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Big Talk From T.J.

Before the 2009 free-agency cycle, we really hadn’t paid much attention to former Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. But after he went on ESPN’s SportsCenter on the eve of the spending spree and gushed about playing with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson not long after telling ESPN The Magazine that Houshmandzadeh planned to sign with whoever offered him the most money, we’ve been curious to see whether this career-long No. 2 wideout can become a No. 1 performer in Seattle’s offense. If confidence were the sole factor, then Jerry Rice would be wise to worry about his all-time records. In the current issue of Sporting News, Houshmandzadeh shared some observations regarding his new team -- and his old one -- with Dennis Dillon. “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 yardswise because they’re allowing me to be a complete receiver.” Top five receiving season? As Chad Ochocinco would say, “Child please.” Even if Houshmandzadeh somehow accomplishes that goal, he serves no purpose by publicly declaring it now. Because it’ll only make him look foolish if he doesn’t deliver on his vow. Then again, we’re not surprised by evidence suggesting T.J. doesn’t get it. Consider his explanation regarding life in Seattle: “It’s so different from Cincinnati, where I played for eight years. When you’d go out there, there were always people stopping you to take your picture or get your autograph. In Seattle, you can just go about your business. There are so many millionaires out there that they couldn’t care less who you are.” Maybe the truth is that no one in Seattle is 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.