PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb never really got along during their one season together with the Philadelphia Eagles, that much is obvious.
Joining Chad Johnson and Skip Bayless Wednesday on ESPN’s First Take, Owens defended his behavior and elaborated on his relationship with No. 5.
“They [the Eagles] felt that I was the missing piece. I got there. For whatever reason, Donovan didn’t like the way the city embraced me, the way that those fans loved me,” Owens said of his 2004-05 season in Philadelphia. “To have a stadium embrace me the way that they did on game day. I’m sure that probably did rub him the wrong way, but that had nothing to do with me. That was personal.
[Go to 16:23 mark for Eagles talk]
“At the end of the day, I knew that I did my part. I was a good teammate in the locker room.”
Owens says McNabb actually cursed him out in the huddle during a regular season game in 2004.
“I didn’t have anything against Donovan,” Owens said. “Again, it got to the point to where I think he knew the problems that I had and I think he used that against me to the point, it got to a point of disrespect. When he cursed me out in the huddle, that was the straw for me.”
“This was like during the course of the season,” Owens continued. “And I tried to be a man about the situation because I knew what had happened in San Francisco [with the 49ers]. I went to him and tried to address him like, ‘Yo, I understand what may be going on, but don’t talk to me like that.’
“From that point on, things just went downhill.”
The 42-year-old ex-NFL star, who was recently snubbed from the Hall Of Fame, admits he wish he handled things in Philly more maturely.
“In Philly, could I have done some things different? Absolutely,” Owens said. “I wish I was in a more of a mature mindset, that I am now, to have communicated more so with management or Donovan for that matter. I wish we could have been men to work it out, but for whatever reason that didn’t happen. Like I said, I was not jealous Donovan. I was not envy of Donovan.”
Was Owens’ departure actually McNabb’s fault?
“I would say that it’s not my fault,” said Owens. “I will take some blame, but it really wasn’t to the point the way everybody felt like I divided that locker room. We’re grown men.”
What about the fight with teammate Hugh Douglas?
“Right because he was siding with Donovan,” Owens said of Douglas. “I don’t have anything to do with that. But I’m not gonna let anybody run me over. You know what I mean? So if someone attacks then, yeah, I’m gonna stand up for myself.
“I wish things could have ended differently, but it didn’t.”