A visibly upset Owens was defiant in his stance that he said nothing wrong last week when, while discussing a variety of topics, he criticized 49ers coach Steve Mariucci's coaching approach and also questioned his coaching integrity. Owens also said he is not concerned with resolving his latest conflict with the coach, even though Mariucci defended Owens earlier in the day and asked the media to "cut the guy some slack."
"I don't know what his thinking is," Owens said when told of Mariucci's peace offering. When asked if he was interested in making peace with the coach, Owens said, "I don't want to get into it." Then, Owens went on. "It's been that way since he's been here, since we've been together. So there's nothing new. I think a lot of people know that. Four or five years, it hasn't changed. I don't think it's going to change. I just want to play ball and end this, and get on with my life."
When asked by 49ers beat writers if the media should cut him slack, as Mariucci suggested, Owens vented his discontent. "Everything I say is getting written the wrong way," Owens said. "I can't beat you guys. Every time I say something, you guys take it and run with it. You don't actually print what I say. Past interviews, they don't come across right in the papers, so I'm out here looking like the bad guy. I'm not going to try to say the right things, I'm not going to express my feelings, regardless if I'm trying to say something good. If I'm just trying to speak my mind, no matter what, it's not going to come across the right way in the paper the next day."
Then, in his next breath, Owens said, "I said what I meant last week, and that was it." Owens said he wasn't worried about how his words were being perceived by others. Then, when asked if perhaps he should express his thoughts more clearly, so others can better understand his comments, he indicated that would be useless.
"Even if I do try to explain things more clearly, just because of past interviews or my personality, it's going to be taken the wrong way anyway," Owens said. "Everybody is trying to diagnose what's wrong with me, like I've got a head problem or I need to see a psychologist. I'm perfectly fine. My grandmother raised me and I'm going to be all right. That's it. I've gotten this far with a lot of criticism. Nobody's given me nothing. And I'm going to keep being successful regardless of whatever bump or hump I come across."
Owens said he was disturbed by the reaction to things he said last week, because he "didn't think it would come across like that. … Just coming from me, it doesn't come off the right way. There's a lot of players in here that felt probably the same way. But they didn't say it. So that's the whole story. It came from me."
When asked if he was aware what came from him might be embarrassing to Mariucci, Owens replied, "If it was, I mean, oh well." Owens said he won't worry about how that or other comments will be perceived, either. "No, not at all," he said. "It doesn't distract my play. I'm just going to go out there and let my play do the speaking for me. If I play good, I play good. If I play bad, I play bad. I'm not running for office."