By Dale Grdnic
PITTSBURGH — Terrell Owens is about as well-known for what he says as what he does on the football field, and Owens shot off his mouth again during the most recent episode of the T.Ocho Show about Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour punching Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Owens said he liked it and added: “He’d probably do it again for another 25.” That referred to the $25,000 fine imposed on Seymour by the NFL. He did not get suspended, however.
Chad Ochocinco, who shares the show with Owens, said that Seymour “can’t be swinging on people out there on the field,” comparing the conduct to the WWE. T.O. preferred to invoke a different sport.
“A hockey player would have (taken) that and kept on tickin’,” Owens said. “It just shows you how soft Ben is.”
Steelers offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu responded with a shot to Seymour, who also was suspended after the incident. Kemoeatu wasn’t thrown out, and he was not yet fined. Neither were any other Steelers.
“Well, they’re allowed to fight in hockey, so it’s different,” Kemoeatu said. “But we have to play under different rules, and there are fines out there that I can’t afford. But I’m definitely surprised, because we have to play them again. So, we’ll deal with that when we play them in December.
“I don’t know about our response. I was in the middle of fighting. But we definitely responded, and we have to do whatever to protect our quarterback. (And) I definitely would do it again if it happened again. I think they should have fined him more, but they do the best they can to protect Ben.”
Earlier in the week on his radio show, Steelers wideout Hines Ward suggested that had Peyton Manning or Tom Brady been the quarterback on the other end of that punch, Seymour would have been suspended. Ward wouldn’t say the same thing Wednesday.
“Ben’s a tough guy, and we know what he brings to the table,” Ward said. “T.O.’s just trying to hype up his show so people will talk about it. I don’t worry too much about what T.O. says.
“If Ben sees an opening, he’ll take it. He’s not afraid to run. He’s always looking downfield to see if a guy gets open, but he can run if he has to. He’s proven that, and he’s tough to bring down when he tries to break a tackle. So, he definitely is a tough guy on the field.”
Roethlisberger would not comment on what Owens said, noting that he’s “focusing on winning a championship.” And he also wanted to move forward, as far as Seymour’s antics were concerned. But when asked if the NFL’s response would have been different had Manning or Brady were involved, Roethlisberger didn’t even wait until the question was completed.
“We all know the answer to that,” Roethlisberger said. “I know where you’re going. We all know the answer to that. It’s easy. (And) we talk about if the whistle is blown too fast or not fast enough, but I don’t know if there have been too many roughing-the-passer calls on me in my career. None that I know of this year. Just my bloody lip. That’s all.”
Steelers wideout Antwaan Randle El also commented on Owens.
“I think that’s just T.O. being T.O., but the fact is he’s not a hockey player,” Randle El said. “He’s a quarterback, and he got punched by a D-lineman. So, that’s unusual, certainly for Seymour, to say the least, but he got up and finished the game. So, I don’t know what T.O.’s talking about.
“And Ben’s tough. No question. He gets hit, but he keeps coming back, and he sells out for the team. He holds onto the ball to make plays and takes bigger hits. So, there’s no question he’s one of the toughest players in the league. (And) Ben isn’t afraid to tuck the ball and run, so he’s tough enough.”
Steelers left offensive tackle Max Starks also offered his opinion on the subject.
“For anyone to make a judgment like that is opinion-based, and everyone has ratings that they’re trying to get for their own personal purposes,” Starks said. “(But) Ben’s a tough dude. His history here alone, given what he’s already gone through, he’s proven that he’s tough.
“And after what he went through our second year in the league, I called him Wolverine because I’ve never seen somebody heal so fast. (So), he’s a tough dude, and anybody that doubts that obviously does not watch any film or is not a football fan.”
Notes: The Steelers starting lineup should remain intact for the Buffalo game with Brett Keisel likely returning. And even if he doesn’t start, it appears that he’ll be ready to play after missing four of the past five games and playing sparingly after starting at Cincinnati. … Troy Polamalu (Achilles) is taking it easy early on this week, and so is Antonio Brown (swollen knee). … Matt Spaeth must pass a concussion test later in the week to play.