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The political side of Houshmandzadeh

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The verbal gamesmanship between Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Bears linebacker Lance Briggs struck me as harmless banter.

Two other comments attributed to Houshmandzadeh stood out as more interesting.

Comment No. 1: "I can't do too much talking, because I haven't had the ball thrown my way much this year. So, you have to get the ball before you can talk."

The Seahawks immediately recognized Houshmandzadeh's smarts upon signing him. This type of comment would seem to be calculated. Houshmandzadeh was shifting the responsibility for his production to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp while putting pressure on Seneca Wallace to target him if Wallace plays. Houshmandzadeh is on pace to finish with 80 catches for 880 yards. He had 92 catches for 904 yards last season.

Comment No. 2, on whether Hasselbeck might play Sunday: "I'm anxious to find out myself. You know, when you have a fractured rib, you wait to the end of the week to see if you can go. It depends on your pain tolerance. If you can tolerate it, you can play with it. Some guys have a high level of pain tolerance and some don't. So we'll see where Matt fits in."

It's unusual for one player to comment on another player's ability to play through pain or weather injuries. If Hasselbeck does not play Sunday, is it because he doesn't have a high enough pain tolerance, or could it be because the team wants to be smart in managing an pivotal injury?