Now that his visit with Seattle is complete, T.J. Houshmandzadeh is making his way to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, reports the Pioneer Press' Sean Jensen. We're assuming that his visit with Seattle isn't going to resolve into a contract, considering our belief that the Seahawks are in the midst of a rebuilding period after a 4-12 season and a new head coach and Houshmandzadeh's public announcement that he wants to play for a competitive team. We're not suggesting that the Seahawks are a bad team, only that it doesn't follow Houshmandzadeh's public declarations of what he wants.
Also, we heard the tail-end of a 1050 ESPN Radio report in New York, while listening in on a call by Mike Florio, that Houshmandzadeh is scheduled to visit Giants. We're just not sure when.
A previous post brought about a misunderstanding of what we mean saying that Houshmandzadeh is the league's best #2 receiver. The point is simple, however requires an explanation because we're going against technicalities. It's not about the depth chart. Our basic meaning isn't that Houshmandzadeh is the second best receiver on the Cincinnati Bengals. He's our best route runner, most dependable receiver, consistently a first down and red-zone threat, and the most intelligent receiver on the team. He's really the go-to guy on the Bengals, and admittedly by simple definitions, that's also considered the primary receiver, or technically the #1 receiver.
However, the way the Bengals use passing routes, he's never the deep threat. His yards-per-reception is the lowest among the best receivers in the league. Chad Johnson is a deep-route runner, and the way that basic progressions work, especially the Bengals offense, is that we check down from the deepest threat inward. When the snap is taken, the quarterback looks at the deepest openings before checking down. Often times, the Bengals just look for Houshmandzadeh, however, only if the deep pass isn't there. This doesn't specifically mean that Houshmandzadeh isn't the primary receiver on passing plays, but he's not the guy that goes deep because his abilities underneath are unrivaled and needed for the Bengals to keep drives progressing. It's a trivial point, and not all that important. But we apparently needed to explain ourselves anyway.