Housh Didn’t Expect More Playing Time

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh had a Ravens-high 79 receiving yards and career-long touchdown.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, November 22nd, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has been vocal about how this season hasn’t played out as he expected.

The Ravens’ wide receiver traveled to Carolina with 13 receptions this year. That’s after averaging more than 87 catches per year over the past six seasons.

But after scoring a career-high 56-yard touchdown and finishing the game with a Ravens-high 79 receiving yards, Houshmandzadeh was refreshed.

It’s not only due to his big plays, but also because he received more playing time than usual. Houshmandzadeh played his usual No. 3 role and spent some time lining up outside with wideout Donte’ Stallworth when Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason came to the sidelines.

“I didn’t expect it,” Houshmandzadeh said of the playing time. “I didn’t think it would happen, but when it does, you have to be ready. You beat down on yourself a little bit and things like this kind of wake you up.

“I know the position I am in and it is what it is. You just have to make the most of every opportunity, period. … And that’s what I plan on doing.”

What the ever-confident Houshmandzadeh wasn’t surprised by was how open he got for the touchdown reception.

“I am never surprised at that,” he said.

The touchdown came on a post route in which Houshmandzadeh beat cornerback Charles Godfrey and two other Panthers defenders. Houshmandzadeh said his job was to clear defenders out for wideout Anquan Boldin and tight end Todd Heap, who ran intermediate routes underneath.

It was Houshmandzadeh’s 600th career catch, but the 10-year pro feels he has many more in him.

“I feel like I can play, to be honest with you, five more years, easy,” Houshmandzadeh said. “I didn’t even know it was 600 catches until somebody told me. I had no idea. I guess it has been that type of year for me.”

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