DDOGG Posted March 21, 2008 Report Share Posted March 21, 2008 T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who didn't attend most of last year's offseason workouts and on-field sessions before becoming the first Bengal to ever lead the NFL in receiving, is a bit surprised his decision to do it again is causing a bigger stir in '08. Two words. Chad Johnson. "Yeah, it's probably because of that," said Houshmandzadeh Friday from California. "But we're two different dudes. He's got to do what he's got to do and I've got to do what I've got to do. Two different personalities. I march to my own drummer. Everyone knows that." Houshmandzadeh knows there are "positives and negatives," about staying home in the Los Angeles area. He admits it "felt different," doing it last year, but he also said he came into training camp in the best shape of his life. "Obviously not being around the guys, relationships and that's all stuff I enjoy. Those are negatives," he said. "But getting the personal attention in the gym as opposed to being part of a group of about 20 to 30 guys, that is something that really helps me." There isn't anybody with the Bengals that Houshmandzadeh doesn't talk to all the time during the offseason. Two of those guys are strength coaches Chip Morton and Ray Oliver. "I've told them it is nothing against them. They have a great program and I do a lot of the stuff they do," Houshmandzadeh said. "But if I'm getting tired and I'm losing my technique, my (trainer) can see that right away and correct me because of the one-on-one attention. And I probably came in faster than at any time since I came out of college last year, and I get the chance to work on the speed by myself." He also says he wants to be around his two small daughters who attend elementary school and preschool in California during the spring. "That's something that means a lot to me. I spent so much time away from them earlier," he said. Houshmandzadeh insists it has nothing to do with his contract. After coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and his first Pro Bowl berth, he's still working on the four-year, $12 million deal that ends after '08. "My situation is cut and dried. It doesn't matter," Houshmandzadeh said. "Either I stay with the Bengals after this season and or they decide not to give me a new contract. That's it. Would I like a new contract? Yeah. Do I think I deserve a new contract? Yeah. But it's fine. Like I said. It's cut and dried." Asked if he was surprised there hasn't been any more contact about an extension since last month's NFL scouting combine, Houshmandzadeh said, "No. You can only be surprised if you expect something and I don't expect anything." He does expect to get criticism from people outside the organization and, "Some of the coaches are probably wondering, but I think the players understand." Houshmandzadeh admits that without him and Johnson, "the rhythm and the flow and the timing," in the passing game is going to suffer a little bit, but he also says he'll do what he did last June and July and spend the month leading up to training camp throwing with Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. "We must have got together 10 to 15 times," Houshmandzadeh said. "It's easy because we live so close together out here. Just pick up the phone and let's go. A lot of times it's our second workout of the day because we both work out in the morning." Houshmandzadeh doesn't have much to say about Johnson's trade rants. "Hey, I hear them before you do, so it doesn't surprise me," he said. "He's been saying this stuff pretty much since the end of the season. I don't know if he's coming to (the mandatory) minicamp or to training camp or whatever. We'll just have to see." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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