By Brent Stecker
T.J. Houshmandzadeh hasn’t been in the NFL since the 2011 season, but that doesn’t mean the former Seahawks wide receiver has lost his swagger.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught 79 passes for 911 yards and three touchdowns in 2009, his lone season with Seattle. (AP)
Houshmandzadeh, 36, was asked recently by TMZ if Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman could have keep him under wraps, and the retired receiver was clear in his belief that he’d find a way to get open.
“I would disagree with that very strongly,” Houshmandzadeh said. “I was a route runner. That’s what I do is run routes and get open in one-on-one.”
He didn’t back down from his statements when he joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” on Monday. Here’s what Houshmandzadeh said about Sherman, as well as what he thought of Seattle’s Super Bowl run and what he’s up to these days.
Why he could beat Richard Sherman in coverage: “The only reason I got a chance to play in the NFL was because my ability to get open one-on-one. That’s just what I did. I was smart. I knew where the weakness was in the defense. If you know what coverage they’re playing, you know what they’re gonna try to take away and you know what they’re gonna give up. As a student of the game, me knowing that, I know what I can do and what I can’t do in certain situations. … I’m more than confident I would have done well.”
On whether Richard Sherman is the best cornerback in the NFL: “That’s a very subjective question. It’s almost like ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ It depends. He’s one of the best, but to say that one person is the best, you don’t know what one is asked to do in certain situations or responsibilities, where their help is at. And the smart guys like Richard Sherman is, they’re gonna play to their help. The better players are the smarter players.”
On the Seahawks’ defense: “Football is the ultimate team game. They have a hell of a pass rush getting after you. They have the two best safeties on the same team. What (coach Pete Carroll) has done up there with that defense is wild. It’s unbelievable, man, how they’re able to just stack up so many good players after good player after good player.”
Thoughts on safety Earl Thomas: “The first day Earl got there he came up to me to talk smack. He said, ‘I know who you are.’ His dad was talking trash to me. Earl Thomas’ daddy was talking trash to me. ‘Boy, my son will tear you up, boy.’ “
On the Seahawks’ championship run: “It’s not a surprise. Honestly, I did not think they’d win the Super Bowl because I just didn’t think they’d be able to slow Denver down. … I wouldn’t say I was shocked, but boy, I was way off of that estimate.”
What he’s up to these days: “My kids pretty much occupy my time. My daughters play softball. … They’re just doing really well in softball, so that’s pretty much what I do. I watch ESPN, NFL Network about football, and then I get on the computer and learn softball. It’s no different, man. I want my kids to be the best so I want to learn as much as I can about the sport so that any information I give them, I’m not giving them any bad information.”