Sometimes support comes from the unlikeliest of places.
After a well documented falling out during the end of their tenure with the San Francisco 49ers, nobody would’ve expected former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia to campaign for Terrell Owens to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Yet, that’s exactly what happened this weekend according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Garcia, who is a frequent guest on Maiocco’s podcast, sent NBC a excerpt of the statement that he provided to the Hall of Fame selection committee, who looked at 30 testimonials from former teammates and coaches with quotes supporting Owens’ candidacy. It’s unclear how much effect Garcia’s and others’ statements had, but Owens was elected to the Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Garcia’s statement via Maiocco:
“My response to your question about Terrell Owens is that I believe he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
“Personality and off-the-field reputation put aside, he was one of the most feared players at his position and was highly productive despite all of the extra attention and defensive game-planning that came his way in order to disrupt his performance.
“He was one of the hardest workers on the practice field, and come game day, he always gave all that he could give, despite at times dealing with personal injury.
“He was a physical beast on the field and created matchup problems in favor of our offense. The combination of size, speed and physicality that he brought into a game made him difficult to defend.
“He wore his emotions on his sleeve and sometimes that was taken in a negative way, but there’s no taking away from the fact that he wanted to win badly and is near the top of every important receiving category in the history of the NFL. No matter who his QB was or what team he played for, his production was consistent and raised the standard of the position from a performance aspect.
“The proof is in what he did on the field.”
According to Maiocco, Owens and Garcia were never friends, and things soured to the point that Owens lobbied for Garcia’s benching during their last season together in 2003. Despite the off field issues, Garcia had the best seasons of his career with Owens, with the duo making three straight Pro Bowls from 2000-2002.