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T.O. Apologizes to Eagles for Latest Flap

"This is one I really regret," Owens said of the interview, adding that some clips were taken out of context. "I said earlier in the interview that we would have a better record if Donovan wasn't injured."

Owens previously said on his radio show that he'd prefer to play with Indianapolis' Peyton Manning over McNabb or any quarterback. Last year, Owens couldn't stop praising McNabb after joining the Eagles following eight controversial seasons in San Francisco.


Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) carries the ball into the end zone on a 4-yard pass from Donovan McNabb as San Diego Chargers safety Terrence Kiel follows in the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Philadelphia. Owens apologized to the Eagles on Friday, one day after blasting the organization for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch two weeks ago.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) carries the ball into the end zone on a 4-yard pass from Donovan McNabb as San Diego Chargers safety Terrence Kiel follows in the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, in Philadelphia. Owens apologized to the Eagles on Friday, one day after blasting the organization for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch two weeks ago. "I've had an opportunity to talk with the Eagles organization and I have learned that the team does not recognize individual achievements," Owens said in a prepared statement. "It has been brought to my attention that I have offended the organization and my teammates. Therefore, I would like to apologize for any derogatory comments toward them."(AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy) (Rusty Kennedy - AP)

But their relationship soured after Owens took a verbal swipe at McNabb's performance in Philadelphia's loss to New England in the Super Bowl. McNabb responded harshly and the two feuded throughout the summer, not speaking to each other for a prolonged period.

McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has led the Eagles to four consecutive NFC championship games, has played through several injuries this season, including a sports hernia that will require surgery. He has thrown for 2,034 yards, 15 TDs and seven interceptions while going through some tough stretches.

Owens has 47 catches for 763 yards and six TDs. He's been upset with the Eagles since management refused to redo his contract just one season into the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed when he came to Philadelphia in March 2004.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens is one of the best players at his position. With him, the Eagles were dominant last year, going 13-1 in the regular season and winning five of those games by 21 points or more. They've struggled this season partly because McNabb is injured, the offense is inconsistent and the defense is playing poorly.

Owens' talent often is overshadowed by the turmoil he's caused since a defied his doctor's advice and played against the Patriots in the Super Bowl, catching nine passes for 122 yards just 6 1/2 weeks after having ankle surgery.

Owens has ranted about being underpaid, and turned a contract issue into a personal grudge against the organization. He earned a one-week exile from training camp after a heated dispute with Reid, which led to a bizarre workout on his lawn in front of neighbors and reporters.

Owens kept a low profile after returning to the team, and even managed to mend his relationship with McNabb. He doesn't speak regularly to local reporters, but has found ways to diss McNabb and management in his radio show or whenever he grants an interview.

The soap-opera atmosphere Owens has created certainly has been a distraction to the Eagles, even though players and coaches insist they're used to it.

"You don't let it be a distraction," Reid said. "That is not what you do. There are going to be things that happen and you don't focus on those things. You focus on getting the football team ready to play and you handle the other things up front the way we do it."

Defensive end Sam Rayburn shrugged off Owens' latest remarks.

"It's just T.O. being T.O. It's just him talking," Rayburn said.


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© 2005 The Associated Press