T.O.: Hire Me, Improve Your Team's Image

T.O.: Hire Me, Improve Your Team's Image

Times are tough right now, and some people are willing to do or say anything for a paycheck. The same goes for Terrell Owens apparently, who despite being one of this generation's toughest and most prolific receivers, hasn't been able to catch on with a new club after a disappointing year in Buffalo. In fact, he's hardly had so much as a sniff since the Bengals flirted with the idea back in March.

Owens seems to have had enough though, and has taken to defending himself in the media from, among other things, a reputation for being a locker room cancer that he's convinced is preventing potential suitors from coming around. We've witnessed first hand what T.O.'s presence can do to a football team when he's unhappy, but what are his feelings about those past transgressions?

"There were a number of times where prior I probably would have reacted, said something I wasn't supposed to say," Owens told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I really had some restraint [in Buffalo], very patient."

"They're always focused on what has happened earlier in my career," he complained.

It's true that Owens kept his mouth shut last season, despite what must've been one of—if not the most—frustrating campaigns in his career. He reminds anybody who's willing to listen the Bills were not exactly an offensive powerhouse, with a system their fired offensive coordinator described as a "Pop Warner offense," and an O-line about as effective as a sieve.

Owens would also like to remind people that this notion he is a "bad boy" isn't fair either. He's not the guy racking up DUI's and drug charges, or involved in sexual assault scandals or interstate gambling rings.

"Some of the golden boys that they kind of highlight throughout the course of the season, those are the guys that are getting in trouble," Owens said. "Somehow I get lumped into those topics, which blows my mind.

"I've never been in any trouble. I know right from wrong. I try to make the right choices and judgments when I'm out in the public."

He has a point. All of this comes roughly a week after he publicly assailed ESPN for his inability to find work, arguing their constant portrayal of him as as somebody with character issues is keeping teams from picking up the phone. That probably has more to do with his actions in the past, but we're all familiar with ESPN's frequent lazy reporting, running with stereotypes more often than digging up the real story.

The fact is, Owens has largely caused this situation himself, but he seems to be genuine about just wanting to sign somewhere and play ball. I don't think he'll be left waiting too much longer, either. There are plenty of teams that need wide receivers (the Bears, Redskins, and Seahawks are most rumored to be in the mix), and plenty of time between now and opening day to add one.

They can't go wrong with Owens. Even if he's lost a step or two, he's still a huge target and a tough competitor, and his 55 receptions for 829 yards last season are likely somewhat of a mirage considering the circumstances.

>> Owens insists '09 stats are deceiving [ESPN]

>> T.O. takes aim at ESPN for his lack of a job [PFT]

Eagles sign DT Justin Hamilton to futures contract

Eagles sign DT Justin Hamilton to futures contract

The Eagles on Monday signed defensive tackle Justin Hamilton to a futures contract. 

Hamilton, 23, went undrafted in 2015 but spent time with both the Bills and Packers. This past season, he spent six different stints on the Seahawks' practice squad, constantly being waived then re-signed. 

He has never played in an NFL game.

Hamilton played collegiately at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he totaled 14 sacks and 29 tackles for loss in four years. He was First Team All-Sun Belt as a senior. 

The Eagles have signed 15 players to reserves/futures contracts this month.

Pressing too hard? Claude Giroux realizes less can be more

Pressing too hard? Claude Giroux realizes less can be more

NEW YORK — Ron Hextall admitted there’s a bit of a double-edged sword to Claude Giroux.
 
“I think he’s pressing too hard,” Hextall said before Sunday night’s game. “It’s what you like about him; there’s a few guys like that. You like that [competitiveness] about them, but sometimes you become your own worst enemy because they beat themselves up.”
 
The captain was entering the day with a goal drought of 12 games, his longest since Oct. 2-Nov. 7, 2013, when he opened the season goalless in 15 contests.
 
“G wants to be successful at everything,” the general manager said. “Hopefully something good happens for him and he gets rolling. He’s too good of a player to play like this.”
 
Hextall got his wish.
 
Nearly four hours later, Giroux buried the game-winning goal of the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime win against the Islanders at the Barclays Center (see game story). Not only did it relieve Giroux of his funk, but it also did the same for the Flyers, who had lost three straight and 12 of their last 15.
 
"It's been tough the last couple of weeks,” Giroux said. “We know we're a better team. 
 
“Obviously we can still be better but we needed this win tonight.”
 
And Giroux needed that goal. Over the previous 12 games, the Flyers’ second-leading scorer was a minus-13 with seven assists and just one even-strength point. It’s no coincidence the Flyers went 2-8-2 in those 12 games.
 
Giroux didn’t disagree with his boss.
 
“You want to succeed and you want to play the best you can,” he said. “Sometimes you push it a little too much. When you sit back and kind of look at the big picture, sometimes I think that's when you kind of realize you need to relax and just go out there and play.”
 
Before the game, head coach Dave Hakstol made a change that reaped the rewards. He decided to put Jakub Voracek back on the top line with Giroux and Michael Raffl. Giroux finished with six shots, his most since Dec. 21, while Voracek put up four and assisted the overtime winner.
 
“Well, I mean there are a lot of things that go into that,” Hakstol said of the move. “Those guys have success together, but more importantly, you look at some of the combinations as you go through the year when you’ve had success. Sometimes one change gives you a little bit of a jump-start. Those guys did a good job.”
 
Giroux’s goal was emblematic in a way that he simply planted himself in front of the net and tapped in Shayne Gostisbehere’s wraparound pass. There was no highlight-reel deke or miraculous shot.
 
Keeping it simple — as players often say — did the trick.
 
"Sometimes you don't need to try so hard,” Giroux said. “You need to go about your job and make sure you do the right things out there. Make sure you help your teammates and linemates. Just go out there and play hockey. We're supposed to have fun doing it, right? So sometimes you need to relax and kind of look at how you can get better.”
 
Sunday was a start.