Player Profile: T.J. Houshmandzadeh

Will the best Seahawks receiver in 2010 be T.J. Houshmandzadeh?

Oh Joy

The best football players are inevitably the ones you draft yourself.  I’m THIS close to just writing off any free agent we sign as Soon-To-Be-Busts, no matter their pedigree coming in.  At best (Patrick Kerney), you’ll get one Pro Bowl-calibre season before all goes to hell in a pile of injuries, ineffectiveness, and discontent.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh is no exception.  Except, I guess he kinda is, since his season last year wasn’t THAT bad.  I’m not prepared to dump all over 79 receptions and 911 yards just yet, and here’s why:

How many 1,000 yard receivers have we had since Hasselbeck’s been the starter?  That’d be Bobby Engram in 2007, Darrell Jackson three times, and Koren Robinson once.  How many 100-catch receivers have we had in that span?  That’d be a big 0.  The highest by far was Engram in 2007 with 94; but if you go back you’ll see a lot of Hasselbeck’s leading receivers in the 60-catch range.  You get what you get with Hasselbeck, and that’s a guy who spreads the ball around as well as anyone in the league.

Of course, you could attribute that to a lack of a real dominant #1 receiver, and I wouldn’t call you a liar.

Now, one of the big disappointments in Housh’s season last year HAD to have been the lack of touchdowns.  I mean, he only caught 3.  Then again, the number 3 was tied for second among our receivers in touchdowns caught, which is a testament to how bad our offense was all around.

Let’s face it, Housh wasn’t responsible for blocking the ever-swarming pass rush that bogged down our quarterbacks last year.  Maybe if we had a few less 3-and-outs, there would’ve been more passes to throw around.  I dunno.

Nevertheless, 79 catches for 911 and 3 TDs isn’t exactly what we were expecting to get when we signed him to the 5-year, $40 million ($15 guaranteed) deal.  I think we were looking for something a little more 90+, 1000+ yards, 10+ TDs.  You know, something a little more in line with his 2006-2008 Cincinnati numbers.  Again, I’m not ready to write him off, but you gotta wonder if 79 and 911 isn’t the beginning of a slow decline.  Apparently he was bothered by a “sports hernia” last year – before even signing with us, as chance would have it – that slowed him down a bit.  Is that a one-time thing that’s been repaired with the offseason’s surgery?  Or is that the first of a string of injuries?

Here’s something he could do to help his cause, if indeed this is the beginning of the end:  shut the hell up.  Let’s face it, this isn’t New York or Dallas (or even Cincinnati); we don’t really think it’s cute when overpaid players mouth off while underproducing.  Our hall of famer is Steve Largent, a pro’s pro.  Our most loathed player is Brian Bosworth, a jackass of the highest order.  Around here, you’re going to want to be more Largent and a lot less Boz if you want those fans chanting “HOOOSH” to not shout “BOOOO”.

In the end, the overwhelming majority of football fans are blue-collar working-stiffs.  While the world advances all around them in new and exciting ways, the blue-collar working-stiff is stuck in the 1950s where men were men and football players simply turned and handed the football to the ref after scoring.  They don’t like it when millionaires bitch and moan about not getting enough balls thrown their way.

And I don’t like it when my team shells out millions of dollars to aging players who never live up to their previous hype.

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