Mariucci and Owens the Saga Continues...
February 21th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Yesterday I wrote that Steve Mariucci and Terrell Owens sat down to have their little mediated chat. I was wrong, yesterday indeed Terrell Owens has a meeting, though Steve Mariucci wasn't present, rather it was with owner John York and Terry Donahue. The two executives wanted to have a good idea as to where Terrell stood and what the problems were before entering the meeting set for later this week that would include Steve Mariucci.
The postponement will also give Steve Mariucci a little time to receover from the weeks events, that almost made these discussions a moot point. That along with Terrell needing to trust the front office are two front running reasons for Mariucci not being in attendance at the meeting.
Among other things, the administartive staff and Owens cleared up some discrepancies of their own - Owens of course feeling under appreciated, and beleiving that John York had it in for him. Apparently these issues have been addressed, but it will likely take some time before they are settled. So Terrell Owens is now likely seeing eye to eye with the management - or as close as possible, and is likely to be more open to their considerations now.
Donahue does not believe Mooch and Owens are that far apart. That's somewhat hard to believe considering Owens has called the relationship irreconcileable. But they both want to win, and they both want to be explosive, so while their personalities may clash, there is some hope here. It's hard to believe Owens could want much more than his sixteen touchdowns or 90+ receptions but he does. I however don't believe he wants to take anything away from the team, I believe he just wants Mariucci to be more agressive on offense taking more opportunities late in the game. Mariucci may indeed open the offense up a little bit more, now that offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has an extra year under his belt. And that may be all Terrell needs to hear - that Mariucci wants to be more agresive.
From all this I still question why Terry Donahue is the one mediating the discussion. He afterall is not exactly best buds with the coach - and that's a mild exageration if you ask most of the media. Donahue has yet to take a full stance behind the coach, and thus the media has always speculated about a rough relationship between the two. Maybe it should be he, York and Mariucci who sit down and talk, afterall the two would both benefit, and the team would certainly be on much more solid footing.
Regardless of who is talking to who I'm just happy the 49ers still have Marriucci. The events of the past few days will determine how the all parties involved in both the contract talks and the Owens scenario interact in the future. They also may determine whether Owens remains on the team. In the event that the two sides can't reach an agreement, and John York and Terry Donahue suddenly see that Owens is acting immature they might try and swap him for some draft picks. Either way before I make a statement on how I want Owens' future with the 49ers to play out, I want to get a final decision as to how Owens and Mariucci will interact.