Next time, Terrell Owens will plan to get to the stadium a lot earlier on game day. Now he knows the logjam that is Eagles fans traffic.
Owens showed up at Lincoln Financial Field late on Sunday, but in plenty of time to make a debut that lived up to the hype. He caught 8 passes for 68 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-17 win over the Giants.
Owens' three scores surpassed the totals of the Eagles' leading wide receivers all of last season. Both Todd Pinkston and Freddie Mitchell scored two touchowns in 2003.
Owens made it look easy. Surely, the Giants offered less resistance than did the brutal pre-game traffic.
"It was pretty rough," Owens said. "I really didn't expect traffic to be this hectic. I got off on Pattison Avenue and I saw the traffic , so I got off the shoulder. During the pres-season, I always went back home (South Jersey) and then came back. So I asked one of the policemen which way to go and he said, 'Dude, you're not going to make it. Let me call an escort for you.' So thank goodness for that."
Owens did not get specific as to what time he arrived only at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I was on time for the game, so that's all that matters," he said.
Indeed. Owens was brilliant in shredding the Giants. He could have had more, too, but the Eagles didn't need it. Owens caught passes short and broke tackles. He went deep. He ran crossing routes.
And he opened lanes for other receivers to exploit, just as the Eagles had drawn up when they traded for Owens in March.
"You saw the amount of balls the guys caught and you saw Donovan (McNabb) distribute the ball to a number of receivers," said Owens, who admitted that one of the reasons he left late for the game was that one of his friends is ill and that the situation was "heavy on my heart." "I know my presence here and what it is going to bring to the table. It is going to enable a lot of guys to go one-on-one and obviously the double-teaming is going to swing my way. There are going to be some opportunities for those guys."
Owens' first touchdown was a post-corner route on which McNabb lofted a pass into the right corner of the end zone. The second touchdown came after McNabb brilliantly rolled to his right, avoided going out of bounds as well as Michael Strahan and found Owens in the middle of the end zone.
The third touchdown was a simple fade route to the right corner of the end zone after McNabb faked a handoff and rolled to the right. After the score, he flapped his arms like, well, an Eagle.
Naturally, the crowd went wild.
Three scores. Not a bad start.
"This is what we talked about since training camp & getting off to a good start. I know the last few years here, the teams have gotten off to a slow start. That's why I felt I could come in and help and get the team off on a good track," said Owens. "It was a good start for us."
Monday, September 13, 2004
Thursday, September 02, 2004
33-year old defensive tackle excited about being an Eagle again, prepares for season.
Even though he's likely to be relegated to a backup role, defensive end Hugh Douglas was excited to be back with the Eagles after getting released by Jacksonville. The 33-year-old Douglas is the second ex-Eagle to return to the team this summer. In June, the club re-signed middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter after he was released by the Washington Redskins. Douglas had just 3 1/2 sacks for the Jaguars last season after receiving a $6 million signing bonus from them.
"I guess I didn't factor in the fact that when you move to another job, you're starting from scratch," Douglas said. "I think I went down there a little bit thinking, "Hell, I had success in Philly, it's just going to naturally come to me.' It didn't. It was so rough in the beginning. I just didn't fit into what they were trying to do. It was nobody's fault."
The Eagles don't know how much Douglas has left in his tank. He'll likely be part of a four-man rotation at the two end spots with starters Jevon Kearse and Derrick Burgess and second-year man Jerome McDougle . But he always was a popular locker room presence before he left.
"He's a nice fit in there," Reid said. "He was a guy that was well-liked on this football team. He's a funny guy. He has a great sense of humor."
The Eagles next game is friday 9/3 against the NY Jets. Their last encounter with eachother was Oct. 26, 2003 where the Jets lost 17-24. Tomorrows game will probably end about the same! GO EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!