How will Colts’ Justin Houston adjust to D-line?
The Colts’ biggest offseason addition will be switching positions from what he played with the Chiefs. How will his adjustment go?
Justin Houston was one of two outside free agents the Colts signed early in free agency. He is one of the best free agent pass rushers the team has ever signed. But he is about to switch positions from outside linebacker to defensive end in this 4-3 scheme.
How will that adjustment go? The good news is, it’s a common adjustment for players to make. This happens all the time when a player moves from a 3-4 to a 4-3 or vice versa. It’s harder for some players to get used to than others though. But it typically isn’t too hard of a move.
The bad news is that left outside linebacker is the only position he’s played his entire career in the NFL. Going from a standing position his whole career to a three-point stance is certainly an adjustment. The Colts will help him make the move as seamless as possible.
Houston is such a good pass rusher that the move shouldn’t be too big of a deal. He knows how to get to the quarterback, whether he’s starts out in a standing position or not. His presence will certainly be noticed in passing situations, especially on third down.
His ability to stop the run is the biggest question he has to answer. From the defensive end position, he will be responsible for keeping backs from bouncing to the outside. That is relatively close to what his responsibilities were in Kansas City in stopping the run.
The Colts may opt to only put Houston in during obvious pass situations, but that seems unlikely. They are paying him big money to be out on the field on most downs. That’s what he will be doing.