Visions of Terrell Owens coming across the middle have probably raced through Ray Lewis’ mind all week.
The All-Pro linebacker hasn’t admitted having such thoughts recently, but he sure isn’t going to hold back if he gets a shot at Owens when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Philadelphia Eagles today.
The two friends became adversaries when Owens rejected the Ravens, forcing a trade to the Eagles less than two weeks after San Francisco initially sent the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver to Baltimore last March.
Lewis and Owens had a few testy exchanges leading up to a preseason game in Philadelphia, beginning with Lewis warning Owens not to cross the middle. But both insist they’re focused on the game this time.
“I look forward to anybody with an opposite-colored jersey coming over the middle. There’s no more emphasis on T.O. than anybody else,” Lewis said. “My way to heaven doesn’t go through Terrell Owens, so I wish we’d stop bringing him up.”
Owens would rather talk about his success with the Eagles, who are seeking the first 7-0 start in franchise history.
“I’m just thankful that I’m here,” he said. “I knew that for me to be productive and play like the receiver that I know I can be, I had to be put in the right situation.”
The loquacious Owens never made a secret of his desire to play with quarterback Donovan McNabb. But, he said for the first time this week that an “offensive” racial comment by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome also persuaded him to spurn Baltimore.
In his recent autobiography, Owens wrote that Newsome told the wide receiver’s agent that, “He was a black man from Alabama just like TO” and that “sometimes a black man’s gotta be slapped.”
Owens made a statement on the first play against the Ravens in the preseason meeting, racing past cornerback Gary Baxter and catching an 81-yard touchdown pass from McNabb.
With Deion Sanders joining Baxter and All-Pro cornerback Chris McAlister in Baltimore’s secondary, Owens might have a tougher time going deep.
“He’s a great receiver, so how can you not look forward to the matchup?” Baxter said. “It’s nothing personal. He’s just going to go out there and do his thing and I’ll do my thing and we’ll all get on the same page.”
Dolphins file suit against Williams
The Miami Dolphins have filed a lawsuit in federal court against running back Ricky Williams, who an arbitrator ruled owes the team more than $8.6 million for breaching his contract.
Dolphins spokesman Harvey Greene would not say if the lawsuit was related to the arbitrator’s ruling last month.
“It’s in the judicial system and we cannot comment further,” Greene said.
The suit was filed Friday, and was not entered into the court’s online registry by Saturday.
Around the league
New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch will not play against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of a knee injury. A team spokesman said offensive tackle Tom Ashworth (back), fullback Patrick Pass (eye) and cornerback Tyrone Poole (knee) – all listed as questionable – also will not play. … Dallas Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn will miss the rest of the season after being placed on injured reserve because of a foot injury. The Cowboys signed receivers Patrick Crayton and Terrance Copper from their practice squad and released defensive tackle Chad Eaton (former Washington State Cougar and Seattle Seahawk) to make room on their 53-man roster. New York Giants center Shaun O’Hara did not make the trip to Minnesota for their game against the Vikings, and his status for the game remains questionable.