T.O. caught 20 touchdown passes in 21 games with the Eagles over one and a half seasons. The team went 13-3 and lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl during the 2004 season — his first with the team. Owens received praise for coming back early from a broken leg to play in the big game, but things went downhill quickly. Owens threw quarterback Donovan McNabb under the bus following a 4-3 start in his second year in Philly and was told to leave the team after reeking havoc in the locker room.
“It’s tough to say. I think we would have,” McNabb said. “We’d been there at the edge at the cuff for so many years. I think we were just kind of biting at the bit to get there. What we did was we brought T.O. in and that gave us that extra boost we needed to get there.
“I feel like we would have made it, yes. The fact that he did come over and help us and gave us that extra push that we needed on the offensive side, helped not only the offense, but helped the defense as well.”
McNabb pointed out that the Eagles were on the cusp of reaching the Super Bowl for many years. They had won at least 11 games a season each of the four years prior to Owens’ arrival and had lost in the NFC Championship Game the previous three years. With Owens, they bumped their win total to 13 (their highest in franchise history), and they broke through to the Super Bowl.
So while McNabb is right that the team probably could have reached the big game eventually, at least he acknowledges that Owens gave them a big boost before tearing them down the following season.
McNabb also said there’s an 80-90% chance that he’ll play in the NFL this season. If that’s the case, then I guess he’s ready to accept a second or third string role.
Here’s video of the entire interview: