Terrell Owens Shows Knee Strength in Open Workout

Terrell Owens, the number two receiver all time in yardage and touchdowns, has recovered from his knee surgery and held an open workout today for scouts and potentially interested teams.  He is battling both the recovery from his knee surgery as well as the ravages of time, as Owens is now 37 years old.

Overall, Owens got mixed reviews, as his knee appeared to be strong, but he isn’t fully back in football shape yet.

The workout was covered live on ESPN and other networks, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will be sending video of the workout to all 32 NFL teams.  While it didn’t appear that any teams sent scouting teams to watch the workout live, there were certainly eyes around the league taking a look at Owens.

The Tennessee Titans, who lost wide receiver Kenny Britt for the year, have indicated that they will take a look at the workout.

Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice was on hand for the workout, providing coverage for ESPN, and commenting on the workout, and no one is better equipped to evaluate Owens readiness.  Rice is the all-time leader in receptions, yardage and touchdowns, and recovered from a similar injury late in his career.  Rice is also the only receiver in NFL history to ever catch for 1,000 yards in a season at age 37 or higher, which he did twice, at ages 39 and 40.

“He’s getting in and out of his cuts pretty good,” Rice said while watching him run cone drills.  “I like the way he’s exploding out of those cuts.”

After a few rounds of drills, Rice said, “I would like to see a little more explosion out of that last cone.”

Ultimately, after running through several rounds of drills, Owens was clearly breathing very heavy and Rice commented, “He is winded… he’s not in football shape right now.”  Rice estimated that it will take at least 3-4 additional weeks to get backing in football shape.

“I just need an opportunity,” Owens said. “I’ve been in this situation before. I just need an opportunity to show what I can do and I think everyone knows what I can do … I could have played last week if someone would have signed me, that’s how confident that I am. I wouldn’t have gone through a workout being exposed like that if I wasn’t ready.”

Owens also took issue with comments made by NFL Network analyst Heath Evans during an interview with both of them. Evans commented that it took him nearly a year to fully recover and regain his range and strength in his knee.

“I heard Heath was talking a lot of mess about my range and my knee extension and this and that,” Owens said. “Everybody is different. He’s not me and I’m not him. I’m on a different level than he’s on. For him to compare his injury to my injury and what I was doing on the football field, that’s like comparing a Yugo and a Maserati. It’s just not even fair.”

In spite of typical frankness, you have to root for a comeback for a player like Owens, who works as hard as anyone in the league, and he is clearly still in great overall shape.  He may not be the dominant receiver he was in his prime, but he could still contribute to a team in the right circumstances.  We’ll see how the interest develops when the workout gets analyzed by all 32 teams.


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