I read this on a 49ers board


MINNEAPOLIS - While hinting Tim Rattay should replace Jeff Garcia at quarterback, receiver Terrell Owens said after Minnesota 35, 49ers 7: ``Sometimes the truth hurts. I speak the truth.'

No, T.O., here's the truly painful truth about what happened today: Your overrated team got overpowered, out-talented and out-coached by a much better team with a much better star receiver.

You got wiped out 28-0 in the first half by a backup quarterback because your defensive front, the NFL's smallest, got mauled by Minnesota's new Purple People Eaters, its offensive line.

You fell to 1-3 because your defensive backs are too slow and ordinary and give you false confidence in practice. And because your line can't protect Garcia, who obviously was flinching on a pulled groin and had his poorest four quarters of throwing in three years. And because you have two below-average coordinators and a new head coach who needs to be kicking butts instead of kissing yours.

But you keep trying to do his job -- lighting a postgame fire -- when you aren't doing yours.

Can you handle the truth? You're not catching the deep balls that are thrown to you, and you aren't making nearly as much happen as you used to with shorter passes you do catch. You're a self-deluding shadow of yourself, not as quick or fast as you used to be, no longer a tackle-breaking game-breaker.

For your sake, I hope you have a groin pull we don't know about.

You're not in Randy Moss' league when it comes to flying by cornerbacks, adjusting to deep balls and rising over double coverage to put them in your back pocket. Garcia threw you a nice deep ball in the second quarter, one that could have cut the margin to 14-7, but a 5-foot-11 second-year corner, Brian Williams, outjumped you for it and knocked it down. Rattay threw you one in the fourth quarter that dropped right through your hands.

And it's everyone else's fault? You're becoming a real-life caricature of the beer commercial in which the fumbling star refuses to take blame, telling his interviewer: ``Leon can't do everything.'

I was one of your few cheerleaders the last couple of years because you always put your ``money' plays where your mouth was. As long as you performed, your criticism of former coach Steve Mariucci packed post-game punch. Now you're just shadow boxing.

You trotted straight to the locker room when 35-7 ended, while all but a couple of backup teammates shook hands with the winners at the middle of the field. Classy. Then you continued to alienate teammates by saying, ``I know I didn't give up.'

Oh, no? With just under eight minutes left, Rattay slightly overthrew you down the sideline. Yes, it would have been an unbelievable catch. But you didn't even leave your feet. You half-heartedly pulled up and gave it a little mock-attempt, as if to say, ``Another awful throw.'

You showed him up. You quit. You had the gall to say: ``At that point it was too late.'

You also showed up your coordinator on national TV. You paced back and forth in front of Greg Knapp, raging at him as he glared back at you from the bench.

Yes, you had a valid point about a fourth down and a yard and a half late in the third quarter. Knapp tried to out-Vikings the Vikings by ramming Kevan Barlow straight ahead. Predictably, your line lost that battle badly.

Predictably, no unpredictability. No play-action flip to a tight end or to you, T.O.

But you took it out on Knapp only to take yourself off the hook in your overhyped matchup with Moss. Right now you vs. Moss is no more of a contest than Albert Pujols vs. Barry Bonds.

Once, you boiled over on the sideline only because of raw emotion. Now you've gone Hollywood. You let NFL Films mike you during the Cleveland game and you hammed it up on the sideline doing Martin Lawrence's Zen meditation from ``Bad Boys II.' Your tirade against Knapp was scripted.

Too bad Erickson didn't win back the team by sending you straight to the locker room. Too bad Erickson walked around the locker room afterward hugging some veterans and patting others on the back. This is the ``tougher, more aggressive ``new coach? Mooch lives.

But worst of all, you followed Erickson to the podium and sold out your quarterback to deflect blame. Talk about kicking a man when he's down. Talk about burning a crucial bridge. Did Garcia hint publicly after your two drops in St. Louis that Brandon Lloyd should replace you?

Hinting Rattay should play will only fuel the ire of misguided fans. After three consecutive Pro Bowls, Garcia has earned the right to try playing through groin injuries. This time he failed miserably.

Starting Rattay might have made it a little closer but wouldn't have changed the outcome. Minnesota is too good, even with Gus Frerotte subbing for Daunte Culpepper. Rattay is no Frerotte.

Why didn't you scream at defensive backs coach Brett Maxie for screaming so hard at cornerback Mike Rumph that coordinator Jim Mora Jr. had to restrain Maxie? It was Maxie who worked out Rumph twice in Miami and encouraged General Manager Terry Donahue to draft him in the first round. Donahue also took offensive tackle Kwame Harris, another first-rounder who continues to be an alarming liability.

That pretty much describes you, too, T.O. That's the truth.