OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens introduced newly signed WR TJ Houshmandzadeh to the local media Tuesday, and the former Pro Bowler wasted no time providing quotes that were ready to be passed around via Twitter all day.
The first question asked of Houshmandzadeh was whether or not the confidence of former Cincinnati Bengals and Oregon State Beavers teammate Chad Ochocinco rubbed off on him. His response?
“I rubbed off on him. That’s just the truth.”
Houshmandzadeh proved to be just as entertaining if not quite as comical as his former Cincy teammate; offering memorable quotes throughout the introductory session.
When asked his feelings about leaving a losing team like the Seattle Seahawks for greener pastures with the Ravens, Houshmandzadeh said “it’s refreshing…it’s hard to optimistic when you know what you’re going against.”
When asked whether it would be a little weird to put on a Ravens jersey after playing eight years in the Queen City, he quipped “it was a little weird putting on my helmet today…but I look forward to it man. I’ve been on a lot of losing teams in my career.”
When asked about his potential role in the Ravens offense with established receivers like Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason around him, he responded “I don’t know…that will play itself out over the course of the season. We’ll see what happens. But I’m a firm believer that if you show the coaches that they should get you involved, then they’ll get you involved. That’s what I plan on doing every day when it’s time to practice.”
When asked about the end of his tenure in the Emerald City, Houshmandzadeh replied “I can promise you, me not being there has nothing to do with football.”
And then of course there was the quote that has become an immediate sensation on Twitter-already “re-Tweeted” by the likes of Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain and Cincinnati Enquirer beat writer Joe Reedy. The quote where Houshmandzadeh explained that Bengals coaches would be “nervous” before the team would face the Ravens’ defense.
“I used to always tell the coaches-and Marvin (Lewis) knows this-‘Marvin, tell the coaches-why are they nervous? They’re not the ones playing’. They would be nervous like they were the ones playing.”
Houshmandzadeh brought a positive attitude and an engaging back and forth to his first press conference as a Raven. He showed why he has been a popular figure in the NFL since he was selected in the 7th round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
In the end, Houshmandzadeh’s personality won’t define his tenure in Charm City. His production on the field, his ability to work with QB Joe Flacco and fellow receivers Mason and Boldin will have much to do with how his tenure is defined. Whether or not the Ravens can go on to win the AFC North and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl will be equally important when judging Houshmandzadeh’s time with the Ravens.
Houshmandzadeh signed just a one year deal with the Ravens, but could factor in to the long terms plans of Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and company should the 2010 season play out the well all parties clearly hope it will. The receiver said he would like to stick around longer “if everything falls into place” when asked about his future Tuesday.
If he’s as entertaining on the field as he is off, he’ll have every opportunity to stick around.
NOTES: Hear from Houshmandzadeh NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Houshmandzadeh was introduced at his press conference by WR Coach Jim Hostler……The start of the press conference was delayed after Houshmandzadeh bumped into Flacco in the halls at 1 Winning Drive