Skip to main content

Quick Hits: 5 Years Later, Houshmandzadeh Counsels Chase To Break His Bengals Record; Without Burrow, Ja'Marr Steps Up In Huddle; Injury Update

WR Ja'Marr Chase celebrates during the Bengals-Jaguars game in Week 13 of the 2023 season.
WR Ja'Marr Chase celebrates during the Bengals-Jaguars game in Week 13 of the 2023 season.

At the urging of the kid's father, T.J. Houshmandzadeh talked to an LSU freshman wide receiver and counseled him to never get outworked.

Five years later Houshmandzadeh is urging Ja'Marr Chase to break his single-season Bengals record of 112 catches. Told after Thursday's practice he's got 86 with five games to go, Chase lit up.

"I got it. Don't worry about it. I got it. We're good. Trying to get 117," Chase said. "Let's kill it. Shatter it. I've got it written down (as a goal). I don't want to be close to what he has. I want it to be harder for someone else. That's all."

Heading into Sunday's Paycor Stadium game against the Colts (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) Chase is fifth in the NFL in catches and fifth in yards. That puts him on pace for 122 catches and 1,505 yards, breaking his own Bengals yardage record with the first 1,500-yard season in club history.

"Tell him to break that (bleep). That's why it's there," said Houshmandzadeh Thursday from Orange County, Calif., where he lives, a bit surprised the record has hung around since 2007.

"With 17 games, it's definitely going to get broken sooner rather than later," Houshmandzadeh said. "He's going to be with the Bengals for ten years. If he doesn't do it this year, he's going to do it soon."

Houshmandzadeh's daughter Karrington was in Chase's class at LSU and he was on campus frequently to watch some of her softball practices and games. At some point  he crossed paths with Jimmy Chase and dad asked Houshmandzadeh to talk to Ja'Marr. Houshmandzadeh recalls the 15-minute conversation ("The basics. You know. Having all the talent isn't it, but all that matters is work").

Later as a Bengal, Ja'Marr Chase remembers meeting Houshmandzadeh with his daughter and he recognized Karrington from the LSU cafeteria.   

"I said, 'What the heck?' That was funny," Chase said.

Houshmandzadeh and Carl Pickens (with 100 in 1996), have the only century seasons in Bengals history. Houshmandzadeh did it at age 30, the only 30-year-old in the top 26 seasons. And he probably would have done it again at 31 in his final season as a Bengal if Carson Palmer had been healthy.

He racked up 92 catches in 14 games during the 2008 season, when most of his balls were thrown from Ryan Fitzpatrick since Palmer played four games. That's why he's so jacked about backup quarterback Jake Browning's 354-yard effort on Monday night in a 34-31 overtime win.

"Zac Taylor and his coaches should get a pat on the  back," Houshmandzadeh said. "Do you know how hard it is to keep guys motivated when a guy like Joe (Burrow) gets hurt? When Carson got hurt, we would say we would be competitive, but we didn't think we could win. It's hard to fight it. But they're doing it."

Was he watching Monday? Does a bear live in the woods? Houshmandzadeh almost asked.

"When a guy like Joe is hurt, or any good player, your remaining good players have to show up. That's what he did," Houshmandzadeh said. "He stepped up because they needed him to. They needed him to play and then  some. That's what the great ones do."

Or as Chase said, "Put the pressure on me. That's  why  I got picked where I got picked. They expect me to do that. Same with Joe."

Houshmandzadeh: "I'm not going to lie. Anytime the game was close, he seemed to make a play. And you'd say, 'That's a great catch … Nope, this one is better.'"

Chase seems certain he'll catch Houshmandzadeh. 100? That's a goal. Easy, he says.  Houshmandzadeh is pulling for that LSU freshman.

"Tell him to go break it," Houshmandzadeh said. "That's what sports is for."

CHASE LEADING CHASE: If Chase has sounded more assertive lately, he has. At age 23 in his third season, he looked around and knows he's needed more as a leader. He consulted defensive bookends Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard.

"I've been more talkative than I've ever been," Chase said. "I talked to Sam and Trey. Other than Burrow, those are the two leaders that I see. I'm asking those questions. I'm still young.  I feel Iike I should where we are. Joe's not here on the offensive side to speak up as vocal as he is. That's not something I do.  I just lead by example and my game. (But) in the huddle I was speaking up a little more."

Here's a wise vet move. Have to get a foot in the door for the playoffs, Chase said, "But I'm not talking about that right now."

INJURY UPDATE: The Bengals had a couple of more injuries surface after a Thursday practice. Slot receiver Tyler Boyd (ankle) and cornerback DJ Turner (hamstring)  appeared on the injury report for the first time and were limited. Running back Chase Brown (hamstring) went full.

Also listed as limited Thursday as they were Wednesday were Hubbard (rest), defensive tackle B.J. Hill (rest), right tackle Jonah Williams (back) and special teams backer Akeem Davis-Gaither (rest).

Related Content