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Terrell Owens came in wearing a suit

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Terrell Owens came in wearing a suit
November 27, 2019 09:04PM

CHATTANOOGA Andre Dillard Jersey 2019 , Tenn. (AP) — spotted with the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo and swapped that out for the prized gold jacket.His bust? That remained 600 miles away in Canton, Ohio, along with the seven other members of this year’s Hall of Fame class, leaving the stage at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga all alone to Owens.And yes, the man known as T.O. later brought out a big bucket of popcorn.Owens entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a celebration uniquely his own Saturday afternoon at his alma mater before approximately 3,000 fans who frequently cheered, chanted “T.O.” and gave him the occasional standing ovation. Owens also made clear why he chose to enter the Hall of Fame with a ceremony in Chattanooga instead of with Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and former Eagles teammate Brian Dawkins in Ohio.“A lot of people say that I may regret not being in Canton 10, 15, 20 years from now,” Owens said. “But just like my choice to be here today, I choose not to live in regret. I will leave a legacy that will leave an imprint on this world forever.”Owens used part of a speech lasting about 39 minutes to explain why he was in Chattanooga instead of Canton, addressing the “elephant in the room.”“It’s not because of how many times it took for me to be voted to the hall,” said Owens, who got in on his third try — the same as Joe Namath, for example. “It’s about the mere fact that the sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame.“These writers disregarded the system, the criteria and bylaws in which guys are inducted, and ultimately the true meaning of the Hall of Fame and what it represents. I wanted to take a stand so the next guy coming after me will not have to go through what I and others have gone through. Whether it’s three years or 45 years, you should get what you rightfully earned.”The wide receiver who ranked second in NFL history with 15,934 yards receiving and third with 153 touchdown catches didn’t mention that Hall of Famers Dan Fouts and James Lofton also are on the selection committee. Owens later discussed his issue with the current selection process at a news conference that lasted 26 minutes, saying writers never played the game Black Seth Joyner Jerseys , with no “blood, sweat and tears” invested.Only one person makes a speech in Canton to introduce an inductee. By holding his own ceremony, Owens heard short speeches from five coaches, including three former position coaches, with James Kirksey and Ray Sherman from the NFL. The university named a street after the Hall of Fame receiver.A friend of Ray Lewis was at Friday night’s gold jacket ceremony and brought it to Chattanooga for T.O. The original plan had been to mail it on Saturday to him.T.O. said he had a Plan B in case it didn’t arrive in time. He also wore a “C” for Chattanooga pin on each lapel.Owens thanked everyone from his late grandmother and mother to coaches from his high school days in Alexander City, Alabama, through his time at Chattanooga and into the NFL. At times, he was grateful for help received along the way, cited a Bible verse from Deuteronomy, and even thanked people who “defamed” him behind his back and teammates who hated him.“This is for you,” Owens said.Near the end of his speech, Owens asked anyone who had ever felt isolated, misunderstood or bullied to stand up. Then Owens encouraged them not to be afraid to be themselves.“We have more commonalities than differences. This entire speech you thought was about me, this was for you,” Owens said.None of his former NFL teammates could be seen in the crowd. Johnny Taylor, the 17th pick overall in the 1997 NBA draft by Orlando, flew in to see his former teammate inducted into the hall. He understands that some people were surprised by Owens’ decision.“He’s always going to do it his way and what’s beneficial to him and his family,” Taylor said. “Me personally, I’m excited that he is doing it here. It means so much to the city, it means so much to the university. It speaks volumes to the type of person that he is, even though other people may think other of him.”Fans wore Owens’ No. 81 jersey from his stints in Dallas Seth Joyner Jerseys 2019 , San Francisco and Philadelphia. Renee Davis of Philadelphia canceled tickets she bought to see Owens inducted in Canton and arrived in Chattanooga on Friday to see the receiver she called the best ever give his speech. She wore Owens’ No. 80 from his college days, bought when he was an NFL rookie.Missing the Hall of Fame’s other seven inductees and all the pageantry of Canton was no loss for Davis.