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Out of Bounds: Everybody Gets a “Do-Over”

 The 2008 NFL Training Camps and Preseason have begun. Before you know it, the Warriors of the Gridiron will be clashing on the field for real. For now, it’s time to get their bodies and minds right for the upcoming season. Rookies and veterans are reporting to camp with one thing in mind; the championship. For some, this is a new beginning. For

others, it’s just another day at the office before the regular season begins,

and for some, it’s a “do-over”.

 

Every

year, we see players, who are cut or traded from teams during the off-season, only

to get a “do-over” with another team. They’re given an opportunity to re-invent

themselves. Some guys bounce back from injuries and go on to have a great

regular season. Others may have had a rough year from a statistical standpoint,

only to find a team, with a system that can best fit their abilities. Then

there are those who just fell into bad situations with one franchise, only to

be given a “do-over” with another team.

 

Look

at Randy Moss. Moss played for the

Minnesota Vikings for 7 years. His troubles with the law and discord with the

team, lead to the Vikings trading Moss to the Oakland Raider in March,

2005. Moss spent two years with the

Raiders and within that time, the Raiders stunk and Moss was still unhappy. That led to Moss being irate and vocal about

the Raiders’ organization and an eventual trade to the New England Patriots

during the 2007 NFL Draft.  

 

Once Moss landed in New England, the “do-over” was in effect. Leading up to 2007-08 NFL season, there was nothing but praise from his teammates in New England during the preseason workouts. Moss became the total opposite of what he once was in Minnesota and Oakland. He was a new man and it showed throughout the season in his play.

 

So

much so, he and Patriots QB Tom Brady hooked up for 23 TDs last

season. That’s an NFL record. Although the Pats made it to the Super Bowl and lost to the N.Y. Giants, Moss should still hang his head high because now he’s looked at as a team leader. A category many wouldn’t have put him in a few years ago. 

 

Another example is Terrell Owens. Owens was unhappy with

his role with the San Francisco 49ers. He was very vocal about his role and the direction the team was going in 2004. So the 49ers traded Owens to the Philadelphia Eagles. With Owens and QB Donovan McNabb leading the offense, the

Eagles’ found themselves in Jacksonville,

Florida for Super Bowl XXXIX. Although the Eagles didn’t win the Super Bowl, the ground work had been laid out for the Eagles to finally be a major player for Super Bowl contention for the following season.

 

Displeasure with his contract and his off-field angst with McNabb led the Eagles to release Owens in March 2006. When it looked as though no one wanted to touch Owens with a 100-yard pole, the patron saint of lost football players’ souls, Jerry Jones, signed Owens four days

after his release from the Eagles to the Dallas

Cowboys.

 

Since Owens has joined the team, the Dallas Cowboys have made the playoffs for the past two years. Despite the fact that both playoff appearances have resulted in second round knockouts, the Seattle Seahawks in 2007 and the N.Y. Giants in 2008, the Cowboys have entered this season as the favorites to win the NFC East again, with a possible trip to the Super Bowl. 

 

Owens, whose nickname is T.O., was labeled as a Team Obliterator by Skip Bayless of ESPN’s First Take. His passion for winning and his willingness to take a bullet for his teammates, from the media, in order to keep media attention from them has proven that he’s able to make the most of his “do-over”.  His nickname should be T.L. for Team Leader.

Now, there’s a new “do-over” in the works in Texas as we speak.  Pacman, excuse me, Adam Jones has been given another chance; a “do-over.” After being traded from the Tennessee Titans to the Dallas Cowboys during the 2008 NFL Draft Week, Jones has already made a positive impression with his Cowboy teammates. He’s also making his presence known by going “toe to toe” with the aforementioned Terrell Owens during practice at the Cowboy’s training camp this week.

He has also been accepted by the Cowboy’s family with Hall of Famer Michael “The Playmaker” Irvin and Deion “Prime Time” Sanders as his

“guidance counselors” of sorts. They’ve been talking with the young CB and guiding him in getting his life straight on and off the field. Both of these men have had issues personally and professionally, and they too, have been able to experience their fair share of “do-over’s.” So like EF Hutton, when they talk, people should listen.

If Jones continues to stay out of trouble during the pre-season, he should be re-instated into the league by September 1, 2008.

So make the most of your “do-over.” We all get “do-over’s” in life, it’s what you make of them that counts. By the way; if Moss, Owens, Irvin, or Sanders doesn’t make you believe in “do-over”, then look up Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. That’s the best “do-over” story of the

year.

On a side note: This weekend is the Pro-Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. Congratulation to all of this year’s all inductees.

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