As we draw closer to the offseason and free agency in the NFL, there is nothing but rumor and innuendo about where free agents will sign, what players will leave, what players will stay, and how some players might even follow other players to certain destinations.
The Atlanta Falcons have been trying to find a consistent pass rush ever since they went to the Super Bowl in 2016, and Vic Beasley led the team and NFL in sacks that year. The Falcons have some young pieces with potential on defense in guys like Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone, but they still need some time to develop only one year in. Thursday night on The Jon Chuckery Show, Jon explained why the Falcons need to bring home a hometown guy to help mentor the young guys while bolstering the pass rush at the same time.
Jon Chuckery believes Justin Houston from Statesboro, Georgia, graduate of Statesboro High School, and a University of Georgia alumni would be a very good fit in this Atlanta Falcons defensive rotation. Now, out of the gate Chuckery admits that Houston wouldn’t be a “long term solution”at age thirty-four, but believes he could be a good rotational piece on the defensive line and a good “pass rush specialist” meaning his only job is to get after the quarterback. Jon also suggested that he would be okay with Houston only coming in on third down as well.
Justin Houston racked up 9.5 sacks this season, and the Atlanta Falcons as a team had 21, Houston nearly had half of the Atlanta Falcons sacks this season by himself while only starting in one game this season for the Chiefs. The former Georgia Bulldog also collected 17 quarterback hits, 7 tackles for loss, an interception, and a forced fumble as well.
If the Atlanta Falcons could have that production in their defensive line rotation along with the veteran leadership and mentorship Houston could offer to the young defensive players such as Arnold Ebikietie and DeAngelo Malone, Justin Houston’s value speaks for itself.
Jon Chuckery knows the Falcons’ sack numbers and pass rush has to change saying “If we’re going to start talking playoffs and this, that, and the other we have to get to the quarterback.” Jon also says “fixing this defense has got to be the number one priority in getting this thing right.” Now, Justin Houston can’t be the only move, and the Falcons will also need to add other defensive line pieces in free agency and the draft, but adding Justin Houston would just seem like the cherry on top.