In his time in the NFL, Terrell Owens was known for being a great wide receiver. He caught everything thrown at him, he had big hands, and he was quick. However, despite having those great attributes, Owens did not have much success in the NFL. In fact, he only played eight seasons in the league and appeared in just three playoff games. If you look at the stats, they seem to back up Owens’ reputation. His career average receiving yards per game was about 35.8. That’s pretty bad if you ask me.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, what does AJ Brown have to do with Terrell Owens? What does any of that have to do with AJ Brown?” Well, let me tell you. Owens had a lot going for him in his rookie season with the Cowboys. He was drafted with the 24th pick in 2000, received a huge contract extension before the 2001 season, and came off of consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. However, even though he was considered a superstar coming out of college, it didn’t take long for fans and teammates alike to realize that Owens wasn’t quite ready for prime time.
I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking, “Owens started slowly; how could Brown start fast?” Well, the answer is simple. People forget that he spent two years playing quarterback at USC. He learned the offense, worked with quarterbacks coach Mike Martz, and then went straight into starting the second half of the 2000 season. Also, he missed some practice time after getting hurt, which isn’t something you want to do when you’re trying to make an impression.
This may sound harsh, but I don’t think people should expect much from Brown. He has been a solid player in the NFL since entering the league, but he hasn’t made many headlines. There were rumors about a possible trade to the Vikings last season, but nothing ever happened. As far as I am concerned, he’ll get a chance to prove himself again in Philadelphia.
There are plenty of reasons why Owens couldn’t live up to the hype surrounding him. First, he was never given the opportunity to learn the playbook. Secondly, Martz was hired as offensive coordinator after the team signed Owens. Thirdly, Owens was already 30 years old when he entered the NFL. Fourth, and probably the biggest reason of them all, is the fact that Owens never really showed that he was capable of handling a full workload. In the end, he ended up leaving the league after six seasons.
Brown has a ton of talent. He has good speed, strong hands, and a solid route running background. Those things alone put him above most receivers in the NFL. But I think the biggest thing holding him back is the fact that he doesn’t have much experience catching passes in the middle of the field. Last season, he was still learning the position and struggled to master the nuances of the position. So, if he wants to become a household name, he needs to work on his technique.
It’s hard to say whether or not Owens would’ve succeeded without Martz. After all, Martz helped develop Michael Irvin, who was arguably the best wide receiver in the history of the league. But Martz also developed Owens, so I’d have to assume that he would’ve done the same for Brown.