T.O.: I've fallen into that villain category
Wide receiver Terrell Owens, playing for the Allen Wranglers in something called the Indoor Football League, said he has become a "villain" and "can't get out of that box."
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Owens said he believes that concerns about character kept him out of the NFL in 2011. Owens said he is physically fine, after tearing his ACL last year in the off-season. In regards to the Wranglers, Owens apparently is a co-owner of the team as well.
"I'm using this as a platform to keep myself in shape. The business end of it is something that intrigued me, being a co-owner with the team. This is me transitioning to life after football. I feel I'm physically fit and can play at a productive level to where I can play a couple of more years in the National Football League," Owens said. "That's what I'm pushing for. I'm not going to give up hope just because I'm 38 and just had a knee injury. I think a lot of why I probably didn't play this year, everybody keeps talking about the 'character' issues. The last two or three years relatively I was quiet, knowing that everybody was saying that I had a character issue, I'm disruptive, there's a lot of hype that comes with me, they're saying I'm a distraction here and there. That's all hearsay."
Owens, who last played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, said that, in essence, he believes he was blackballed last year.
"I didn't get picked up was that a lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks that I'm this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team's chemistry. They won't allow me to turn over a new leaf," he said. "They won't allow me to be a better person. Anytime anything is brought up about me, they keep talking about things that happened five, six, seven years ago. Why don't I get a pass? I've kind of fallen into that villain category and I can't get out of that box."
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com