Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Niners' Smith sticks to his guns on T.O.

The Modesto (Ca.) Bee reported that former teammate Derek Smith hasn't changed his tune on Terrell Owens, even after Owens had five catches for 143 yards and two TDs in the Eagles' romp over the 49ers:

[Facing the 49ers for the first time since their messy separation last year, Terrell Owens took his first pass of the day 68 yards to the end zone for the first score in a 42-3 Philadelphia Eagles win.

"I said he was a premier player," said linebacker Derek Smith, who blasted Owens earlier in the week. "But I wouldn't take him on our team even after his performance today. He had a good game. He had a great game. And he'll have a great year."]

Smith was highly critical of T.O. in the days leading up to last week's game, saying many of the things other 49ers probably thought, but chose to keep to themselves:

"I think we're better off without him, absolutely better off without him," Smith said. "I don't think he buys into anything but his own thing."

Smith also added this nugget about Owens' notorious touchdown celebrations:

"He probably gets in front of the mirror every day, (saying) 'This is what I'm going to do this week,' practicing," Smith said.

It couldn't have taken too much practice last week. After both his TDs, Owens simply placed the ball on the ground in the end zone.

[There was no Sharpie, no pom-poms, and Owens left the locker room without talking to reporters.

"I'm surprised," running back Kevan Barlow said. "I would have thought he'd have a chip on his shoulder. I guess he took the classy way out."]

Sports Illustrated lays a triple witching on Philly

As curses go, the SI cover jinx clearly is overrated. Michael Jordan appeared on more SI covers than anyone, and it sure didn't seem to hurt him any. Still ....

First, the Daily News reports today that Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens grace this week's cover, yukking it up on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of last week's 42-3 romp over the 49ers. Second, it notes that the same issue's second feature is on the Phillies being all loosey-goosey and in the playoff hunt under manager Charlie Manuel.

Third, a quick scan of today uncovers a very complimentary piece on Eagles All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins. Here's a snippet:

"(T)here are times when even the greatest of talents can get lost amidst all the hype we heap on other stars. Philadelphia Eagles free safety Brian Dawkins is a prime example of that.

"Yes, he's been to four Pro Bowls. Yes, he has a huge following in Philadelphia. But he's never gotten the love he deserves outside The City of Brotherly Love. When he came into the league 10 years ago, Darren Woodson was known as the league's best safety. Now, Baltimore's Ed Reed has earned that distinction. But for most of his career, Dawkins has had no peer. "You're talking about a guy who just doesn't do it from week to week," says Buffalo Bills safety Troy Vincent, who played cornerback in Philadelphia from 1995-2003. "He gets the job done every day of the week. I hear people talk about this person or that person being the best safety in the league after they've had one or two good years, but Dawkins has been more consistent at that position than anybody."

-- Aww, who's kidding who? It'll take more than a jinx to keep the Eagles from stumbling against the Oakland Raiders this week. (And it won't be a curse that keeps the Phillies out of the playoffs, unless that explains Pat Burrell's inability to get the bat off his shoulder whenever a third strike crosses the plate.)

Eagles vs. Raiders

Let's have a little discussion that follows the rationale of the Inquirer's Phil Sheridan. If the Eagles are a team that looked like it was in the playoffs vs. Atlanta and then looked like the team most fans can expect for most regular season games this year vs. the 49ers, then do we know who they are this week?

Last week was a win, a resounding win of the kind the Eagles must have to become divisional champs and get to Detroit.

But this week, the other diva, Randy Moss, arrives in town and he is very hungry, bringing a Raiders team that is 0-2. You can also expect his presence to rev up Philly's own diva, Terrell Owens. Very few teams make the playoffs 0-2 and even fewer at 0-3-maybe just a handful of teams so Sunday is now critical for the Raiders and for the Eagles because Philly fans still need to know what they've got.