by: Mike Parker
I'm all for the team setting lofty goals for themselves going into training camp, but one should use caution before setting the bar too high.
TJ Houshmandzadeh may have stepped into dangerous recently when he went on record with The Sporting News's Denis Dillon and proclaimed the following:
“I just want to let everyone know that Matt Hasselbeck and I will be leading the Seahawks to the playoffs this season,” Houshmandzadeh proclaims. “And we’ll be going to the Pro Bowl as a tandem. We’re both going to have top five seasons: He’ll have a top five quarterback season, and I’ll have a top five receiving season. I’ll put up stats I’ve never had before yards-wise because they’re allowing me to be a complete receiver.”While I can't fault Housh for the vote of confidence and positive outlook going into the season, I have a tendency to cringe when players come out of the gates and make bold predictions before a single game is played.
It's all too reminiscent of Lofa's five-shutout prediction, but not quite as ridiculous as Isaac Bruce claiming the 49ers would score six touchdowns per game last year. (Or was it seven? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)
Still, I don't see Housh turning into a clone of another certain receiver whose first name begins with "T" and ends in "Owens," as the above comments seem to be sparked out of confidence rather than arrogance.
But hype is one thing, and you can believe whatever talking head you wish -- be it a player, coach or analyst. But what I find most hilarious about this story is PFT's Mike Florio bringing on the Hatorade by the gallon here:
Maybe the truth is that no one in Seattle in inclined to gush over [Houshmandzadeh] based on what he did as Ochocinco’s second fiddle, and that they want to see whether T.J. can get it done with the Seahawks. Or maybe they’re simply no longer impressed by big-name receivers who seem to disappear once they suit up for the Seahawks.Really, Florio? Deion Branch is one thing, but DJ Hackett and Darrell Jackson's careers sure flourished after they left, didn't they? And we can't forget Koren Robinson and how his stats totally inflated with Green Bay after a career year in 2002 with the Seahawks? And Bobby Engram's career year in 2007 when he stepped up as Hasselbeck's most consistent target? Yes, all of Seattle's receivers fade into total obscurity once they suit up here. Clearly, it's outrageous to think otherwise.
Getting back to the original point, let's be realistic here -- even while I'm confident Houshmandzadeh can produce, he now has to put his money where his mouth is. And since he now has plenty of money (as if he didn't before), 2009 will be time for him to put up or shut up.