Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh rarely holds his tongue, especially when it comes to the number of times the football strikes his hands.
Houshmandzadeh, who has caught only two passes for 31 yards in three games with the Ravens, recently talked about the situation with Dan Kolko of MASN.com.
“It’s different,” Houshmandzadeh said. “I’ve got the
offense, for the most part, I would say. There’s certain things where I
still make a mistake here or there, but for the most part, I know what’s
going on. I’m just not getting the opportunities, really, for whatever
“I told myself going in I wasn’t expecting much the first three
weeks, because obviously, they had a few things set in stone before I
got here. And I’m not saying I’m expecting more this week, but I know
the first few weeks I didn’t expect a lot. Hopefully that will change,
because that’s why I came here. So, we’ll see how it goes.”
But it’s more than just not getting the ball. He’s also not getting what he regards to be enough playing time.
“I knew it would take time, and I was willing to say to myself, ‘If I
don’t get the ball, then I’m not gonna make a big deal,’ so to speak,”
Houshmandzadeh said. “It mattered, but it didn’t matter, because I was
new. But I didn’t even play, let alone get the ball, so that’s different
for me. And I didn’t expect that. Hopefully, things will change.
“Is it frustrating? Yes and no, because the only time it becomes
frustrating is when you expect things and look forward to things, and I
didn’t expect them. So it’s still frustrating, but it’s not as
frustrating [as it would have been] had I been on this team all training
camp and things of that nature.”
Like many players who think they’re not getting enough opportunities, Houshmandzadeh tried to couch his position in positive terms.
“I’m a competitor. Period,” Houshmandzadeh told Kolko. “Anybody that’s a
competitor, if you’re not getting the ball, or you’re not getting
opportunities to get the ball, and you’re not even playing, something’s
wrong with you if you’re cool with that. So I’d be lying if I said I was
cool with it, because I’m not. But going in and expecting very little,
which I did initially, it’s not as troubling so to speak.”
Houshmandzadeh said that he won’t be going to the coaches about the situation, but by speaking out publicly, he’s sending the message.
“They wanted me to come here, I assume, for a reason,” Houshmandzadeh said. “And hopefully, we’ll see what that reason is.”
Given Houshmandzadeh’s recent history, his comments are pretty tame. But it makes sense to keep an eye on the situation, because eventually Houshmandzadeh could blow.