As much as I enjoy looking at the picture of TJ Housmanzadeh saluting the dumb-founded Steelers fans after catching the game winning touchdown last Sunday in Pittsburgh, I am just as frustrated to hear him complain about his lack of catches and playing time. Only a quarter of the way through the season and Housh has already spouted off twice. Maybe I am naive, but there has got to be a better way to go about this, especially after you made the biggest catch the Ravens have had all season in the biggest regular season win of the John Harbaugh/Joe Flacco era. I have never played on an NFL team and maybe pulling your coach or offensive coordinator aside and saying “Hey, I think I can healp this team win if I am in the game more,” ia not the way things are done. Maybe TJ, like many other wide receivers, feels the only way to affect change is by going to the media. Here is what TJ had to say about his expectations of what he could do in Baltimore:
“I was happy [the Steelers] scored because we were going to go two-minute and we were going to throw it,” said Houshmandzadeh, referring to the Steelers going ahead 14-10 midway through the fourth quarter. “When we throw the ball, they can’t stop us. If [the offensive line] protects like they protect up front and we throw, they can’t stop us.”
“I was shocked that I played as much as I did in the first and second game,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that got me greedy, but then I expected it, so to speak. But then I didn’t play much against Cleveland.”
“Q [Anquan Boldin] is going to be happy. That’s just the reality of it,” Houshmandzadeh said. “Q and [tight end Todd] Heap, they’re going to get their balls. They brought Q in, they gave up draft picks and gave him a nice contract. They’re going to find ways to get him the ball. I can appreciate that because I thought that’s what I was getting [in Seattle]. I wish it was me. But it’s not.”
I would wager that TJ was asked a direct question about his playing time by a member of the media, and that he answered honestly. And I do not feel he was trying to be disruptive or cause problems with his comments. The problem is that he is on a 3-1, first place team that has loftier goals that getting him 50-60 catches this season. My advice to Houshmanzadeh, keep your head down, focus on the opportunity to win that this team has and make plays when the ball comes your way. Houshmanzadeh has the chance to look back on this season with a far greater sense of accomplishment than reaching any individual goal will bring. Keep in mind that TJ will likely see more playing time as the season continues as Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason will likely miss some time with injuries. Let’s hope TJ does not do anything now that erodes the trust of his teammates or coaches to the point where they do not trust him to be there when he is needed most.