Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
In this week's visit to the film room, we check in with Scouts Inc. to examine the play of Cincinnati Bengals receiver and pending free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who is third in the NFL with 77 receptions entering Thursday's games.
Here is comprehensive film analysis from Scouts Inc.'s Keith Kidd:
T.J. Houshmandzadeh is one of the most dangerous slot receivers in the NFL and the ideal possession receiver. Even without Carson Palmer, Houshmandzadeh continues to put up impressive numbers. And with the popularity of the spread offense, he has become even more dangerous as a receiver over the last few years.
How is he in the top five in receptions with a backup quarterback? He is a terrific route-runner who is intelligent in how he sets up defenders and sells specific routes. He is very reliable and trustworthy -- being in the right spots based on the coverage designs/recognition -- in terms of getting on the same page, even with backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is fearless, competitive and does some of his best work over the middle of the field. He can align in multiple spots within the formation and is a student of the game. He isn't a blazer, but he continually gets separation due to his route-running ability. He has deceptive speed but will not run past many corners as a vertical receiver.However, he is a big time red zone threat, because he does the majority of his work underneath.
He should be a hot commodity in the offseason for a team in dire need of a solid No. 2 receiver with a lot of versatility. However, his age and past durability concerns could be a problem for some NFL teams when it comes to investing huge dollars. But if you want a receiver that you can count on consistently, Houshmandzadeh is your guy.