“Can’t compare to being here with my favorite,” Davis said. “Can’t compare.” Baltimore Ravens safety Eric Weddle likened Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to a "fast dinosaur" this week."Muscular and big," Weddle said. "He's a very unique quarterback in the league, the only one really like him."The Ravens' defense ranks first in the league overall, but they've not faced a dual-threat quarterback such as Newton, which adds some intrigue to what should be a physical game Sunday between two teams that pride themselves on playing great defense and ball-control offense.Weddle said when Newton gets loose, bringing him down calls for a player to proceed at his own risk. He chose the Triceratops as the kind of dinosaur that best represents Newton."The big one with horns," Weddle said.Newton is the NFL's all-time leader in touchdowns rushing by a quarterback and is third all-time in yards rushing with 4,577. He needs 352 yards to pass Randall Cunningham for second place. Mike Vick is No. 1 with 6,109 yards."Amazing player, extremely difficult in the open field," Weddle said of Newton.Newton laughed at Weddell's compliment, saying it's not the first time someone has called him that. The 2015 league MVP said Trooper Taylor, a former assistant at Auburn, used to call him that when he was playing for the Tigers."I always asked him, 'Why do you call me a dinosaur?'" Newton said. "He said, 'Your talent is extinct. They don't make them like you no more.'"I always laughed, but if you look around this league — and I've tried to warn a lot of people prior, too — it not cocky, it's not confidence Black Wes Hopkins Jerseys , it's just self-belief in yourself knowing that the talents that you possess, a lot of people can't say that they have."Newton has run for 252 yards and a team-high three touchdowns this season while averaging 4.9 yards per carry for Carolina (4-2). He's also thrown for 11 TDs.Things to watch in Sunday's game between the Ravens and Panthers:RUNNING ROOKIENewton won't be the only quarterback on the field to be a threat to run.Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has proven effective as an occasional replacement for Joe Flacco in short-yardage situations for the Ravens (4-3). The former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round draft pick scored his first NFL touchdown last week and ranks second on the team with 103 yards rushing.Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said Jackson "is a playmaker who creates problems because of his speed and athleticism" and that "it's important to know where he is on the field."Harbaugh often wrestles with finding the right time to use Jackson because Flacco is having such a good season with 11 touchdown passes and four interceptions."It's more an art than science," Harbaugh said. "Joe is playing at a very high level. We don't want to lose sight of that. We try to do the best we can to put both those guys in there in ways that help us score points and move the ball."COVERING TIGHT ENDSThe Ravens drafted Hayden Hurst in the first round figuring he would play a major role on the offense, but a foot injury has limited him to one catch for 7 yards. Now rounding back into good health, he may have an opportunity to break out this week against a Carolina defense that has struggled covering tight ends.Carolina has allowed the sixth-most passing yards to tight ends in the NFL at 79.6 per game. Last week, Philadelphia's Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert combined for eight receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown.Coach Ron Rivera said he was unconcerned with those numbers, adding that he feels as if the Panthers have done a good job against opposing wide receivers this year, which has been their focus. Rivera added that "I don't think for the most part you're going to get killed by tight ends."STELLAR PASS RUSHERSSunday's matchup features two stellar pass rushers with Carolina's Julius Peppers and Baltimore's Terrell Suggs. Peppers has 156陆 sacks, which is fourth all-time and the most among active players. Suggs is 15th all-time with 131 sacks."Those kinds of guys are just on a different level athletically," Harbaugh said. "There aren't very many of those types of human beings walking around on the planet."CLOSE CALLSTwo of the Ravens' losses this season have come by a combined four points. Cleveland won with a field goal in overtime, and the Saints prevailed when Justin Tucker misfired on a conversion with 24 seconds last week.So what's it take to win those kinds of games?"You have to make a closing play somewhere along the way," Harbaugh said.The Panthers seem to have that skill. Their past two wins were 33-31 over the Giants and 21-17 last week.EXTRA POINTSTucker's extra point miss last week was big for the Ravens, but he's not the only one struggling with the point after.Carolina's Graham Gano has missed extra points in back-to-back weeks. Strangely enough, Gano is 8 of 8 on field-goal attempts, including a game-winner from 63 yards against the Giants.AP Sports Writer Dave Ginsburg in Baltimore, Maryland, contributed to this report.

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December 02, 2019 11:29PM

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