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Eagles Have Moved On

September 17, 2006|Bob Glauber | Newsday

No one refers to him any longer by name or his initials. It is strictly "he" or "him" or "that guy." Or other assorted unprintable references.

After a year-long soap opera that virtually destroyed the Eagles from the inside out in 2005, the players and coaches don't talk about Terrell Owens by name or those infamous initials that only dredge up uncomfortable remembrances of that nightmarish season.

As far as the Eagles are concerned, why dignify the boorish behavior of a guy who put his personal agenda before the team's interests. Owens is gone, and this locker room couldn't be happier.

"It was frustrating, because in the end, any time you have to deal with issues outside of football, it takes away what you need to be concentrating on," strong safety Brian Dawkins said. "Yes, we had some young players last year, but the mistakes come because your full attention isn't what's at hand, and that's playing the game."

And Dawkins is just talking about the defense, which had nothing to do with the combative receiver from an X's and O's point of view. But that's another measure of how impossible things had become in dealing with the Owens saga.

Between that and Donovan McNabb's sports hernia, which shut his season down after nine games, it was an unmitigated disaster.

"From April on, the whole thing grew," McNabb said. "Training camp started, and everyone wanted my reaction to what he was saying. Then he said something else, and it would continue on. I never lowered myself into that situation. That's just not me.

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