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Coach To End Feud?
January 20 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Thereís an old expression: Better late, then never. And though Steve Marriucciís plans to reconcile with Terrell Owens, something he perhaps should have done a year ago, the expression holds true: better late then never. Owens disregard for Mariucci began upon his suspension by the team for the now infamous incident of celebrating on the Dallas Cowboy star. Since then, Owens has been angered about Mariucciís play calling and him not getting the ball enough.

Upon seasonís end, Mariucci told the media he would like to sit down and talk with Owens and try and work things out. Naturally this is a good idea. Coaches canít let players walk all over them, if they do, they usually lose their jobs. Mariucci is an integral part to the 49ers and for him to lose control over the locker room, because of one player would simply be an awful conclusion to his time in San Francisco. Owens on the other hand is clearly a star player on the team, who should have the ball in his hands, but needs to learn that other players should have a chance too. Certainly the 16 touchdown receptions, and nearly 100 receptions didnít come from the ball not coming his way.

Owens argument that the offense is too conservative may in some respects be correct - but the offense did help the team to a 12-4 records. Thereís always room for improvement, and improvement is necessary to jump to the next level, but steps need to be taken one at a time.

And so Mariucciís late but good attempt to bring Owens back under his wing will be a key off-season move even though it wont result in the signing of new contracts. It helps when star players and the coach get a long, but more importantly, it will help Mariucci control the locker room, and it will give the media one less thing to pick on the 49ers about. Team chemistry is a must, and itís about time Mariucci is taking a step to help establish that from top down.

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