T.J. Houshmandzadeh has only had four days of practice since signing with the Ravens on Tuesday, but the veteran wide receiver said he feels like he's made progress in picking up the Ravens' scheme and terminology in that short time.
"Got it down like I've been in the offense forever," Houshmandzadeh joked today. "It's going to be tough, but I'll be alright."
How much does Houshmandzadeh expect to play on Monday night when the Ravens open the regular season against the Jets?
"I want to play the whole game. That's all I know," he said. "That's what I'm used to doing is playing the entire game. I'm not a fool, I know that's not going to happen, but I want to play as much as I can."
For his part, head coach John Harbaugh said he plans on using Houshmandzadeh often on Monday night.
"Yeah, he'll play," Harbaugh said. "It's going to be a lot, he's going to play a lot. He's ready to go."
Houshmandzadeh has spent quite a few hours studying the Ravens' playbook since signing his one-year contract with the team, and he's been trying to get as many reps as possible during practice.
But he knows that Monday night will be a completely different ballgame.
"Practice is different than a game in that guys will tell you what to do in practice," Houshmandzadeh said. "But in a game, I've never played with Mase [Derrick Mason] and Quan [Anquan Boldin], so I don't want to burden them with me. So, I need to know what I'm doing, period."
One of the tougher parts that can come with a wide receiver switching teams is developing a chemistry with his new quarterback. That's one area where Houshmandzadeh says he feels like he's come along well, as he's developed a quick rapport with Joe Flacco.
"The first day, it was a little different, but the last couple days, man, it's been good," Houshmandzadeh said. "Real good. I've just got to gain his trust, that's the key with any quarterback and receiver. Once they trust you, then you're good to go. So that's what I'm trying to do."