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T.O. tears up 49ers, but strains ab muscle

PHILADELPHIA -- Terrell Owens gave Andy Reid an earful on
the sideline, trying to persuade the coach to call his number one
more time.

There was no argument, no heated dispute, no name-calling or
calling out. It was just T.O. wanting to rub it in against his
former team.

Reid simply ignored Owens and kept watching the backups finish
out the Philadelphia Eagles' 42-3 victory over the San Francisco
49ers on Sunday.


It was not a perfect day for Owens however. Reid said in his Monday press conference that Owens strained his lower abdomen. Owens told Reid it was bothering him after the game Sunday. Reid said the Eagles will see how Owens responds to treatment over the next few days, but Owens is not expected to miss any practice time.

Owens may have been a slight nuisance on the sideline because he
didn't want to come out of the game, but he was far more trouble
for the defense on the field. The All-Pro wideout had five catches
for 143 yards and two touchdowns -- all in the first 19 minutes -- in
his first game against the team that drafted him.

Playing against the 49ers had to motivate Owens, especially
after linebacker Derek Smith made some critical comments earlier in
the week. Reid gave Owens extra incentive, sending him out for the
coin toss as one of the team captains.

"You may think I'm crazy for saying this, but he is a pleasure
to coach," Reid said Monday. "He enjoys playing the game. No
matter what phase we were in during this thing, he enjoys it. He
loves it and I appreciate that."

Owens certainly caused plenty of problems off the field the past
several months. After helping lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl
last season, Owens demanded a new contract, even though he signed a
seven-year, $48.97 million deal when he came to Philadelphia in
March 2004.

He feuded with quarterback Donovan McNabb, argued with offensive
coordinator Brad Childress, dissed some teammates and was kicked
out of training camp for a week after a verbal confrontation with
Reid.

But Owens has been on his best behavior since he returned to the
team in mid-August. He's reconciled with McNabb, stopped pouting
and put aside his contract issues for now. More important, his
performance has been more disruptive for opponents than his
attitude in the locker room.

In the first two games, Owens has 12 catches for 255 yards and
two TDs. Overall, the Eagles are 14-3 in the 17 games Owens has
played, including the 24-21 loss to New England in the Super Bowl.

Owens has 98 catches for 1,577 yards and 16 TDs in those 17
games, and the Eagles have won 10 of them by double-digit margins,
including six by 21 points or more.

"That's something special, to have the type of quarterback that
Donovan is and to have the type or receiver that Terrell is,"
safety Brian Dawkins said. "For those guys to keep hooking up game
after game, and to go into every game knowing that is potentially a
touchdown waiting to happen at any given point, as a defensive
player you love that. I'm definitely excited for those guys and the
way they've been able to click."

Known for his flamboyant celebrations, Owens was downright
boring against the 49ers. He low-fived McNabb after the first
score, and stared into the crowd and nodded his head following the
second one, before giving the ball to McNabb.

Owens took a crushing hit from safety Mike Rumph in the first
quarter, but got right up and didn't let any taunting during the
game affect him.

"Personally I like his game, he is a good receiver," 49ers
safety Tony Parrish said. "He plays hard, he comes to work and he
produces. What else can you ask of him as a football player? Now as
a person, I don't know him, so I can't speak on it."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.