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T.J. Houshmandzadeh offers to mentor John Ross

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The Bengals great believes the No. 9 pick can be “unguardable.”

Houston Texans v Cincinnati Bengals
T.J. offers to work with John Ross
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

T.J. Houshmandzadeh is one of the best receivers ever to wear Cincinnati Bengals’ stripes.

Houshmandzadeh, a seventh-round pick of the Bengals in the 2001 NFL Draft, is currently No. 8 on Cincinnati’s all-time list with 5,782 yards. His 507 receptions are fourth best. Even more impressive, his catch percentage of 65.7 percent would rank him ahead of Chad Johnson, A.J. Green, Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott on that list.

His last season as a player in the NFL came in 2011 with the Oakland Raiders, but he was back with the Bengals as a coaching intern prior to the 2015 season.

“I feel like I know a lot of football,” Houshmandzadeh said recently as a guest on the Bengals’ Pep Rally show. I feel like I am a very intelligent football player, and it’s not just the receiver position.”

Houshmandzadeh reached out to one of the Bengals’ receivers who struggled mightily in this his first season. John Ross, the fastest man ever at the combine and the No. 9 pick in the 2017 NFL draft, barely saw the field this season.

Ross had no receptions on two targets in 2017, and ran the ball one time on an end around that gained 12 yards, before a costly fumble put him back on the bench. Cincinnati placed him on injured reserve after Week 13 with a shoulder injury.

“I am going to reach out to him because I want to see the kid succeed,” Houshmandzadeh said. “John Ross is someone that I would like to help. I’m going to try to reach out to him to see if he wants it. I’m not going to try to force my way on him. If he wants the help, I’m going to help. If not, it is what it is.”

Apparently, Ross is listening. And, according to his twitter account, he welcomes Houshmandzadeh’s input.

Houshmandzadeh and Ross are both from the Los Angeles area. Both played college ball in the Pac-12 conference, Houshmandzadeh with Oregon State and Ross with the University of Washington.

“I just want to help him,” Houshmandzadeh said. “He’s a local kid and he’s got some talent and, if he learns what I think I can teach him, he’s unguardable.”

“Unguardable” is exactly what the Bengals were hoping for when they drafted Ross. Time will tell if Houshmandzadeh can deliver.