Good ol' T.J. Houshmandzadeh. You can't help but respect the guy whose 507 receptions as a Bengal ranks third in franchise history -- 74% of which came in the final third of his Bengals career. Houshmandzadeh will make his first appearance in Cincinnati since leaving in 2009 for the Seattle Seahawks. We're not sure how he'll handle his return after once saying that Seattle is "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."
But the truth is, as time has passed, Houshmandzadeh expressed some regret with his decision to leave Cincinnati for Seattle saying "I wanted to stay."
“People were always telling me, ‘Why do you want to stay? You need to get up out of here.’ But I don’t really like change a lot and I wanted to stay just because I felt comfortable there.”
And the experience has taught him something.
“I tell people now if you have a chance to stay with your team and the offers are anywhere close, stay, because they’ll appreciate you more than other teams,” he told the Cincinnati media. “I did regret what I did, but it was too late to go back.”
Not only that, but Houshmandzadeh appreciated the loyalty and patience showed in him when he was injured, saying "Had I been on another team, I probably would have been released and be at home right now, doing Lord knows what," Houshmandzadeh said. "Marvin stuck by me when I was hurt."
It'll be interesting how fans will react. On one hand, you can't help but appreciate and respect the receiver he was in Cincinnati. On the other hand, he left us, not the other way around. And a lot of people struggle by letting bygones be bygones.
That all being said, Houshmandzadeh talks about facing the Bengals cornerbacks:
"It's exciting because the Bengals are good. Period," Houshmandzadeh said Wednesday. "You're going against J-Joe, who I think is one of the top 6-7 corners in the league and you're going against Leon who is one of the top 10 ... and you're going against Pacman (Adam Jones) who can be one of the top corners in the league once he plays football."
Will you applaud him for his services, boo him for his exit or rip Bob Bratkowski because that just seems so right?