Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Houshmandzadeh says he knows the offense "inside-out" and is ready to go;
Houshmandzadeh says he hasn't spoken to Matt Hasselbeck since breaking offseason practices, but he expects that to change once he gets to know the quarterback;
Coach Jim Mora stays in touch through text messages and even invited Houshmandzadeh to climb Mount Rainier with him (Houshmandazeh said there's no way he would climb Rainier or any other mountain);
Houshmandzadeh thinks Michael Vick has paid a high enough price, and then some, and he would welcome Vick as a teammate;
Houshmandzadeh, an avid Madden video-game player in the past, is boycotting "Madden NFL 10" over what he considered low ratings for himself.
I'm going to focus on that last item for selfish reasons. Basically, I promised Ryan from Denver in the most recent NFC West chat that I would produce another "Madden 10" item.
Ryan: First off, thanks for doing two posts on the Madden 10 player rankings. But I want more. Who do you feel is the most overrated player based on last year's performance? Underrated? Same for teams as a whole: SEA 77, SF 73, AZ 86, STL 66. I am going with [Brandon] Mebane 71 as most underrated, and even though I am a Seahawks fan, 73 seems low for SF. Your thoughts?
Mike Sando: I am going to [use] your mailbag submission as license to further revisit the issue. I no longer play Madden 10 or most video games, but the rankings and analysis of said rankings have captured my interest. I do plan to revisit this one on the blog, probably today.
Back to Houshmandzadeh. His comments to Cowherd: "I understand I averaged 10 yards a catch, but it's the offense, not me. I'm not playing Madden no more until they get my rating right. ... I used to be the best in the world at Madden. I'm going to miss not playing it, but until they do me right, I'm not playing it any more."
Madden ranked Houshmandzadeh as the sixth-best receiver in the NFC, behind Larry Fitzgerald (99), Steve Smith (97), Anquan Boldin (94), Roddy White (93) and Calvin Johnson (92). Houshmandzadeh was at 91. I'm not sure what Houshmandzadeh wants. Madden ranked him 95 or higher in catching, injury, stamina, toughness, catch in traffic and route-running. Some of his lower marks were in strength and elusiveness.
Among NFC West players, I thought Seattle guard Mike Wahle (88) was potentially rated too high, based on age and injury concerns. Ranking the 49ers' Justin Smith (83) far below Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (90) seemed a bit odd. Madden ranked 49ers guard Chilo Rachal (80) over teammate Isaac Bruce (79) and Rams pass-rusher Leonard Little (79). Seattle's Julius Jones (75) and Sean Locklear (75) rank below teammate Owen Schmitt (77).
Madden has not yet released all ratings. I've compiled ratings for 25 teams and made them available for download. Don't worry, Ryan. I'm sure I'll be able to produce another item once we have ratings for players from all 32 teams.