Analyst reminds Lions fans why they shouldn't forget about James Houston

The Detroit Lions might add another pass rusher as roster insurance, but Brian Baldinger has made sure James Houston is not forgotten about.
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The Detroit Lions have beefed up their roster between free agency and the draft, and on paper, look to have one of the deeper groups in the NFL.

With that in mind, many still see a weakness at edge rusher and a veteran addition could come in handy. But a healthy James Houston is also in the fold.

Houston burst on the scene as a rookie in 2022 with eight sacks over seven games down the stretch. Last year he suffered a fractured ankle covering a kick in Week 2, and he didn't suit up again until the NFC Championship Game.

Analyst Brian Baldinger is particularly impressed with what Houston has already done, and took time to laud his game in a recent highlight clip.

"If you're a Detroit Lion, you got to be excited about the healthy return of James Houston. Remember when he was doing these kind of things in about a seven or eight week span? You go back and watch, this is like (Diego) Maradona. This is like (Lionel) Messi. The chop, and then the rip. Look how low he is. Like a fine European sports car. And then the violent finish. I'm waiting and all about the return of James Houston this year."

Terrell Williams' pass rushing philosophy may unleash James Houston

The key for Houston this year, besides health, is taking his physical tools and becoming a more polished player. That ideally would have happened last year, but the major injury took that away.

The offseason hiring of Terrell Williams as the defensive line coach will help the entire Lions' defensive front, Houston included. Williams' pass rush philosophy is also intriguing.

"Here's the thing about good pass rushers. Whether you blitz, rush three, rush two or rush however many you rush, you can get to the quarterback and I do believe we have some guys that can get to the quarterback. Sometimes blitzing is not just about having a lack of a pass rush, but it's also about putting pressure on the offense. If you ask me, if we could rush 10 guys, I'd rather rush 10 guys. That might put the coverage in jeopardy, but that's just what it is."

That quote shows Williams will ready to use whoever he can to get after the quarterback. So if Houston is healthy and ready to roll, he can certainly work himself into the rotation and wreak havoc up front.

As Baldinger reminded, Houston has proven he can play in the NFL in the short sample he had as a rookie. Now it's a matter of being healthy enough to take the next step in his development, and the stars may be aligning for a little post-hype breakthrough.