Justin Houston can provide needed help to KC’s pass rush
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Jake White @JakeWhite58
In Veach I Trust is something I mutter to myself every offseason. I continue to hype myself for various free agents only to watch them sign with another team. I’m not in the room with the Chiefs scouting department or completely understand their thought process, but every year I will convince myself of various free agents that I think can make a difference. Right now that difference maker is an old friend Defensive End Justin Houston.
All offseason I have jumped from one pass rusher to the next. Akiem Hicks, Jadeveon Clowney, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Melvin Ingram. All those guys were, in my mind, a great fit for the Chiefs pass rush. Nothing to take away from Frank Clark or George Karlaftis, but continuous depth is key at rushing the passer, Clark the last few years has struggled and Karlaftis is a rookie. But now, in OTA’s we need a veteran that can step in and fill a role that he is an expert at rushing the passer and doing what Melvin Ingram was able to do. Also who doesn’t want to see a great football player return to the team he started with and finish his career. Justin Houston needs to come back to KC.
I am not hoping on this train because I have his jersey from when he had 22 sacks in 2014, I am conducting this train because his lowest sack total EVER is 4.5 in one year. Is that game-changing? No, but after watching the Chief struggle to bring any QB down in 2021, that number can always help and his 12 pressures and 17 QB knockdowns will be a significant upgrade over what the Chiefs were able to produce outside of Chris Jones.
Houston last season with Baltimore he served as a mentor to Odafe Oweh and as a rotational piece. He was able to play in 15 games and recorded 34 tackles. If he can continue that and who can better help the NFL’s Greek Freak realize his full potential. Houston coming in as relief to Karlaftis and Clark, bringing the pressure and the hurries, and also an underrated ability but taking attention from All-Pro Chris Jones.
Brett Veach has shown he is willing to spend money on weak roster spots. Last year a whole new offensive line and this year he has addressed the wide receiver room while filling roster spots and also looking at securing the talent already on the roster. But it was obvious last year that the pass rush was lacking. We watched Josh Allen and Joe Burrow able to do whatever they wanted in the pocket. While not 100% on the defensive line, it was frustrating to watch the already uber-talented QB’s have even more advantage of the time they need to find their targets. The Chiefs also lost talent on the defensive line this year, with Melvin Ingram leaving to sign with the Miami Dolphins. With that, we lost a lot of NFL experience and an intimidating presence.
My final request in bringing back Justin Houston is nostalgia. When the Chiefs were mired in mediocrity, possibly going to the playoffs only to watch us leave after one game, year after year. We had two highlights on each side of the ball, Jamaal Charles on the offense, and Justin Houston on the defense. I love watching former Chiefs come back and relish in the love they should have had the first time around. Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson were unable to come back to the Chiefs to finish their careers, but this could be the ultimate swan song for Justin Houston. Help the team get back to the Super Bowl and walk away from the game with a ring and knowing he left his impression on the game.
I am fully on the Bring Justin Houston Back train. I might be the only rider on this train but hopefully, Brett Veach will hear my cries from my home office. Bring him back so I can dust off one of my favorite jerseys.