Colts Teammates Benefitting From Justin Houston’s Teaching, Presence

Colts Teammates Benefitting From Justin Houston’s Teaching, Presence

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Colts Teammates Benefitting From Justin Houston’s Teaching, Presence

What were the spring impressions from Colts players and coaches watching Justin Houston work during the offseason program?

Joe Robbins | Getty Images


INDIANAPOLISFor a 30-year-old, who has missed 21 games over the last 4 seasons, it was impressive to see Justin Houston fully participating in the Colts offseason program.

 

It spoke to a reason on why Chris Ballard highly coveted Houston, once the 4-time Pro Bowler hit the open market.

 

If Ballard is going to hand out the contract he did to Houston (2 years for $24 million), he wants a message to be sent to his locker room of the type of professional that has earned such a deal.

 

Judging by the comments from Houston’s teammates in the spring, they saw that pro.

 

“He’s been impressive to watch out there,” fellow defensive lineman Margus Hunt said of Houston. “His pass rushing, his ability to set the edge and just his presence within the defensive line, he’s been a very positive feature.”

 

“He loves teaching,” Jabaal Sheard said of the defensive end expected to start on the opposite side. “He is another leader that’s stepping up and helping guys get better. He’s out there showing it, not just talking it. He’s showing it.”

 

Houston participating during OTAs and mini-camp should have been beneficial to him.

 

The veteran is undergoing a scheme change, one in which he believes will only further his career with less responsibility now on his shoulders each snap.

 

“I think being in our scheme will certainly help him in terms of getting his hand in the dirt and getting off and attacking that way,” defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus says.

 

“I think that will lend to his natural abilities. You don’t just fall into 78.5 (career) sacks. But he knows how to rush the passer, so it is important that we teach him the base fundamentals of the game and enhance his abilities with what he naturally does.”

 

Back in 2011, Sheard and Houston were front seven mates at the Combine here in Indianapolis.

 

Sheard was a 2nd round pick by Cleveland. Houston went a round later to Kansas City.

 

Ballard has now brought both to Indy and the latter’s presence should help out the defensive line in 2019.

 

“I thought it was a huge help to the team,” Sheard said of his reaction upon hearing Houston signed with the Colts.

 

“Obviously, the more pass rushers, the better the team is. When we get teams in third down it obviously helps when you have a pass rusher coming off the edge. It adds more depth. I’m just looking forward to it.”

 

Colts 2018 Sack Leaders

-Denico Autry: 9.0 sacks

-Darius Leonard: 7.0 sacks

-Jabaal Sheard: 5.5 sacks

-Margus Hunt: 5.0 sacks

-Kemoko Turay: 4.0 sacks

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