You say Houshmandzadeh, I say Houshmandnada – The Pundit isn’t so sure he’s the right fit

We’ve already discussed the possibility of Julius Peppers or Jordan Gross being added to the mix next season. Now I want to talk about another guy, one I think will probably be the popular choice among Eagles’ fans: T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

houshmandzadeh

And I’m just gonna come out and say it – I don’t really think he would make this team that much better.

Listen – I know he puts up solid numbers. Actually, really good numbers. Even last year, playing without Carson Palmer for most of the season, he still racked up 904 yards and four TD’s on 92 catches. In the past five seasons, he’s averaged 1,012 yards, 89 catches and 7 TD’s.

Damn good numbers, I admit.

But here’s the rub – the guy on the other side of the formation was Chad Johnson. Which meant that T.J. wasn’t attracting most of the double-teams. He wasn’t really the guy teams were game planning around. Is he a great possession receiver? Yeah. (Editor’s note: Yeah, well, Matt Jones is a possession guy, too). Is he reliable? Most certainly. Is he the kind of big-bodied, game-changing presence that Eagles’ fans yearn for?

Nah. That’s not his game.

Celek and Avant have kind of proven to be possession, safety-valve players for Donovan McNabb. Curtis stretches the field. DeSean Jackson does as well, besides offering you the athleticism to make plays in a number of ways. But none of these guys are going to go up and consistently make the tough catch on the fade. None of these guys are going to bruise through tackles after the catch, or physically brush the jam aside, or even demand the double-team.

And neither will Houshmandzadeh.

But he probably will demand a big contract on the market, and I think the Eagles could spend their money more wisely somewhere else. And yes, I still think that Anquan Boldin would be a great fit for this team, and yes, I would still love to see them swing a deal for him, and no, I don’t think it will actually happen.

Hey, I can dream, right? Because I really think he would be the perfect fit for this offense. Ah, well.

But what if the Eagles go out and sign T.J. to play wide receiver in Philly – am I going to complain? No, most certainly not. I mean, the guy is a football player, and he will instantly be a consistent target for McNabb, along with being a safe bet to catch 80 balls next season. (Editor’s note: There’s a joke hiding in there, but I can’t quite cup my hand around it…) But he won’t really create mismatches for the opposing defense, either. In my humble opinion, he would just be an upgrade to the role Avant and Celek were already playing in this offense during the playoffs.

I’m willing to consider that I’m underestimating Houshmandzadeh’s talents, at least slightly. But honestly – when you think about what the Eagles need offensively, does he fit the bill? I would argue their needs are as follows: offensive tackle and/or line depth, physical and durable running back who can get the tough yards and spell Westbrook, upgrade at tight end, gamebreaker wideout, and alternative QB of the future, in that order.

Yeah, I know what you’re going to focus on from that list, and no, I don’t think they should say goodbye to Donovan just yet. That being said, I’m not a Kevin Kolb enthusiast, either – I just don’t see it. I’ll grant that the oppurtunities to evaluate him have been limited, but in those oppurtunities, he didn’t do it for me. I would not be surprised in the least to see Andy Reid draft another QB with a pick in the first three rounds.

Hell, I doubt I’d even stir.

"Well, it's nice to see you too, Mr. Lewis, and I thank you for the hug. But really, might I suggest being a bit more gentle with your affections? Wait, what's that? Oh, jeez, you're right, this is a football game - I totally forgot..."

"Well, it's nice to see you too, Mr. Lewis, and I thank you for the hug. And please let your friend know that there's plenty of Kevin to go around, if only he'll be patient. But really, might I suggest being - in the future, of course -a bit more gentle with your affections? Wait, what's that? Oh, jeez, you're right, this is a football game - I totally forgot..."

So, all in all, I just don’t see T.J. Houshmandzadeh being the best fit for this team, and I don’t expect it to happen. Now, if they could get a certain teammate of his to promise he would be a good, silent soldier, I would totally support the Eagles swinging a deal to bring him in. And after his tumultous offseason last year, and a 2008 campaign that saw his numbers drop, Chad Eight Five might just be had at a discounted price…

Stay tuned. (Editor’s note: Oooh, the super cliche “To be continued” finish – why, Mr. Pundit sir, I tremble with anticipation).

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8 Comments

Filed under Eagles, NFL

8 responses to “You say Houshmandzadeh, I say Houshmandnada – The Pundit isn’t so sure he’s the right fit

  1. Joe

    I agree we need more help at running back position than wideout. I think we might pick one up in the first round.

    Correct me if I’m wrong… but isn’t there also a guy on the other side of Anquan Boldin?

    Side note: I think it would be sweet if we drafted D Wills. This would add a more physical/yac player to our receiving core. We can put him as kick off returner because Demps has been less than impressive and needs to work on his position as safety.

  2. James Fayleez

    I like how your blog is built around one line of my comment yesterday.

  3. shooter r

    The guy to go after is Braylon Edwards of Cleveland. Strong indications from the new regime is that both he and Kellen Winslow can be had. Worst case, Edwards would cost something similar to what the Cowboys gave up for Williams – a first, a third, and a fifth I believe. Best case, he can be had for a second rounder (which would escalate to a first depending on performance clauses). Winslow would probably cost a second or third as well.

    Edwards fits the description of a the type of receiver the Eagles need – big, strong, young, a deep threat as well as a red zone target.

  4. pattisonpundit

    Yes James, you are the only person in Philadelphia who wants T.J. right now. Nobody on talk radio or any other blog has mentioned his name – thanks for the inspiration.

    And yes, Anquan Boldin does have Larry Fitzgerald on the other side – but Boldin is also much, much better after the catch than Housh is, and he is much more of a physical receiver. Oh, and his rookie year, the year before Fitz was drafted, Boldin had 101 catches for 1377 yards and 8 TD’s.

  5. James Fayleez

    Now you’re changing the argument.

    If had a choice between the two, I’m taking Boldin every day, all day.

    Good luck getting him from the Cardinals.

    • pattisonpundit

      Nah, that second part was in response to Joe’s comment, where he said: “…but isn’t there also a guy on the other side of Anquan Boldin?” I’m not saying I don’t want Housh because I’d rather have Boldin – I’m saying I don’t want Housh because I don’t really think he’s a great fit, and if they could somehow swing it (which, as I mentioned in my post, I don’t think they can), getting Boldin would be the better fit.

  6. James Fayleez

    I agree that Boldin would the better fit. I also would rather have Jordan Gross instead of Housh….BUT my biggest gripe with this organization is, IF YOU’RE GOING TO THROW THE BALL 70 TIMES A GAME GET THE BEST POSSIBLE PERSONNEL OUT THERE.

    And guess what? A WR corp of Housh, Curtis and Jackson is a LOT better than Curtis, Jackson, Avant, Baskett, garbage, garbage, etc.

    Housh and Jackson are the wides. Jackson is your deep man, Housh is your big receiver. Curtis becomes your Wes Welker in the slot – which is what he should’ve been all along.

    The Eagles love taking guys who are 3s and making them 2s. And taking 2s and making them 1s. Like they are smarter than everyone else.

    Now granted, if they show a commitment to run the ball, to hell with Houshmanzadeh. Bring me Brandon Jacobs!

    • pattisonpundit

      I mean, that’s valid. I’m just so damn tired of the pass-pass-pass-pass-run-pass-pass-pass-pass-run pattern. Take the pressure off of McNabb – run the ball! I would love – and I mean, friggin’ love- if they could get a Beanie Wells. But it probably won’t happen. I’ll tell you what def won’t happen – Brandon Jacobs going anywhere but New York. They’ll pay him.

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