The lasting image of the Ravens 2010 season was wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropping what would have been a first-down pass on fourth down-and-18 in the final two minutes of an eventual 31-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 15.
More than six months removed from that miscue, Houshmandzadeh said on Monday that he is still bothered by the drop.
"I still haven't moved on," said the wide receiver, an unrestricted free agent who is hoping to latch onto either the Ravens or another franchise for an 11th season. "I have a lot of pride about what I do, and I'm very, very competitive. … It ended in a terrible way, a way that I never thought it would have ended. But I don't know what's going to happen. I really don't. But I wish I would've played the way I normally play, and I didn't. So that's why I look forward to the end of the lockout because I wholeheartedly believe that things will be a whole lot different."When the Ravens snapped up Houshmandzadeh shortly after he was waived by the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 4, visions of Houshmandzadeh, Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason carving up opposing defenses danced in the heads of many Ravens fans.
But Houshmandzadeh finished with just 30 catches and 398 yards, which are the lowest of his career when he has played a full, 16-game season. Houshmandzadeh didn't place the blame for his lack of production on the Ravens.
"When I watch myself run routes and things of that nature, I felt like I did a pretty good job," he said. "But I got there so late, and give credit to the coaches and [quarterback] Joe [Flacco]. They had a game plan going into the season and then they were thrown a curveball and told, 'Get this guy involved.' That's tough."
Houshmandzadeh said he doesn't have a sense of where he will land for the upcoming season.
"I don't even know if the Ravens want me on board," he said. "The Ravens are a hell of a team and a hell of an organization, and if I'm lucky enough for them to want me back, then I'll do cartwheels back to Baltimore. If not, then it is what it is."