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Originally published Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 8:43 PM

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Terrell Owens to begin Seahawks tenure with clean slate

Pete Carroll dismissed the veteran receiver's past troubles and said all that matters now is Owens' future.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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RENTON — Pete Carroll believes in second chances and fresh starts.

And while Terrell Owens is well past a second chance, he will certainly benefit from the blank slate that is being offered.

"I don't care what happened before," Carroll said. "We're starting together from this point forward. What he said, what he's done — I could care less about that.

"It's right now."

It's not what happened in Philadelphia in 2005 with Donovan McNabb. Not what happened in Dallas with Tony Romo. Not the baggage from any of Owens' previous five teams in the NFL.

Right now, the Seahawks want a big, physical receiver to fill the role Mike Williams had two years ago, and Carroll believes Owens can help, even at age 38. Monday's workout convinced Seattle's coach of that after Owens was timed running 40 yards in 4.45 seconds.

Owens was not at the Seahawks' practice Tuesday, as he returned to Los Angeles after his workout. He was scheduled to be back in Seattle by Tuesday night, and is expected to practice with the team on Wednesday.

"Let's see where he fits," Carroll said. "I like the look in his eye. He's dead serious about proving himself and doing something. So, I'm just going to give him a chance to do it. We're thrilled to get him out here and have him battle."

It's an approach Carroll has used before. He gave Williams an opportunity two years ago, and the result was a 65-catch season. Doug Baldwin got a chance last season and he became the first undrafted rookie to lead an NFL team in catches in more than 40 years.

Rebounds are a statistic in basketball, but a way of life for the Seahawks under Carroll, who was fired twice in the NFL before becoming a successful college coach at USC. Sometimes that works like it did with Williams. Sometimes it doesn't, which was the case with running back LenDale White, who lasted little more than a month.

So, what's the reaction to Owens' addition in Seattle?

"He's going to be a future Hall of Famer," Baldwin said. "For all of us young guys who have grown up watching Terrell Owens, it's going to be huge for us."

Only Jerry Rice has more career receiving yards than Owens, who is also tied with Randy Moss for second place in career receiving touchdowns.

"We're looking to do big things here this year, and any help we can get, we'll take," receiver Sidney Rice said. "His numbers do the talking for themselves."

Owens was out of the NFL last season after suffering a knee injury in the spring. The receiver is hungry, said Carroll. And he is humbled. And after being written off, Owens has been given one of those fresh starts that have been Carroll's calling card.

"He's got a chance to start all over again here," Carroll said. "And whatever age he is, who cares? I don't care."

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com.

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