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T.J. Houshmandzadeh takes John Ross under his wing

T.J. Houshmandzadeh and John Ross have been working out in California together prior to the Bengals offseason programs, and Houshmandzadeh is excited about what he is seeing from Ross.

One of the greatest receivers in Bengals’ history has taken it upon himself to try and make sure the Bengals most recent first round receiver doesn’t disappoint.

T.J. Whoseyourmomma... Oh wait sorry. Old habits die hard.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh and John Ross have been working out in California together, according to Geoff Hobson of the Bengals’ official site. Houshmandzadeh made a bold claim ahead of meeting his newest pupil.

“Once he gets back from Cincy, if I can get a good two months with him I can guarantee you he’ll be a different player in training camp,” he told Hobson.

This is great to hear after Ross had one of the most disappointing rookie outings in recent history. He recorded one carry and a fumble during his rookie season. He also didn’t play much at all.

Part of that was due to injuries,, and part of it was due to coaches being stubborn. Either way Ross’ season ended on Injured Reserve. The main thing Houshmandzadeh wants to do is bring back Ross’ confidence.

“People overlook the mental part of it,” Houshmandzadeh tells Hobson. “Physically, he wouldn’t have been drafted ninth if he didn’t have it. He’s got to understand that he was drafted ninth for a reason. The ninth out of every kid in college football.

“I don’t care you didn’t play well last year,” he says. “The ninth pick and you’re not playing, you’re going to lose confidence ... I’m trying to bring that back to him. I’m trying to get him to believe in himself unconditionally.”

That is great to hear because Houshmandzadeh is completely correct. One of the biggest things that can derail a career is just losing that confidence in yourself as a player. It is one of the big reasons you see a player go from one team to another and start playing way better.

That excitement and confidence in themselves gets rejuvenated. Of course, there are other things that play a part in that, but it is something most people don’t think of.

Also fans will be happy to know that Ross seems to be taking this extremely seriously. In fact, according to Houshmandzadeh, he is already asking for more time with the former Pro Bowl receiver.

“He called me up Tuesday night after we met and asked me if we could meet again the next day,” Houshmandzadeh told Hobson. “I told him I thought he was busy and he said, ‘I’ll find the time.’ You’ve got to like that. We’ll probably go tomorrow, too. And as much as we can do next week before he leaves for Cincy.”

For those who may not have been around, Houshmandzadeh was one of the most technically sound receivers of his era. He needed to be because he wasn’t the most athletic guy in the world. He was a great possession receiver. Why? Because of his footwork. It is something he hopes he can pass onto Ross.

“That took us years. It won’t happen overnight,” Houshmandzadeh tells Hobson. “He’s been fast his whole life. Whoever worked with him has never really gone over the basics and the nuances of route running. You can’t always run by you. You get to this level, everybody can run. Your technique and ability to separate has to come to the forefront because you can’t beat everybody with speed. That’s what I’m trying to get him to understand. He’s got speed no one else has.”

Houshmandzadeh has one last statement to make about Ross next year.

“If he’s working with me, bet your house on him.”