Monday, June 27, 2011

Terrell Owens: Surefire Hall of Famer?

With the news late Sunday night that wide receiver Terrell Owens has surgery to repair a torn ACL in one of his knees sometime in the past month, it reasonable to think the 37 year-old free agent's career could be over.  It has been speculated he suffered the injury during a private workout or on set of the VH1 reality show "Single Girls", but that's really beside the point and he will be out six months regardless. 

It is worth noting Owens missed the final two games of the 2010 season, with the Cincinnati Bengals, due to a torn meniscus in his left knee. 

For clarity purposes I will put aside all of the controversy that has surrounded Owens during his career, from calling out teammates to doing sit-ups in his driveway to signing a football with a Sharpie after scoring a touchdown.  But all of those distractions do not mean anything in terms of answering this question:

Is Terrell Owens a Hall of Famer?

In 15 NFL seasons with five teams, Owens has accumulated 1,078 receptions (fifth all-time), 15,934 receiving yards (second all-time) and 153 touchdowns (second all-time).  He has led the league in touchdown catches three times (2001, 2002, 2006), and would almost certainly have topped 1,000 yards for the 10th time in his career and had double digit touchdowns for the ninth time if not for missing the final two games last season and he has 72 receptions for 983 yards along with nine touchdowns for the Bengals.

Some may call Owens a "stat collector" that has benefited from playing in a pass-happy era and as part of some pass-happy offenses with the 49ers and Eagles in particular.  Those that want to find on-field evidence of his ineptitude and lack of Hall of Fame qualifications will site his propensity to drop passes.

Owens is well known for keeping himself in top physical condition, so if anyone can rehab and make it back from this type of injury he probably can even at an advanced age.  He has proven he can be productive into his 30's, so a team that has a need at wide receiver down the stretch of the 2011 season could probably do worse than to consider signing Owens. 

Whether his career is over or not, Terrell Owens is certainly a Hall of Famer.  Voters will certainly look at his personality and ego and not vote for him, but the numbers he has put up place him among the best pass catchers of his or any era.  He will likely go down as one of the most dangerous receivers after the catch in league history.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Prospect Profile-Tennessee Forward Tobias Harris

2011 NBA Draft Prospect Profile-Tennessee SF Tobias Harris

Vital Stats

Height: 6’8”
Weight: 228 lbs.

Class: Freshman

Birthdate: 7/15/92

Tobias Harris was highly recruited coming out of high school, and was solid in his only season at Tennessee, averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. He was at his best late in the season, averaging 21.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in five March games with three 20-plus point games in that span. In the Volunteers’ embarrassing loss to Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Harris had 19 points and five rebounds. That loss ultimately led to the exit of coach Bruce Pearl, and Harris opted to enter the NBA Draft despite a budding relationship with new head coach Cuonzo Martin.

Harris is considered a versatile “jack of all trades” that may be able to play both forward spots, but lacks certain things that may hinder him at either spot. His lack of size makes him ill-suited to play power forward at the next level right now, while a lack of foot speed and athleticism may prevent him from being effective as a small forward on both ends of the floor. He will almost certainly need improve his outside shooting (30.3 percent on three-pointers last season) to be successful offensively as a small forward if that is his ultimate position.

Despite his shortcomings Harris was consistent as a freshman, scoring in double digits in all but three games. He also seems to have a high basketball IQ and is considered a gym rat that will work on the areas of his game he needs to improve. It’s also possible he will fill out physically, as he will not even turn 19 until July, and be able to better hold up as a power forward in the NBA somewhere down the road.

Harris is widely projected to be a first round pick, and a recent mock at Draft has him projected as the 20th overall pick in to the Timberwolves. The team currently has a cluster of players that play his position, so an immediate fit is not obvious, but a trade or two could open up a spot for him leading up to draft day. A lot also depends on what Minnesota does with the #2 overall pick, as to include trading the pick, and what their perceived roster needs are later in the first round.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

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I am a sportswriter based in Minnesota, and I contribute currently to a few sports related websites. I intend to use this blog to create visibility for my work.