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Oct 4, 2000 at 12:00 AM


After doing the crime (and I use the term lightly), he has done his time. This Sunday it will be business as usual for San Francisco's no. 1 Wide Receiver - Terrell Owens.

After being grounded like a spoiled teenager by 'father figure' Coach Marriuci, Owens is all set to go against Bay Area nemesis, the Oakland Raiders. Can we expect more over the top celebratory antics, or can we expect a new subdued approach to touchdown celebrations ala Barry Sanders. Who knows, and moreover, who cares.

This topic has been done to death by a multitude of the nations top sports writers and television analysts. It's almost as if Mr. Owens had become public enemy no. 1. It is time to move on and let bygones be bygones.

It's no secret that Owens is a crowd favourite as well as Garcia's favourite target. It's also no secret that the whole of the 49ers organization would like to see Owens separate himself from the rest of the receiving corps and assume the role of 'team leader' soon to be relinquished by old-timer Jerry Rice. And from all indications, he has the ability to do so.

In today's NFL, a receiver must be big and strong to survive. He must be able to take the hard knocks when going over the middle while having the presence of mind to hold onto the rock. In addition to this, he must also be able to blow off coverage to find some vacant real estate for his QB to throw to. Owens fits this description. In fact, if it were written in the dictionary, the description for a WR would be - see Terrell Owens.

If there could be one argument made against Owens's play, it would have to be the alarming regularity of which he drops the easy catch. However, the hallmark of a clutch performer is being able to come up with the big grab when required.

A perfect example of this could be Owens's touchdown catch against the Green Bay Packers in the 98 Wildcard Playoff game. With only seconds remaining on the clock, Steve Young threaded a pass between Packer defenders to find Owens in the end zone for the game winning score. It became known to many as 'The Catch 2'. A memorable moment indeed.

What most of the 49ers faithful would not remember is that just prior to making the play to catapult the team into the Divisional Playoffs, Owens had four dropped balls and was quite possibly having the worst game of his short career.

While the 49ers may never make the playoffs this year, Owens figures to have a big season nonetheless. Over the first four games of the season, Owens has racked up 23 receptions and 4 touchdowns. He is currently leading all 49ers receivers in points scored, yardage, and receptions despite the fact that he 'missed' last week's game against the Cardinals. Combined with the recent performances of Garcia and Garner, the Bay Area now has it's own version of the 'Big Three' to rival Indianapolis.

For continued success, Owens must put the events of the last week behind him. What's done is done. Right now, it's all about the game.

The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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