Owens: My Stats Could Have Been Better

T.O. believes his numbers would have been better had he not played for so many different quarterbacks

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
May 17, 2018 - 4:30 pm

USA Today Images

Terrell Owens played for five teams during his 16-year NFL career, and as a result, he played with a lot of different quarterbacks.

But there are two quarterbacks with whom he wanted to play but never did.

“That would be Peyton Manning and Tom Brady,” the Pro Football Hall of Famer told Zach Gelb, who was filling in as host of After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “If you think about how cerebral these guys are – even a guy like Drew Brees. I played with a number of quarterbacks. You think about how Jerry Rice was able to do the things he did, he really didn’t have a drop-off in caliber of quarterbacks. How do you go from Joe Montana to Steve Young? If I had those two guys, there’s no telling what my stats would have been.”

Owens ranks second all-time in receiving yards (15,934), third in receiving touchdowns (153) and eighth in receptions (1,078). Those are impressive numbers, but Owens thinks they could have been better.

“Again, I had to adjust my game with every quarterback that I played with,” Owens said. “Jeff Garcia, he was an out-of-pocket type of quarterback. He wasn’t your pocket passer throwing the ball 50, 60 yards down the field. I played with guys like Tim Rattay, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo – there’s a number of quarterbacks. Jeff Brohm, Ryan Fitzpatrick – I had to adjust my game accordingly. I played in a number of different offenses. I played with Carson Palmer, who played with Chad Johnson for nine or 10 years. I stepped in there and then I outplayed Chad.”

In 2010, Owens had 72 catches for 983 yards and nine touchdowns for the Bengals. Johnson had 67 catches for 831 yards and four touchdowns.

“Those are things that really, it says a lot about who I am as an individual and who I was as a receiver to go in there on a short period of time and put up the numbers that I did,” Owens said.

If Owens had played with Brady in New England, Gelb wonders how – or if – he would have gotten along with Bill Belichick. Owens, 44, believes it would have been fine, mainly because he played for a number of coaches in his career as well.

“There’s been a lot of coaching changes and a lot of adjustments that I’ve had to really adjust to,” he said. “Even with each team that I had to play for, I wouldn’t have seen it any different. They probably would have had to adjust to me as I would have them.”