Former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh appeared on KJR this morning with Dave “Softy” Mahler. He talked about signing with Baltimore, the reasons for Seattle cutting him loose and his thoughts on all of the roster turnover this past weekend.
Houshmandzadeh was asked if the Seahawks’ brass explained why they released him, and this is what he had to say:
“I didn’t need to hear it,” he said. “It’s a business, it’s going to happen to everybody. It just happened a lot sooner than I expected it would in my career. But it was just what I said. They want to see what the younger guys could do, and that’s fine.
“I have plenty of years left in me to play football. Was I shocked? Not really because like I said, the past couple weeks I’ve just had a funny feeling about it and I relayed it to certain people. So I wasn’t surprised.
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“So like I said, they ply San Fran the first game. I wish them luck. I have friends on that team. I talk to a lot of the younger dudes on that team and try to help those guys out. And hopefully those guys play well and ball out.”
Houshmandzadeh also discussed how he settled on Baltimore, picking from a handful of teams that showed interest.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do, but at the end of the day, there’s five or six teams that have a legit shot to win the Super Bowl, and Baltimore is one of those teams without me. And so I felt it was a good opportunity for myself,” he said.
“I’m excited. It’s a fresh start. It’s going to be different. I’m a little nervous about it, just like I was when I came to Seattle. You’re going to a different city, a different locker room, different players. So obviously the comfort level will not be there right away. But I’m just going to do what I always do. I’m going to go there and work hard. And when you work hard, the guys see that and everything else takes care of itself.”
Houshmandzadeh said he never talked about going back to Cincinnati.
“I read,” he said. “I get on the Internet and see all of the bad things people say about me. It doesn’t bother me. But no, never once did I say I wanted to go back to Cincinnati. Never once did I say I was interested in going back to Cincinnati. Those things just get floated out there.
Houshmandzadeh went on to say that Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis texted him and let him know he would be all right and to keep his head up. And he also said Lewis was the one that gave him an opportunity to play for the Bengals when he was there.
He said the only thing he regretted was Seattle didn’t win more games last year
“I don’t regret anything,” Houshmandzadeh said. “The only thing I wish could have turned out better was that we could have won more games and Coach Mora could still be there and things of that nature. But other than that, no. You ask anybody in that locker room, I’m talking from the punter, to the kicker, to the long snapper. Ask them about me. Ask them what type of teammate I am. Ask them how I talk to them.
“I don’t pull guys aside when the coach is watching, so the coach can think I’m leading him. I’ve talk to the guys, me and him, one-on-one for a couple hours. Go ask those rookies how many conversations I’ve had with them man-to-man, real life situations. That’s just who I am as a person. I don’t need a coach to see me fake-lead to be a leader. I talk to guys because I want to see guys grow and make right decisions.
“I’m passionate. I’m emotional and so we were losing last year. Did I handle it the right way? No. But I’ve always acted that way my whole career. And I guess because I signed a big contract in Seattle, it was like a big magnifying glass on me, and everything I said was on the news. And I was upset that we were losing. So do I wish I would have handled things differently? Of course. But I don’t regret anything because that’s who I am.”
Finally, Houshmandzadeh discussed all the moves Seattle has made the past, few days.
“(I’m) Shocked,” he said. “I guess they feel like they can bring better players in. A lot of those players you named can play, and have proved they can play. For whatever reason, the powers that be see different. And just like I said, I’m sure they have a plan, and hopefully the plan that they have comes to fruition and everything works out. You knew with a new coach coming in things would change. You didn’t think they would be so drastic. But if he feels that’s what they need to do, it’s his show. He’s calling the shots, so I hope everything works out.”
Check out the audio link here.