On the day the organization announced that Terrell Owens would be inducted into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, the receiver spoke to the media via conference call about myriad topics, including what he sees from the current team.
It seems T.O. is quite aware of the goings-on in Santa Clara.
“With the 49ers, they definitely have some pieces in place,” Owens said. “And No. 1, it starts with the quarterback.
“I know Jimmy Garoppolo just got hurt last year, but again, with the upside, and what I think of what people saw of him, within the last two years, of what he can do, and you put some pieces around him, the sky is the limit.”
Owens acknowledged that health has a big determining effect on how a team performs through a season and that every year is different. He spoke about how important a defense is and explained how the chemistry of a team can be a make-or-break factor for its success.
“Obviously defense wins championships,” Owens said. “And you don’t have to be the No. 1, No. 2, 3 defense. As long as you’re playing good at the right time and everybody is playing in unison and harmony with each other, and there’s that chemistry, anything can happen."
Owens went even further to give Garoppolo extra credit for being Tom Brady’s backup in New England prior to his arrival in the Bay Area.
“You’re not going to find a team with the dynamic and the make-up of your New England Patriots,” Owens said, “but I think if you look at Tom Brady and you see who has backed Tom Brady up over the years, and you guys have him on your squad now, with Jimmy, then obviously again you have a tremendous potential there at the quarterback position.”
Owens also acknowledged the 49ers’ need to build a supporting cast for their franchise quarterback. Both coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are on the same page with the Hall of Famer, taking a close look at receivers while at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.
“Now you just got to put some pieces around this guy,” Owens said, “and then have a great training camp and like I said, barring injuries, anything can happen going into the playoffs. But again, you have all the pieces right there in place to be very, very successful.”
Owens will be inducted during the 2019 season, and he already confirmed he will be in attendance for the event.