Terrell Owens is back on the NFL landscape, adding another intriguing plotline to training camp.
The Seattle Seahawks are banking that a humbled and still physically impressive T.O. will provide a spark to their passing offense. The question is, just how much does Owens, 38, have left after missing a season on the heels of reconstructive knee surgery?
In their latest edition of "He Said, He Said," Around The League's Dan Hanzus and Marc Sessler offer two opinions on a hot-buzz topic in the NFL.
Hanzus: T.O. will step up
I've taken a running leap off the Terrell Owens doubter bandwagon.
While everyone was having their fun with T.O. -- and my hands are hardly clean there -- the receiver kept working. He. Never. Stopped. Working. Now he's back in the NFL, playing for a Seahawks team that's desperate for a receiver to emerge in training camp.
My honest belief is that T.O. still can be a reasonable facsimile of the T.O. of old. His reported 40-yard dash time -- and I don't get people who doubt its veracity -- shows he still can move. You'll be hard-pressed to find a player in the league with more motivation to succeed.
Pete Carroll said Owens has the opportunity to start. If that ends up the case -- and the ominous Sidney Rice updates make you think he has a fighting chance -- I wouldn't be surprised if Owens had another 1,000-yard receiving season in him.
That almost definitely would make him the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, leading to a two-year extension that will culminate with T.O. simultaneously throwing three quarterbacks under the bus.
Things will get ugly, but let's soak in this T.O. goodwill before the poisons take hold.
Sessler: T.O. is a mirage
If Terrell Owens makes the Seahawks -- and that's no guarantee -- he's bound to produce. That production, however, won't be a success by his standards -- or ours.
It's very easy to fall for the illusion, because age doesn't apply to Owens the way it does to other NFL players. T.O.'s still built like an action figure and looked the part in Wednesday's practice. But Pete Carroll fell for Owens as part of Seattle's growing and unhealthy fascination with aging pass-catchers.
I predict for Owens something down the middle -- 35 receptions, 470 yards and three touchdowns -- and that's not enough from a guy with nine 1,000-yard seasons.
In some of these debates, it's black and white. T.O. is a god/T.O. is a disaster. Not this time.
Owens is a Hall of Fame-caliber wideout showing zero ability to walk away with grace. This is a patch for the Seahawks, and it's a patch for Owens, who ultimately must confront his life away from the field.
Nobody with T.O.'s career numbers would be satisfied with an average season, but an average season is on the horizon. All part of a forgettable, awkward footnote to an otherwise sensational career.
Marc Sessler and Dan Hanzus write for Around the League. They both loathe any and all references to getting one's popcorn ready.