Houshmandzadeh Ready for the Rebound


Posted May 15, 2009


Count receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh among the growing list of folks who believe the Seattle Seahawks will rebound from a disappointing 4-12 season a year ago and compete for a playoff spot in 2009.

The recent free-agent addition said his new team is going to surprise some league observers come September. "We're going to be good," Houshmandzadeh said, while talking to a Seattle-area radio station. "Real good. (If) everybody stays healthy, oh, man. We're going to be something special. The talent we have on this team and then coach (Jim) Mora brings everything together just right. Cool dude.

"Not because I just got there, but everything I've seen from Jim Mora has showed me that we're going to be really good just the way he relates to the players."
Houshmandzadeh went on to say he believes the team has received extra motivation, with no nationally televised games scheduled for the 2009 season. Houshmandzadeh said he doesn't want national TV stations to put Seattle on late in the year when they realize the Seahawks are a good team.

"I can't wait to smack some people in the face," Houshmandzadeh said. "They didn't put us on TV so when we start running through everybody like a wet paper bag, don't flex us in late in the season when we're the best.

"Don't flex us in, we'll have our coming-out party in the playoffs."

So far, Houshmandzadeh has lived up to the expectations placed upon him to be Seattle's No. 1 receiver when he signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the team. The former Cincinnati Bengal receiver has developed a good, working relationship with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as they get ready for the beginning of training camp at the end of July.

"They're two veterans and they're both very smart players," Mora said. "They know the game, and they've just got to get a feel for each other. And really that's what the next couple months are for.

"If they can go into training camp in kind of the mode of, 'Let's refine things and hone things,' that would be perfect for us. And I know T.J. is committed to being here during the offseason, and Matt (Hasselbeck is) always here. So I think that will give them a chance to really work together and continue to jell."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren appears to be angling for a return to the NFL after recent his recent comments in the news. According to a Washington Post report, Holmgren wants to return to the league in some capacity in 2010.

Holmgren confirmed his intentions during an interview with a Seattle-area radio station this week, reiterating he would like to be a coach or general manager again.

"I plan to go back to work," Holmgren said. "Now, where and in what capacity, that is really pretty vague. I don't know. But I know this: I want to do something, that's pretty much a given. And Kathy knows that. And actually she's taken the year off, too. And she's a very active person and she wants to do something. So we're going to go back to work.

"You know, I'm looking at the hires recently and they're hiring young coaches, for one thing. And I'm a little bit of a dinosaur. But I'm young at heart. I still think I'm 25. The fact is I'm not going to presume anything, but I am going to be open to just about any possibility."

--The Seahawks are expected to signed Oklahoma State center David Washington, a rookie free agent who participated in the team's post-draft, minicamp in May.
According to reports, Washington said he will travel to Seattle and sign with the team this weekend. The move brings the team's current roster to 80 players, the maximum number allowed entering training camp.

At 6-feet-3 and 308 pounds, Washington is a decent-sized guy who can move. He started three straight seasons at center for Oklahoma State, and gives the Seahawks another body to work at center, along with starter Chris Spencer, second stringer Steve Vallos and rookie, second-round draft choice Max Unger, who's been working at left guard.

--Seattle signed fullback David Kirtman to a one-year deal. Kirtman, drafted by Seattle in the fifth-round (163rd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft, was released after training camp last season. He landed on San Diego's practice squad, then signed with the San Francisco 49ers, playing in one game. Following his release from San Francisco, he ended the season on the New Orleans Saints practice squad. The Seattle-area native has played in seven career games, primarily on special teams.

--Rookies are scheduled to rejoin the rest of the team to continue offseason workouts next week. Seattle's mandatory minicamp is scheduled for June 10-12. The beginning of the team's training camp is tentatively scheduled for July 31.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He has shown me that he can play consistently there. Is it as good as Walter Jones? No. That's hard to match. But he has shown the versatility and the athleticism that he can play a strong left tackle." -- Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Greg Knapp commenting on Sean Locklear taking over for Walter Jones at left tackle should the veteran Pro Bowler struggle in his return from microfracture knee surgery.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Leroy Hill: Tendered at 8.304M (tender withdrawn April 25; re-signed April 30).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--QB Charlie Frye.
--LB Wesley Mallard.
--C Steve McKinney.
--LS Jeff Robinson.
--WR Koren Robinson.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--LB Leroy Hill: UFA; $38M/6 yrs, $15.5M guaranteed.
--CB Kevin Hobbs: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
--WR Jordan Kent: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
--LB Lance Laury: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB D.D. Lewis: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Ben Obomanu: ERFA; tendered at $460,000; terms unknown.
--WR Courtney Taylor: ERFA; tendered at $460,000; terms unknown.
--S C.J. Wallace: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
--OT Ray Willis: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--DT Colin Cole: UFA Packers; $21.4M/5 yrs, $6M guaranteed.
--FB Justin Griffith: FA Raiders; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh: UFA Bengals; $40M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--FB David Kirtman: FA; terms unknown.
--CB Ken Lucas; FA Panthers; $2.3M/1 yr.
--TE John Owens: UFA Lions; terms unknown.
--DT Cory Redding (trade Lions).

PLAYERS LOST
--DT Rocky Bernard: UFA Giants; $16M/4 yrs, guarantee unknown.
--WR Bobby Engram: UFA Chiefs; terms unknown.
--OG Chris Gray: UFA; retired.
--DT Howard Green: UFA Jets; $625,000/1 yr, guarantees unknown.
--TE Will Heller: UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--RB Maurice Morris: UFA Lions; $7M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
--LB Julian Peterson (traded Lions).
--FB Leonard Weaver: UFA Eagles; $1.75M/1 yr.
--OT Floyd Womack: UFA Browns; terms unknown.


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