T.J. Houshmandzadeh: 5 Reasons the Chicago Bears Should Sign Him Immediately
Houshmandzadeh will make the Bears a more explosive unit, while fitting nicely into offensive coordinator Mike Martz's scheme.
Before the former Pro Bowl receiver gets snatched by another team in need of a solid playmaker, the Bears should review these following reasons and come to the logical conclusion of signing him.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Is a Solid Receiver
T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a solid receiver, as his stats and 10-year career certainly attest.
The Oregon State product, a 2001 seventh-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, worked with Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) for eight seasons. In that time, despite the fact that Houshmandzadeh was the second option, he posted some great numbers.
T.J. has 616 career catches for 7,091 yards and 43 touchdowns. Of those 616 receptions, 391 of them (63.47 percent) were for first downs.
In 2006 and 2007, Houshmandzadeh had back-to-back 1,000-yard-plus campaigns and 21 scores—six more tallies than Ochocinco. He also had six seasons with 900 or more yards receiving and was voted both All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl in 2007.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Is a Big Target
Quarterback Jay Cutler could use some big receivers, as the Bears know when they signed Roy Williams.
By bringing in T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chicago would only be adding another such big target for their franchise quarterback.
T.J. is 6'2" and 203 pounds, and would create a nice pairing with Williams (6'3" and 215 pounds). Having these two could cut down interceptions on throw-up passes.
The veteran wideout also has lost only three fumbles in his entire NFL experience and would provide a good option for Cutler.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Improves the Receiving Core Significantly
Cutler has had to deal with an extremely average group of receivers throughout his first two seasons with the Bears.
Johnny Knox is still developing, but he has dropped several open looks and gives up the inside frequently.
Devin Hester will never be the No. 1 receiver Chicago hoped he would be, and frankly should not be a starter.
Former Bears Devin Aromashodu and Rashied Davis were nothing to sneeze at.
Williams improved the core by miles and adding Houshmandzadeh will continue that progression.
Williams and Houshmandzadeh could be the starting flank receivers to create a vertical threat, coupled with a possession receiver. However, if the Bears are still set on Hester as a starter, T.J. would fit nicely in the slot position by making mismatches with linebackers and safeties.
A four-receiver set of Williams, Houshmandzadeh, Hester and Knox would be intimidating, too.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Is a Good Blocker
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz loves blockers, especially when the offensive line is deficient.
That is partly why tight end Matt Spaeth and Williams were signed, and why Greg Olsen was let go.
Spaeth and Williams can block.
Olsen could not.
T.J. is a solid blocker and a good downfield blocker. Martz could draw crack blocking schemes in Houshmandzadeh's direction for running back Matt Forte to exploit.
Adding T.J. will provide a competent blocker to help supplement a poor offensive line.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Has an Awesome Name
For some reason, the Chicago Bears love signing players with awesome names.
This past decade, Chicago have played Brandon Manumaleuna, Israel Idonije, Devin Aromashodu, Adewale Ogunleye, Kahlil Bell, Brendon and Obafemi Ayanbadejo, Al Afalava, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Frank Omiyale, Dusty Dvoracek, Matt Toeaina and Julius Peppers.
Touraj Houshmandzadeh would continue this interesting trend and give Chicago sports copy editors nightmares.
Bob Bajek is a freelance reporter and can be followed on Twitter.
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