Who is the odd man out on Colts’ defense?
With the signing of Justin Houston, it will be interesting to see which of the Colts starters is bumped out of the starting lineup.
Justin Houston is one of the best pass rushers in the league. A talent like that needs to be on the field as many downs as possible. But adding him means that an existing starter is going to get bumped from the lineup and will have to be a backup. But who could that be?
What will really determine it is what position Houston will play with the Colts. He was an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme of the Chiefs. that allowed him to pin his ears back and just rush the quarterback without having to put his hand down. That might change in Indy.
His skills might be utilized best lining up at defensive end. But that would require him bulking up a bit so he can stop the run better. Having him bulk up might slow him down and reduce his overall effectiveness. But putting him at outside linebacker in a 4-3 might not be the best either.
If Houston were to be a new starting outside linebacker, he would have to get better at defending the run and he would have to play more in coverage. Him playing in coverage is not what the Colts signed him to do. Expect him to play more defensive end.
That could mean Tyquan Lewis is the odd man out. He might get bumped out of the starting lineup, especially during third downs. That would allow Houston and Jabaal Sheard to get down hill and rush the passer. But Lewis would still get some time on non-passing downs.
We won’t find out exactly where Houston fits in the scheme until OTA’s, but it will be an interesting story to follow for sure.