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A motivated Jermaine Gresham recalls playoff loss: "I cost my team the game"

Jermaine Gresham wants to earn the trust of fans and do better for his team after a disappointing postseason performance against Houston.

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham has had his rough moments in Cincinnati -- even played the victim of general fan irritation. His drops and plays that are viewed as negative, tend to outweigh his positive production. Even his Pro Bowl entries have been excused as an alternate that made the All-Star game through injuries and elected players skipping the event for the Super Bowl.

But in truth, there's some fairness. We're not talking about a systematic degradation of a declining career -- reasonable fans will note that he's getting better with each season. But the timing of his drops have justifiably elicited negative reactions, which we expanded on earlier this month.

One of those drops has assaulted Gresham's peace of mind to the point that he believes he caused Cincinnati's loss to the Houston Texans in January.

"My whole intent during the offseason was to make up for where I left off in the playoff game last season,"Gresham told Carlos Holmes with the Dayton Daily News. "There's no doubt about it, I cost my team the game."

Yet, while dealing with that memory this offseason, he's found a motivator to get to that next level.

"It's all about me being a professional," he said. "I owe it to the fans and people who got me here to do better because being a disappointment is not what I am. I'm just trying to make up for it. I'm another year wiser and know what's expected of me. I just have to do my job and not let my teammates down. It's sad that it has taken so long, but I'm really starting to figure some things out. Things will be different this year."