Houshmandzadeh says he wants to return

OWINGS MILLS -- During the season, veteran wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh griped publicly and privately about his lesser role behind Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason before eventually accepting that nothing was going to change.

The former Pro Bowl selection spoke in a much more positive tone this week during an interview with Sirius NFL Radio where he said he would like to return to Baltimore now that his one-year contract has expired. "I really, really, really enjoyed my time there," Houshmandzadeh said. "You will never hear me say anything bad about the Baltimore Ravens. It was an unbelievable experience for me. Obviously things didn't go the way I would have liked. But from top to bottom, unbelievable, man, the way they treat you, the way they run things, it is unbelievable. The things you hear about it, about the Baltimore Ravens organization, is true. I couldn't believe the way they treated me and just the way they treat everybody there. It's an unbelievable experience." Houshmandzadeh also downplayed reports of friction between quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and addressed Flacco's angry reaction to the firing of quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. "I just think Joe felt, one, that Zorn shouldn't have been blamed for much at all," Houshmandzadeh said. "If anything I should have taken the blame for a lot of the things that happened, you know. I think he felt he had a great relationship with Coach Zorn and he hated to see him go. As far as his relationship with Cam, you know, I think they get along. Joe will be going into his fourth year. I'm sure he wants more responsibility. "I'm sure they're going to give him more responsibility, you know, let him kind of take control of the offense, let him do certain things that he sees fit. Hopefully I can be back there to help this team get to where they're trying to go or we were trying to go because, one, it's a great team and, two, like I said, you can't say it enough, the way they treat you. Harbaugh, unbelievable coach, man, one of my favorite coaches that I've played for and you would never think that. Going in I didn't think that and it was just a great experience for myself." Houshmandzadeh said that the Ravens are on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl after three consecutive playoff appearances. They lost in the playoffs to the Pittsburgh Steelers as Houshmandzadeh had a key drop as well as Boldin. "Real close," Houshmandzadeh said. "If we make a play here or a play there, get one bounce here or there last year, one catch here or there, meaning myself, things can be different. If I catch the ball there's no guarantee that we're gonna go down and score. It just gives us an opportunity to continue that drive. "But great team. It's the environment there why they're always successful. And you can watch on TV and hear you guys talk and you say, ‘Well this team can't win.' Until you're on the team you never realize what you guys are talking about, until you're on a team like that, an organization, you don't realize what it's like and you see why they're always good." Houshmandzadeh caught just 30 passes for 398 yards last season. It's unclear if he or Donte' Stallworth will be back. "The answer is that I don't really know," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said during a conference call with season ticket holders. "You can't really put a percentage basis on it because there are so many things up in the air at this time. There are obviously a lot of issues that haven't been a part of the equation in the past. It's just a different calendar now with free agency." Stallworth has said he didn't think he was utilized properly last season. "I like all those guys," Harbaugh said. "As a coach, you want all the good players you can get. You like having veteran players too. It's not always possible to keep all those guys. So, I just don't know. We'll just have to see." Houshmandzadeh said he just wants a chance to prove himself again. Signed by the Ravens after being cut by the Seattle Seahawks, Houshmandzadeh grew accustomed to playing on losing teams with the Cincinnati Bengals for most of his career. A former Pro Bowl selection with the Bengals, Houshmandzadeh caught 112 passes for 1,143 yards during the 2007 season. "You know what? My ideal situation - and this is the honest truth - is just let me compete," Houshmandzadeh said. "If I'm not good enough to start, if I'm not good enough to be on the field, I'm fine with that. I'm honestly fine with that. Just say okay, the best guys will play because it's been like that my whole career. The only reason I'm in the NFL or I've played as long as I've played was because one time in Cincinnati they said, ‘Okay, enough with who's drafted where, enough with who's making what, the best guy will play.'

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