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Agent as much to blame as T.O.

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
Published November 11, 2005

Terrell Owens had the attention of the media Tuesday when he stepped behind a bank of microphones outside his Moorestown, N.J., home, and he blew it.

With lots of help from Drew Rosenhaus.

After issuing a 20-second apology that sounded more like a realization that millions of dollars were disappearing from his future, Owens stepped to the back and let Rosenhaus, his agent, take over.

Practically frothing at the mouth, Rosenhaus undid any good Owens had done, and buried his client for good in Philadelphia.

"If the Eagles were sitting around the television set, as soon as (that) occurred, it really sealed the deal," Fox studio analyst Howie Long said.

On a conference call this week, Fox analyst Daryl Johnston also pointed a strong finger at Rosenhaus.

Johnston suggested the Eagles knew they were getting baggage when they traded for Owens, but had no idea how much. He said he has noticed changes in Owens that go beyond his problems with teammates.

"There's a handful of guys (agents) out there that hold guys out after a breakout season," Johnston said. "(You have to question) what kind of influence he was on Terrell Owens. It just seems like there had to be a change in Terrell's behavior.

"These are things that they never even saw coming."

Studio analyst Jimmie Johnson agreed. Though he said the Owens saga "was a positive experience" because the receiver helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl, actually playing in it may have led to this debacle.

"I don't think any of this would have happened if Terrell Owens hadn't played in the Super Bowl," Johnson said. "In his mind, and in Drew Rosenhaus' mind, he became Superman and they decided he needed a new contract. Had he remained injured and stayed off the field, I don't think he would even be lobbying for a new contract."

The Owens saga has dominated sports news coverage for a week, ESPN obviously being the biggest culprit. On Sunday's NFL Countdown, talk of Owens dominated the first half-hour of the show, and his news conference was treated as if Scooter Libby were confessing.

Wednesday night, the folks on HBO's Inside the NFL appeared as tired of football's Not So Dynamic Duo as everyone else.

"He is not your garden variety horse's a--," host Bob Costas said. "This guy clearly has emotional problems where any slight - no matter how small or even if it's only a perceived slight directed toward him - is unforgivable. But anything he says about anybody else is just him being honest. This guy has a very warped view of the world."

Costas was talking about Owens. Or was it Rosenhaus?

[Last modified November 11, 2005, 01:19:18]


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