -- after just one season under the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed with the Eagles as part of a three-team trade that landed him in Philadelphia last spring -- remains unknown. ESPN.com first reported last Tuesday that Owens had retained high-profile agent Drew Rosenhaus, arguably the NFL's top dealmaker, perhaps in an effort to upgrade his contract.

        Rosenhaus met briefly last Wednesday in Philadelphia with Eagles team president Joe Banner. Neither man divulged details of their conversation but it should be noted that Rosenhaus typically huddles with team officials when he takes on a new client.

        League sources have said that the Eagles will not renegotiate Owens' contract at this time but might, at some point, consider restructuring the deal to redistribute monies due in the next few years. At least under current ownership, Philadelphia has never made dramatic changes to a contract with so many years remaining on it.

        On Monday, asked pointedly and repeatedly about his reasons for retaining Rosenhaus, and about his possible designs on a new deal, Owens declined to comment in detail. Rosenhaus also declined comment.

        "We'll just have to see what happens," Owens said.

        Club officials might have to adopt the same wait-and-see approach when it comes to Owens' attendance at offseason workouts. The nine-year veteran was non-committal when asked about spring and summer practices, at one point questioning the difference between voluntary and mandatory workouts, but was adamant that coach Andy Reid knows exactly what kind of shape Owens will be in for his second season with the team.
        ...
        -04-12-2005, 05:26 AM
      • txramsfan
        T.O. Gets Lots of Love From Peers
        by txramsfan
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051213/..._party_fallout

        PHILADELPHIA - Terrell Owens had the microphone and all the attention from a crowd filled with teammates, NFL stars and a few celebrities at his birthday bash.

        Already banished from the Philadelphia Eagles, Owens could've taken the opportunity to diss Donovan McNabb again. He could've criticized the Philadelphia Eagles for suspending him four games and deactivating him. He could've called out coach Andy Reid or anyone from the front office.

        Instead, the All-Pro wideout professed his love for the city of Philadelphia and his teammates on the Eagles though they're really his ex-mates now.

        "That's the side of Terrell that unfortunately people who aren't close to him don't get to see," Kim Etheredge, Owens' publicist, said Tuesday. "That's how he is when he's in his element, surrounded by family and friends."

        Perhaps Owens chose his words carefully because of the grievance the NFL Players Association filed on his behalf against the Eagles last week, claiming the team breached Owens' contract by trying to get back part of his signing bonus and by leaving him inactive for the rest of the season.

        However, the party was invitation-only and reporters weren't on the guest list, so Owens could've said whatever he wanted without worrying much about any repercussions.

        Maybe time away from football softened Owens and made him consider changing his ways. Then again, a defiant Owens vowed he'll return, saying: "I ain't ever going to let anyone change me."

        He won't get an argument from any of the people who helped him celebrate his 32nd birthday Monday night at Jay-Z's 40-40 club in Atlantic City, N.J.

        "Just do what you do," Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse said he'd advise Owens. "Be you."

        Kearse was among at least 19 Eagles, including players on injured reserve and the practice squad, who turned out to party with Owens, one day after the reigning NFC champions were eliminated from playoff contention with their sixth loss in seven games.

        Running back Brian Westbrook, cornerback Lito Sheppard and wideout Todd Pinkston each on IR were there. Other starters included tight end L.J. Smith, guard Shawn Andrews and defensive end Trent Cole. Veteran defensive linemen Hollis Thomas and N.D. Kalu also went.

        "Personally, he never did anything to me," Smith said. "He invited the whole team. That says a lot. He's a great teammate."

        Added Kearse: "He's a wonderful teammate."

        Not everyone would agree. Owens wore out his welcome in San Francisco after eight seasons and lasted just 1 1/2 years in Philadelphia, despite his superior talent and skills.

        Still, he has plenty of supporters on the...
        -12-13-2005, 03:54 PM
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