The Seattle Seahawks signed diva wide receiver Terrell Owens to a one-year deal recently.
With T.O. on the team, the Seahawks have made one of three necessary moves for success in 2012. Now Seattle needs to simply reach out to freshly-available Chad Johnson and throw a feeler out to free agent Plaxico Burress to establish itself as the frontrunner for the 2013 edition of Hard Knocks.
Let’s be honest – Seattle hasn’t had a consistent quality receiver since Steve Largent in the 1980s. Owens, Johnson and Burress all have at one time or another possessed elite talent.
And the three of them together would be hilarious.
The Seahawks’ depth chart currently lists Ben Obomanu (2011: 37 catches, 436 yards, 2 TDs) and Golden Tate (35 catches, 382 yards, 3 TDs) as the top two receivers.
Even with the litany of problems (short list: guns in waistbands, head butts to wives, countless fines, potential of a teensy-weensy ego clash), you can’t tell me the deep threat potential of Johnson matched with the over-the-middle toughness of Owens and red zone scoring abilities of Burress doesn’t at least raise an eyebrow.
The options – at least on the few plays each game where none of the three decide to loaf – are endless for quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. Then again, so are the complaints afterward that all three were wide open and should have got the ball because that was an easy touchdown, Matt, why didn’t you just throw me the damn ball?!?!
Pete Carroll could shift the NFL coaching paradigm. By rewarding the so-called attention-grabbing antics these receivers are known for, he could build a monster through a simple perk package: The top-performing receiver of any given game is allowed to do whatever he wants; the others cannot say a word or do a thing.
Imagine the type of competition this would bring out of T.O., the artist formerly known as Ochocinco, and Plex. If he knew he could get away with Tweeting from the sidelines if he went high over the middle to make a leaping grab for a first down, Johnson would sacrifice his body in a heartbeat.
The biggest challenge for Carroll since that time he personally had to own up to his cheating ways at USC by taking an NFL job and then having to deal with fewer scholarships as well as a bowl ban will be trying to spread the ball – and attention – to these three receivers.
For most coaches, keeping Owens, Johnson and Burress out of the media for off-field stir-ups would be difficult. But in the NFL outpost of Seattle, distractions should be harder to come by than in hotbeds like Miami, New York, Dallas, New England, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Philadelphia, San Francisco or Pittsburgh.
Those are all enormous media markets that overreacted to each and every one of this trio’s misunderstandings.
In Seattle, the media will be more forgiving and understanding when a player calls a sit-up-fest press conference in his front yard. It will receive the appropriate amount of attention — no more, no less.
The Seahawks could brew the perfect storm by putting Johnson and Burress in the receiving corps along with Owens.
Or they could stick with Obomanu, Tate, Deon Butler and Sidney Rice, use tight ends Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow, and hope Marshawn Lynch is in beast mode all season. But where’s the fun in that?