Photo credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Image Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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The Kansas City Chiefs offense is getting a lot recognition this offseason but Justin Houston and the defense could be the most important factor for this franchise. The NFL is all about keeping the opposing team out of the end zone and Houston does a great job of that by being so disruptive off the edge. Quarterback’s tend to panic when Justin Houston is blitzing and it’s easy to see why. Not many players are this versatile and number 50 for Kansas City has so many different techniques in his approach. Sometimes Houston disengages blockers quickly and uses his speed to get around the line. Other times he’ll swim underneath and take a more direct pass to the QB but it’s usually successful. When other players try to make those type of plays they usually get caught out of position. Some of the abilities Houston brings to the Chiefs are more about instincts than anything else. By being a player who is so aware of what the offense is trying to do to him, it gives Houston a leg up over most other linebackers. If there’s one guy who is irreplaceable to Kansas City there’s no doubt it’s Justin Houston. Without the 8th year veteran on the field this team loses a gear and it’s hard to believe they would make it out of the AFC West. Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt are two key pieces but are they more valuable than Houston? It’s really hard to say but most of the recent Super Bowl champions (Seahawks, Broncos, and Eagles) all had a solid defense. Houston is the lifeblood on that side of the ball and it all starts with him getting after it and wreaking havoc in the offensive backfield. Andy Reid understands this and that’s why he is going to game plan and make sure Houston is lining up all over the place to create favorable match ups. So you can expect to see plenty of Justin Houston when the action gets underway.
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There’s no doubt Justin Houston is the standard of excellence at outside linebacker. He can get after it on every snap.