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Let T.O. Languish

The Philadelphia Eagles have wisely rejected Terrell Owens "apology" for publicly criticizing his quarterback, Eagle’s coach Andy Reid, and for getting into a scuffle in the Eagles’ locker room.

If you had the misfortune of seeing Owens’ press conference yesterday, you known his biggest problem isn’t his attitude — it’s his manager, Drew Rosenhaus — who makes the Bob Sugar character from Jerry Maguire look decent. I almost (almost) feel sorry for Owens, who is obviously being manipulated by this knave.

Owens apology was rightly rejected because you can only accept so many apologies. Owens sudden contriteness was most likely a result of his learning he will lose $800,000 salary because of his actions.

In other news, Tony Kornheiser’s column this week jokingly (I hope!) suggested Terrell Owens ought to come to the Washington Redskins.

Joe Gibbs is way too smart to make that mistake.

By benching defensive star LaVarr Arrington for half the season, Gibbs has already proven that tough love is the best way to discipline a player (we can only assume LaVarr’s benching was due to more than just an injury).

Granted, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gibbs had to endure the rebellious rock star John Riggins. A wild child, Riggins was a consummate warrior whose antics were never directed against his own teammates. Gibbs understood top performers are often prima donnas whose antics are sometimes tolerated. But attacking your teammates is unacceptable, no matter how talented you are.

As for the Redskins’ — Arrington is playing great now — and I think that it is in large part to the fact that he didn’t play the first several games. Maybe T.O. could have been salvaged if Eagles coach Andy Reid had taken a similar tack? I doubt it.

Talent isn’t all that is needed to win championships.

There are a lot of intangible factors that make a great player — and T.O. has none of the intangibles. I only hope and pray he someday gets his act together.

The best thing for everybody would be for the NFL to let him languish for the rest of the season. Maybe the time off will force him to think about his actions.

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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