Those who have watched T.J. Houshmandzadeh play know that he's got swagger.
Some might think that confidence was passed to Houshmandzadeh from his former teammate in Cincinnati, Chad Ochocinco.
T.J. says that's not the case. If anything, he says, he helped make Ochocinco, arguably the NFL's biggest personality, into what he is today.
"I rubbed off on him," Houshmandzadeh said, drawing some laughs from the assembled media. "It's just the truth. But Chad experienced success before I did. So people saw him before they saw me.
"If you ask me that's my opinion of it. I've always been like this. I've always been very competitive and sometimes overly emotional. That's just who I am. My kids are like that. I have to calm them down. I wonder if that's how I look at times. I've gotten better with it. Nah, I don't think he rubbed off on me at all."
Where did Houshmandzadeh develop that competitive aspect to his game? Where did he find his passion and intensity? The 32-year-old says it all comes from his upbringing.
"I shouldn't even be here," he said. "I never graduated from high school. I'm not supposed to be here. That's how I see it. I played one year of football my whole life before college. I went to JuCo, was a running back, guys got hurt, I got moved to receiver. [Was a] seventh-round pick.
"And I think that's why I act the way I act, for real. We had nothing to eat in the house. I'm 14 years-old, I'm taking care of everybody. My momma, my older sister, my two younger brothers, they all relied on me. So I think the way that I act on the field is the way that I grew up. That's why I wouldn't change the way [I act]."
Houshmandzadeh's mouth has gotten him in a bit of trouble in the past. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and isn't afraid to speak his mind. If you ask him a question, he's known as a guy that will give you a straight answer.
There have been times when Houshmandzadeh's blunt nature combined with his confidence have offended certain people or given opponents bulletin-board material.
The veteran wide receiver's response to that, in essence, is: Tough.
"People say I talk too much. Stop me from talking then, and I'll stop," Houshmandzadeh said. "That's just me because of how I grew up. I think that's why I act the way I act, because nothing ever came easy for me. People that know me...they know what I had to go through to get here. That's why I know I'm lucky, because there are so many people that had an easier path and should be where I'm at, and they're not. Why me? I couldn't even answer that."