Dirty Dozen: Terrell Owens Tops List of League's Most Disruptive Players
Jacobs has always been a loose cannon. "He wears his mouth on his sleeve,'' Eli Manning said, a rare quotable quip from the Giants' quarterback. So Sunday's episode puts him on this list, although not high.
The standard, for the most part, is disruption.
You won't for example, find "Chad'' on this list, either as Johnson or Ochocinco. He tries to be funny and sometimes succeeds, and he's a good player and a good teammate who has deferred to the all-time No. 1, now that he's joined the Bengals, the guy simply known by his initials. Hey, there are a million Johnsons in the world. Why not change your name, even if Ochocinco isn't really "85'' in Spanish?
A couple guys you'd expect are not on this list: Pacman Jones and Michael Vick. Give them the benefit of the doubt after paying their penalties.
1. Terrell Owens, WR, Cincinnati: Lifetime Achievement Award, if "achievement'' is the correct word. He currently has 15,061 yards receiving for his career, about to overtake Isaac Bruce for the No. 2 career spot behind Jerry Rice. His 144 receiving TDs are second to Rice. But he is not a lock for the Hall of Fame -- a bunch of voters have mentioned that. Because as positive as those stats sound, Owens has been a disruptive force, especially on his first three teams. Ask Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo what kind of teammate he was -- well, maybe not Romo. But he was run out of San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas, despite his ability, and the shows he put on in Philly in 2005 and in Dallas the next season ("attempted suicide?'') contributed to his team's lack of success.
2. Richie Incognito, G, Miami: In the tradition of Conrad Dobler, a guard with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1970s and '80s who was the most-hated player in football for his demonstrably dirty play. Incognito is a very good player or he would have been "incognito" in the NFL long ago. In fact, he was kicked out of Nebraska in 2004 despite being All-Big 12 and yet still got drafted by the Rams in the third round in 2005. According to the Palm Beach Post, which totaled it up, he's had 11 personal foul penalties since he's been in the league and been fined $85,000, including one for "verbal abuse of a game official.'' He finally was cut last season by St. Louis after two 15-yard personal-foul penalties in one game. The Bills immediately picked him up and the Dolphins signed him this season. Anger management needed.
3. Albert Haynesworth, DT, Washington (for now): Everyone knew Haynesworth was a guy who, in the words of Randy Moss -- Minnesota version -- plays when he feels like it. He played in 2008 for the Titans because his contract was up. So Dan Snyder (who else?) gave him $100 million (really a bit less) to become a Redskin. Contract signed, he had a so-so season, then Mike Shanahan showed up and told Albert he's a 3-4 nose tackle, and Albert refused. A training camp of unsuccessful hazing had Albert demanding a trade and the Skins are trying to oblige him. So much for a $100 million investment.
4. DeAngelo Hall, CB, Washington: Another Snyder project after both the Falcons and Raiders dumped him. Not for his talent -- he is certainly one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the NFL. But his mouth gets him penalties --- so do his late hits -- and he's not exactly a favorite with either teammates or opponents. After Houston came back from 17 points down to beat the Redskins Sunday, he announced that it was his defense and that from now on, he's covering the best receiver on the opposing team. "I'm going wherever the ball his going,'' he said. No, it's Jim Haslett's defense and Shanahan's team. That's why his talent often isn't wanted..
5. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh: "Wear a helmet, Ben, it's the law,'' everyone told a young Roethlisberger about riding his motorcycle. Ben said, in effect: "I don't need to, I'm a star quarterback.'' So he was lucky to escape an accident in once piece and put the helmet on reluctantly
"Be careful off the field, you're a target,'' they told him after a lawsuit alleging various things was filed against him by a woman in Nevada. Nope. Here he was chasing college students in Georgia. No charges but a four-game league suspension. Guilty of immaturity, which is not what a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback should be. The Steelers are 2-0 without him and his captaincy has been stripped by his teammates. Learn anything?
6. Randy Moss, WR, New England: It's a tribute to Bill Belichick that Moss is playing as well as he is after sounding off about his contract (or lack thereof) after Week 1. "I play when I feel like it,'' he said earlier in his career and was dispatched from Minnesota. He didn't feel like it in Oakland and was traded to the Patriots, with whom he's played like one of the three best receivers in football, including making one of the great catches of recent years Sunday against the Jets. But he still can't shut his mouth.
7. Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets: What does it tell you when the Steelers accept a fifth-round pick for a Super Bowl MVP? Currently serving a four-game suspension for a marijuana arrest, he has been involved in two episodes of alleged domestic violence. Common thread in this list: good players sent elsewhere by teams that don't condone their behavior.
8. Braylon Edwards, WR, New York Jets: Not just for the DUI this week. Unfortunately, that's all too common in the NFL. Last year, he punched a member of LeBron James' entourage at a Cleveland club, for which he has been charged with assault. Yes, he does a lot of good things for kids in Cleveland. He also drops a lot of passes -- or used to -- which doesn't get him on the bad guys list but should tell him to buckle down and concentrate.
9. Aqib Talib, CB, Tampa Bay: Was taken off some teams' draft boards because he was considered trouble. Showed it by getting into a fistfight during the rookie symposium. Last year, he was arrested for striking a cab driver, getting himself a one-game suspension for the first game of this season. Then he showed up to watch the game, which he's not supposed to do. That's no big deal other than to demonstrate that maybe he doesn't learn quickly that rules apply to him as well as everyone else.
10. Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants: OK, he fits about here. When the Giants, always conservative, were shutting up about all the braggadocio coming from the Jets, Jacobs was challenging the team that shares the New Meadowlands Stadium, aka the Great Gray Elephant. Then came the helmet throwing. Of course, he's unhappy. He has lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw, in part because he's probably hit the running back wall -- he is a very big back in his sixth season and his body can take only so many hits. RBs decline earlier than players at most positions, and that's what seems to be happening. His way of showing his frustration is anger, which helps no one, least of all himself -- his wallet is $10,000 lighter.
11. Jeff Reed, K, Pittsburgh: A kicker? Aside from the fact that he can't tackle -- he twice fanned on runners returning kickoffs for touchdowns last season -- he's had off-field problems. Last season, he was arrested at a restaurant and charged with resisting arrest and public intoxication after police say he raised fists while officers issued a public urination citation to teammate Matt Spaeth. Charges of resisting arrest and simple assault dismissed, but ordered to 40 hours of community service. Again ... a kicker?
12. Shawne Merriman, LB, San Diego: He knows his play has declined because of serious knee injuries so he was smart enough to end his holdout this summer and show up to camp, unlike teammates Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill, who have more leverage. Maybe it was from the frustration of the injuries, but a year ago, his supposed friend, reality TV performer Tila Tequila, signed a citizen's arrest warrant, charging him with battery and false imprisonment. She said he choked her and was treated for injuries at a hospital.