Can't hush Housh
Posted by Danny O'Neil
There's a poetry to the way T.J. Houshmandzadeh talks. Transcribing an interview is similar to how it felt to transcribe an interview with Gary Payton with a rhythm and a fluidity that doesn't always translate when you take snippets of what he says.
In that spirit, here's a transcript of the questions Houshmandzadeh was asked Friday.
Q: When things are going tough for a team, do people read too much into things that wouldn't be such a big deal in other situations?
Houshmandzadeh: Like what?
Q: Oh, I don't know, gestures.
Houshmandzadeh: Man, I've been doing that my whole career.
Q:Has it gotten this kind of attention before?
Houshmandzadeh: No. I've done that my whole career. Guys from Cincinnati texted me and said they're surprised it took to Game 7 for me to do it. I think people in Cincinnati knew me. Marvin knew who I was and so whether I was right or wrong -- probably wrong -- it was just he knew it was the competitor in me. I didn't mean no harm by it. I'm just upset by the course of the game, which I would hope everybody is. Some people express themselves differently.
Yeah, it never got this attention before. I'm shocked, but it is what it is.
Houshmandzadeh: Everybody's different. I don't want somebody to act and be something that they're not. If that's who they are, that's who they are. That's just me. I don't know why I'm like that. I don't purposely say, 'This is what I'm going to do.' It just happens. So no, I want people to be who they are, and you can't be somebody you're not and if that's who they are, and they want to do it, but if not, don't do it. I don't think it's a bad thing, but obviously some people take it the wrong way.
Q: What was Carson Palmer's reaction?
Houshmandzadeh: No problem. I talked to Carson on Tuesday for like an hour. He knew that it wasn't directed at him so it didn't bother him. He knew it was just me being a competitor. I'm upset, I want the ball and it was never him, 'T.J. don't do that.' Because we had been with each other. Like I said, he knew what type of guy I was. He knew I'm a team guy and the guys on the team know what type of guy I am. They knew that I would help them out. I would tell them things and I would, same position or not, I would just help guys out and they knew who I was so when they saw me doing that, it was not a big deal.
Q: Do you think your current quarterback knows?
Houshmandzadeh: I don't think Matt, from what he told me, it didn't affect him. It didn't bother him. But I guess other people felt otherwise. So hey.
Q: When you say other people, is it people within the team or just people talking locally? Have you been talked to about it?
Houshmandzadeh: Nah. I haven't been talked to about it, but I think it's a combination of both. I used to watch the news all the time, but I'm not really used to my cable channels yet so I don't watch the news as much. I used to read the newspaper. For some reason, I just don't do the things I used to do. I just used to always read the papers, I'm always on the Internet and I see people talk about me and I really don't care because they don't know me, and if they were to talk to me crazy to my face, we can handle it. If they really feel that way because they don't know me. I'm cool with everybody. I don't want problems unless you want problems. That's how I feel. I don't give anybody a hard time unless it's all in fun, you know. So I would expect the same in return.
Q: So the coaches didn't you have to ask you about it, what it meant or suggest different ways of handling it in the future?
Houshmandzadeh: I wouldn't say it was addressed, no I just think that from certain comments, they didn't know where I was coming from, and so I had to go talk to Matt just to make sure, like 'Br'a, if I've got a problem with you, I'm going to tell you. That's just how I am.'
I don't send subliminal messages. If I've got a problem with Matt, I'm going to tell Matt and that's just it. And I didn't have a problem with Matt at the time. I just wanted the ball. We were losing the game, and it was a big third down. Had we completed it, I would have been fine, you know what I'm saying, but we didn't complete it and that was it. I was just upset that we were punting the ball, and I felt like we could have won the game, we should have beat that team. And that's just me.
Q: After a week in which Coach Mora made the statements about accountability after the game, some changes to the roster, a little bit of a challenge, are you curious to see how the team as a whole responds this week?
Houshmandzadeh: I thought Wednesday's practice was a little uptight, a little bit. Thursday, not as much. Today was going.
It was a shock what happened, the guy who were released, especially Edge because he's just a good dude, you know what I'm saying? Teams should just have him in the locker room, even if he can't play -- so they think -- just have him in the locker room because he's cool. He's good for team. That's my opinion. I think that's the opinion of a lot of guys.
We've still got to play. We've got a lot of guys that are like that. He wasn't the only one. He was just one of. It was a shock, but this is a what-are-you-doing type of business, how-are-you performing type of business. It's no different than anything. If coach Mora's team is not performing the way it should, he's going to be out of a job, and it's the same for us. You can't fault anyone for what they do because their livelihood is at stake.
Q: You mentioned this is who you are, have people in college or earlier in your career tried to change you and how did that work out?
Houshmandzadeh: I've come a long way, man. I used to be short-tempered, man. I'm telling, you. You call my coaches from junior college. I used to be out of control. I'm telling you. Go call Dennis Erickson at Arizona State, and ask him how I was in college. Ask him how I was in practice. Go call Marvin Lewis, ask him how I was in practice. I've been so chill here. That's what I'm saying. I've been chill here. I used to be way worse in Cincinnati. Way worse in college. I've come a long way. So that's why I'm shocked by the reaction, and I think guys in Cincinnati, when they texted me, it was like, 'It took a long time considering what's going on.' And so, yeah, they've tried to change me and I've changed. I think that's just a part of maturing. I've matured, and as you get older, my kids ask me what was wrong so I think that's a part of it also. I've changed a little bit, but I don't think I can get it out of me because that's just who I am, you know. It's hard.
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