Josh Rosen Color Rush JerseyReport
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The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker has primarily played on the right side during his career, which means he’s been chasing quarterbacks down from their blind side. But his new position coach, Mike Smith, intends to line Houston up opposite the weakest player on an opponent’s offensive line, and often that will mean facing the right tackle rather than the left.
”It doesn’t matter what side. I want to be everywhere,” Houston said this week. ”The weakest link is where I want to be. Every team is different. Everybody has a different weak link. So whoever has the weakest link, wherever it is, that’s where I want to be.”
Just so long as it’s on the field.
Houston spent a lot of time on the sideline the last few years as a career that once seemed destined for the Hall of Fame was slowed by injuries. He piled up 22 sacks in 2014, a half-sack shy of the single-season NFL record, and was rewarded with a $101 million, six-year contract that made him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league.
But after playing well the first 11 games the following season, Houston hyperextended his knee in Week 12 Patriots Danny Shelton Jersey , and what seemed like a relatively benign injury had lasting ramifications.
He tried to return in the playoffs but was ineffective in a win over Houston and a divisional loss to New England. And that hyperextended knee turned out to reveal a ”non-functioning” ligament, causing Houston to undergo serious knee surgery in February 2016.
He wound up missing the first nine games that season, and after appearing in a handful midway through the year, was shut down until the playoffs. The Chiefs had hoped Houston would be able to help them when it mattered, but he was again ineffective in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh.
Even last season, when Houston continually professed himself healthy, he never appeared to be going full speed. He was listed as questionable on the injury report twice because of his knee, and he finished the season with 9 sacks in 15 regular-season games.
It wasn’t until training camp, a few weeks back, that he acknowledged ”playing on one leg.”
”When you have surgery, and the surgery I had on my knee, it takes time,” Houston said. ”As much as you want to be ready, it still takes time to get your pop back and get where you want to be. I think I’m there. I think I’m beyond there right now and it feels great to be back in that feeling.”
His fellow linebackers have noticed Jaire Alexander Jersey Elite , too.
”Justin, he’s starting to really go back to that 22-sack guy, so we have an opportunity to be one of the best (pass-rushing groups) in the league,” Dee Ford said. ”People don’t understand how bad his injury was and how he also tried to play, and he tried to come back too fast, and he’s not an excuse guy and you got to really respect that.”
One could argue that nobody is more crucial to the Chiefs’ defense than Houston, given the way the defense has been overhauled. Longtime pass rusher Tamba Hali is gone, and Ford has dealt with his share of injuries, resulting in a precipitous drop in sacks the past couple of years.
Throw in the departure of playmaking cornerback Marcus Peters, who was traded to the Rams in a move designed to improve club morale, and the pressure is on Houston to, well, create some pressure.
”Would you love to have a million sacks? Yeah, I would love that. But the biggest thing is always affecting the quarterback Josh Rosen Color Rush Jersey ,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. ”Obviously you can affect his timing. You don’t have to sack him. But as long as you are moving him, and making him get off that spot a little bit, then you can affect him.”
Houston should be able to help now that’s moving around more.
Both on his knee and all over the field.
NOTES: OLs Cam Erving (knee) and Eric Fisher (shoulder) left Thursday’s practice with ”tweaks,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. Mitchell Schwartz moved from RT to LT, Andrew Wylie took over at RT and Bryan Witzmann took over at LG. … The Chiefs are off Friday before resuming camp on Saturday.
Michael Vick’s second try for a football championship in Atlanta will come as a coach.
Atlanta was announced on Wednesday as the choice to join Orlando as franchises in the new Alliance of American Football that will begin play next February.
The Atlanta Alliance has hired former NFL coach Brad Childress as its head coach. Vick, the former Falcons quarterback, will serve as Childress’ offensive coordinator.
“I want to bring a championship to the city of Atlanta,” Vick said. “It’s always been a dream of mine, and now I have another shot.”
Atlanta is the second city to get a franchise in the league that was created by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bill Polian and longtime TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol. The Alliance has a television deal with CBS and plans to open its first season the week after the Super Bowl.
Vick, 37, was the top overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft by Atlanta and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during his time with the Falcons (2001-06). His stay ended in disgrace.
Vick served 18 months in prison following his guilty plea for a dogfighting operation in his native Virginia. He returned to play five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by short stints with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2017, he was welcomed back to the Falcons family by owner Arthur Blank in a retirement ceremony for Vick and receiver Roddy White.
Vick took the Falcons to the NFC championship game in 2004 but never reached the Super Bowl.
“When I accepted the job and thought about what it would take to bring this city a championship, I knew that I needed to bring Michael Vick back to Atlanta Chris Taylor Jersey ,” Childress said. “His connection with the city is undeniable, and his 13 years of NFL experience will make him a tremendous asset to our team. I saw firsthand his innate ability to bring out the best in those around him and I’m confident that together, we’re going to build something special for the city of Atlanta.”
Vick said he has “a love and passion for teaching the game of football.”
“I’ve learned so much over the course of my career, playing for and being mentored by some of the best coaches in all of football,” he said. “I’m committed to paying it forward, helping players grow and putting some of my ideas into action on the football field. To do this in Atlanta just makes it that much sweeter.”
Another veteran coach, Steve Spurrier, is in charge of the Orlando team.
“There is a tremendous amount of players and coaches who deserve a chance to compete at a professional level, but only a limited and finite amount of roster spots and positions in the sport today,” Childress said. “The Alliance of American Football offers an exciting opportunity for players and coaches to launch or continue their career at the professional level during the spring, and I’m particularly impressed with its strong focus on the relationship between players, fans and the game.”
The team will play at Georgia State Stadium, the former Turner Field that was home to baseball’s Atlanta Braves.