Former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh will be assisting Jordan Palmer, his former teammate in Cincinnati, in training Burrow in the coming weeks. Palmer was reported to be Burrow’s lead trainer late last week.
In talking to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com, Houshmandzadeh had genuine praise for the Heisman Trophy winner.
“Love the tape,” Houshmandzadeh said. “To me, anticipation is what makes a quarterback accurate. Accuracy comes from throwing it before he’s open and you’re throwing him open. And that’s accuracy. That completion percentage he had in college, he does that very well. I think Joe is going to be really good.”
Houshmandzadeh knows good quarterback play when he sees it. He’ll be helping the receivers working in Burrow’s training in Orange County, California, where his former quarterback Carson Palmer played high school football.
Jordan’s brother has recently been a polarizing topic in regards to the rumors of Burrow going to Cincinnati. Carson’s blunt stance on the Bengals’ organization has remained constant, but that discourse will not be shared to Burrow from Jordan or Houshmandzadeh.
“We’ve talked about it. We’re not going to say anything negative to Joe about the Bengals. Why would we?” Houshmandzadeh asked. “Teams are bad because their players aren’t good enough. If they get that player that’s good enough, guess what happens? Your team isn’t so bad anymore. I’m sure that’s what they’re thinking. I’m sure that’s what Joe thinks. Negative? Not at all.”
Unlike Carson, Houshmandzadeh seems to have a constructive relationship with Mike Brown and his family. Knowing how they operate, he’d have them take Burrow unless an irrefutable trade offer is presented to them. Whatever is best for the organization he still supports.
“I’m friends with the Browns,” Houshmandzadeh said. “Mike, Troy and Katie and Paul. People still connect me with the Bengals. I would like to see them do well. That’s why I say, if you can get picks, you have to consider it. If not, you draft Joe and you hope it works out.”
Pragmatism and pure honesty. It’s what Houshmandzadeh offers, and it’s what Burrow may need to get through the remainder of this process.