Report: Pats to work out Houshmandzadeh, Sharper


Report: Pats to work out Houshmandzadeh, Sharper

By Phil Perry

According to multiple reports, free agent wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh will visit Foxboro on Monday for a workout with the Patriots.

The Patriots will also work out free agent safeties Darren Sharper and Renaldo Hill, according to SportsXchange.

In 2009 Sharper made nine interceptions and helped lead the Saints to a Super Bowl championship. Last season he played in eight games after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee.

Houshmandzadeh is coming off of a disappointing season with the Ravens in 2010, his tenth season in the NFL, when he caught 30 balls for 398 yards and three touchdowns.

The 33-year-old had his best years in Cincinnati playing alongside new Patriots wideout and former Bengal Chad Ochocinco. Houshmandzadeh's career year came in 2007 when he tied with Wes Welker for the league lead in receptions (112).

He left Cincinnati in 2009 to sign with the Seahawks where he made 79 catches for 911 yards and three touchdowns.

The connection between Ochocinco and Houshmandzadeh runs deeper than their years together in Cincinnati. The two played together at Oregon State and were drafted by the Bengals in 2001.

It will be interesting to see if the Patriots, who already have wide receiver depth, keep Houshmandzadeh around. It's likely just the Patriots doing their due diligence, but perhaps they're hoping he will bring out the best in Ochocinco. With Houshmandzadeh as a teammate, Ochocinco (who until 2008 was officially known as Chad Johnson) made five Pro Bowls, was named an All-Pro four times, and set several Bengals franchise records.

Ochocinco also made the Pro Bowl in 2009, the year Houshmandzadeh left Cincinnati for Seattle as a free agent.

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 


On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.