Football Nation, it’s about that time of year that we’ve all been waiting for. Training camp is in full swing and pre-season games are just a glimpse into the exciting season ahead. This upcoming season just got a lot more interesting with the recent signing of big name receivers. The return of Randy Moss and Terrell Owens to the NFL, as each of the veteran players signed one-year contracts with teams in the NFC West. Chad Johnson is back to his birth name and ready to return to his productive way of playing, leaving the drought of last season with the Patriots behind him and in the past.
These three high profile receivers all have something in common, they’re all outspoken characters. Another thing they have in common is that they’re all receivers that have had huge careers but have plateaued more recently in their older age. At 38,Terrell Owens has a lot to prove to everyone. After an ACL tear Terrell couldn’t get his opportunity to compete on an NFL roster and instead took his talents to the IFL.
Despite his age, this physical specimen has proven that his abilities, skill, and speed all still remain, recently being timed at 4.4 seconds in the forty. He’s going to be an intriguing player to watch this season on the Seattle Seahawks. T.O. will be returning to a West Coast offense which he’s proven that he can excel in as he did with the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Speaking of the 49ers, Randy Moss has plans to make a huge comeback after his 2011 season hiatus. For reasons we will not know about anytime soon, Randy Moss took a year off of football in 2011, and he’s shown that he hasn’t lost any talent or passion for the game. After sitting out the 2011 campaign, Moss is back, and if the Niners want to be a contender again he will have to be a huge impact player for San Francisco’s offensive scheme.
Of course this notorious showman has a lot of nay-sayers, but that hasn’t seemed to affect him in the slightest so far through the 2012 training camp. Moss has been described by teammates as a down to earth guy who has re-energized the team and is even as a great leader to the younger guys. With 14 NFL seasons under his belt, he’s got quite a bit of football knowledge to share. The 49ers hope for big things from Moss and quarterback Alex Smith in this 2012 season. With a one-year contract and at age 35 it isn’t hard to detect that this could be Moss’s last hooray in the league.
Chad Johnson is a whole different story. The former “Ocho Cinco” has a whole new perspective on football and it just might be exactly what he needs. The old Chad Johnson is back and the 2011 season with the New England Patriots is said to be a thing of the distant past. Johnson admitted to having reached a plateau where he thought he had arrived and at that point he stopped trying to get better. This season is going to be different. Chad Johnson is back, he’s putting in the work, and he definitely has something to prove.
He’s openly admitted to his weakness and that’s blocking. If Chad Johnson can improve on the field and off the field then we might just see a productive season once more for this 34 year-old. Johnson is going to set out to prove that after a year of being nearly transparent on the Patriots roster he can return to his notorious touchdown celebrations that we all love to watch.
These three players are all such high profile players in the NFL and also some of the loudest mouths in the league. In the popular HBO Series Hard Knocks Chad Johnson already got talked to by Head Coach Joe Philbin for dropping the f-bomb a handful of times at a press conference. Terrell Owens has had his hand in quite a few projects in his off time during the 2011 campaign. He was part-owner of the IFL team he was playing on until getting fired, debuted on Dr. Phil talking about his baby mama drama and produced the USA series Unnecessary Roughness.
Moss is a low risk high reward pickup for the 49ers. Even though he’s a Hall-of-Fame player, there’s a lot of people that don’t think he will be able to produce any more coming out of a one-year retirement. Moss will be striving to prove all of the doubters wrong in possibly his last ever NFL football season. He’s looking to be a perfect fit, gelling very well with Alex Smith in the Harbaugh’s offense.
All three of these players will be capitalizing on what could be the last attempt for them to produce on the field, proving all the doubters wrong. They’ve each got their baggage, high-expectations, and a lot of pressure pushing them to be great once more.