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T.J. talks blue streak on A.J.'s run

Posted Nov 15, 2012


A.J. Green

T.J. Houshmandzadeh think his Bengals single-season record of eight straight games catching a touchdown pass is going down Sunday in Kansas City (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12).

Not only that, he thinks Carl Pickens's club record of 10 straight over two seasons is done as well.

Not only that, he thinks Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green can walk out of 2012 breaking Jerry Rice's all-time record of 13 straight.

"It wouldn't shock me if he caught a touchdown in every game the rest of this season," Houshmandzadeh said Thursday from SoCal. "That dude is good. He's unbelievable. At worst, he's the second best receiver in the league."

Is this T.J. Houshmandzadeh? The third-leading receiver in Bengals history? The Houshmandzadeh who shared the NFL receiving title with Wes Welker five years ago and hands out accolades just as often?

That Houshmandzadeh, sitting out what appears to be his first year of retirement and getting ready for the network auditions in the spring.

"I give him credit. Maybe Calvin Johnson is better just because he's so big," Houshmandzadeh said with a big qualifier. "But if you talk about complete receivers, A.J.'s the best receiver in the league. You watch him run routes and not just the deep ball, not a problem. You watch him against press coverage, not a problem. You watch him go downfield, not a problem. He gets downfield so easy. Some guys are one-dimensional or only have a couple of dimensions."

Houshmandzadeh said Green's ability to play the slot is going to help defuse the Cover 2 and give him more chances to score.

"I can't believe it hasn't happened yet, where a team just says we're not going to let you catch anything over 20 yards and takes away the end zone," Houshmandzadeh said. "But the fact he can go in the slot takes away the safety."

Houshmandzadeh is impressed that Green is doing it with virtually no No. 2 receiver. This is Spiderman and not Batman and Robin. When Houshmandzadeh did it in 2007 on the way to a Bengals-record 112 catches, Chad Johnson was in the process of setting a club record with 1,440 receiving yards. And it was their fourth year with quarterback Carson Palmer, a veteran of two Pro Bowls and more than 60 NFL starts.

"I had Chad and Chad had me," Houshmandzadeh said. "Now sometimes I see No. 85 (Armon Binns) as the No. 2. I see Brandon Tate over there. I see 12 (Mohamed Sanu). I see what they're doing. The guy I think is going to be the guy is Marvin Jones. I liked watching him at Cal last year."

Yes, Houshmandzadeh has watched Sanu. Sanu is coming off that Houshian game against the Giants when he converted a third-and-eight, a fourth-and-two and caught his first NFL TD on third-and-four. Like Houshmandzadeh, he's made for the slot but can make hay outside if they let him.

"I haven't seen him run a route, but I like what I see when the ball is in his hands," Houshmandzadeh said. "When I watch him, his lateral movement is actually pretty good. He can stick his foot in the ground. He's a big dude."

Told Sanu is 6-2, 210 pounds, Houshmandzadeh sounded surprised. "About my size," he said. Told that Sanu reminds a lot of people of him, Houshmandzadeh laughed.

"If they compare him to me, then he's going to be all right," he said.

But his record is not.

"I wouldn't be surprised if (Green) did it 20 games in a row," Houshmandzadeh said.

 

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