It's funny how NFL fandom works. One second a player is enormously popular. He garners our respect and we're hopeful about his future. Then - in what seems like an instant - he's done. Not literally. He's still under contract, the red and black still his to wear. But in our minds and hearts he is done. Not worth our time.
I was afraid Chris Owens would suffer that fate, then I read this Q and A with DOL.
Falcons coach Mike Smith, in a conversation with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution during the NFL scouting combine staunchly defended Owens. Smith noted that Owens only lost his job to Brian Williams as the nickel back because of a back injury.
In a recent conversation with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Owens, like most players, didn’t want to use the injury as an excuse.
Q: Were you comforted somewhat that they didn’t draft at your position?
A: No, that doesn’t mean anything. I’m going to come with the same mentality every time. I’m going to give them 110 percent no matter what.
It won't surprise me if we sign a veteran corner during free agency, but if you think Smitty is giving up on Owens any time soon, then you're sadly mistaken. There's an explanation for the disparity between his '09 and '10: he was hurt. He's not going to blame his performance - or lack thereof - on the injury. And I respect that. But at the very least, it's downright illogical to assume his '10 campaign is what we will see going forward, assuming he stays healthy.
Of course, I'm curious what the Falcoholic-sipping masses think. Feel free to disagree with me.