Would James Houston really save this defense?

I keep seeing people talk about Houston returning and saving the defensive pass rush, but people seem to be forgetting the furor here from almost everyone on the board at the beginning of the year because Aaron Glenn forced Houston into a different role, using him as an all-around LB instead of a QB-seeking missile. It didn’t go well–no tackles in game 1, and 1 tackle in game 2 when he got injured on special teams (where a guy this valuable should never play).

Do you think Glenn changes that if Houston comes back before the end of the year?


I think people see him as our last, best hope to improve the pass rush this year.

I would hope that Glenn goes back to using him where he provides the most impact. Nothing would surprise me at this point though.


Depends if they are using him as the star pass rusher he is, or the pass covering, special teamer he isn’t imo.

They used him as a LB in preseason. Then they broke his leg putting him on special teams.

There’s a chance they come to their senses and use him for what he is though.

PS - Yes, i understand they are trying to develop him into a 3 down player. I disagree with this approach and believe he’s a one trick pony with a trick that is incredibly difficult for offenses to stop. Use the pony for the trick it knows in this case imo.


I don’t think he will come back to form this season even if he comes back at the end of the season.

But if some how is able to come back to form and we use him a pass rush specialist only. He may provide a spark and help Hutch get free.

At this point as crazy as it seems I am banking on 36yo Bruce Irvin to provide a little juice off the edge. But it is really just hopes and dreams.

1 Like

I don’t think so.

In his 2022 form he would help a ton.


Even with limited snaps against the Chiefs, James Houston impacted the football game. The pick 6 was on a pressure from Houston. There were 2 other 3rd down plays that were killed with pressure from Houston.

We don’t have anyone else like him, but have been able to manufacture a bit of it with the blitz from Analzone and Walker. I think what AG is doing with our “contain” pass rush is fundamentally sound. He just doesn’t have the right horse opposite of Hutch to make it work. When looking at Houston’s snaps, you can see how James disrupts the timing of the play and makes it so that bailing away from Hutch is not nearly as easy. In fact Houston was the first guy that Mahomes had to account for in his head, so bailing would have mean running towards Hutch. So instead of getting away like we’ve seen 100 times, he got rid of the football. One of which was a pick 6.


Only if they let him.
You keep hearing “discipline”, and “trust”, in regards to the defense.
Everytime one of the coaches says that, I hear “slow”, and “slower”.

Pressure is greater than any coverage. Id rather have studs on the line and less than seconday pieces if i had to. I like brad but he hasnt done very well building a pressure line.

I had this motion offense that I was determined my team could develop into.
They never got it, in four years. I always wound up reverting to fast break at crunch time.
It was just too complex for my players, no matter how highly I thought of them.

1 Like

Preseason was an experiment, and to try and give him some immersion in the position, nothing wrong with that. I find it extremely doubtful that we see the Houston we expect after such a long layoff. People have unrealistic expectations that a guy comes off IR and they are 100% and fresh as a daisy. Real life doesn’t work that way most of the time :confused:

1 Like

He has to, otherwise we’ve seen the best this defense can perform. And it isn’t enough. It isn’t nearly enough.

There isn’t an earth in the multiverse where this is a Super Bowl or conference contending defense. We need another horse. Maybe 3.


You mean giving the QB 6-7 secs to survey the holes in the backends zone defense? You can’t use contain that much and be successful in the NFL. It has its place.

You’ve asked a couple of questions…
1st, the question in the title… No.
2nd, the question about AG… Whatever our complaints are of AG, one thing we have to admit to seeing is his adjusting where a player is aligned or how he’s used. If Houston continued playing, I think we would have seen his role adapted to pure pass-rusher, with coverage only in zone. None of the man stuff we seen early with he and Harris. Speaking of Harris, he’s kind of an example of what I’m saying. Started the season as a hybrid SAM and has returned to pretty much playing on the line only.

Coming back to Houston, he would have definitely helped, but he’s not enough. Many were clamoring for Carter because he fit so well. That hole in the roster is still there.

Don’t worry Holmes knows what he is doing! He brought in a 36 year old pass rush specialist! Get Houston back and sign Derrick Barnett there is your 3 new horses! Lol

It looks different when Houston is on the field. All of it makes sense with him…or if we manufacture what he brings with a blitz. I am as frustrated as everyone else. But going back and reviewing the film, it seems to be more of a personnel problem than a gameplan problem.

Dan is a huge believer in our style of pass rush. To the point where I wonder if he is the one dictating it to AG and not the other way around. Warren Sapp jokes that his philosophy is to stop the run on the way to the quarterback. Dan seems to want to defend the run 1st, 2nd and 3rd and get to the quarterback ONLY if it doesn’t impact run lane integrity. As a result we have actually been mashing RBs in the run game. The leading RB for the Packers had 43 yards. For the Bears it was 35 yards. That’s been normal production for RBs. But we have this oddity where QBs are comfortable in and around the pocket. So while I agree with how Dan has been approaching it, we need to mix in more aggression in the pass rush game. Houston…by himself…added that fear.

1 Like

Not sure since they decided his best fit was to drop into coverage

He impacted the Chiefs game.

1 Like

I was typing a response in support of this, then I flashed back to some of the twists and stunts that I’ve seen them running and thought “what if we’re seeing aggressive pass-rush snaps already and this is still the result”?

1 Like

I only saw Houston win one pass rush in all of pre season and his first two games. I wonder if the narrative on this is all wrong. If perhaps Houston regressed and was playing LB to see if he had other value he could bring to the team. He did have a hot streak last year but for less than half a season. It’s not a huge track record to prove he can do it consistently.

We are making him into a savior when perhaps he’s just a guy.

1 Like