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Saturday, October 17, 2009
Houshmandzadeh among most-targeted WRs

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

NFL Wide Receiver Team Times Targeted Through Week 5
Andre Johnson
Texans 52
Randy Moss
Patriots 49
Nate Burleson
Seahawks 49
Reggie Wayne
Colts 48
Steve Smith
Giants 48
Chad Ochocinco
Bengals 46
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Seahawks 45
Calvin Johnson
Lions 42
Steve Smith
Panthers 42
Santonio Holmes Steelers 41
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The instinctive reaction to T.J. Houshmandzadeh's most recent pleas for the football goes something like this:

"Your team just won, 41-0, and you caught two touchdown passes. Only six receivers in the league have had more balls come their way this season. The team you left, a perennial loser, is suddenly 4-1 without you. It's a team game."

That's how I feel when I read quotes like this one, attributed to Houshmandzadeh on Friday: "I just got to get these coaches to realize, throw me the ball. Maybe I've said it too much. I just got to show them now."

Context and tone mean quite a bit in these situations.

I wasn't there to hear Houshmandzadeh's comments. Greg Johns of seattlepi.com ran a fuller account, noting that Houshmandzadeh was taking extra reps with the scout team: "I've just got to get these coaches to realize, like, throw me the ball. That's why I'm out here practicing the way I'm practicing. Because maybe I've said it too much. I'm just going to show 'em now. And if that doesn't work, I don't think nothing will."

Update: As noted, context and tone mean everything here. Thanks to Pete Reggio for passing along a link to audio of this conversation.

Chart credit: ESPN Stats & Information