After making a mark in limited time as a rookie last year, James Houston has set a very lofty goal for this season.
James Houston didn't play his first game as a rookie for the Detroit Lions last year until Week 12, Thanksgiving Day against Buffalo Bills. He wasted no time making an impact, with two sacks of Josh Allen over five defensive snaps.
Houston went on to tally eight sacks in seven games played last year. A three-sack outing in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears as another highlight. He played a total, over his seven games, of 140 defensive snaps.
There is plenty of well-founded breakout buzz around Houston as he enters his second season. Pro Football Focus is somewhat driving the proverbial breakout bandwagon, citing Houston's pass rush grade from them (88.2) that would've been seventh among edge defenders last year if he had played more snaps. His 18.5 percent pressure rate (per PFF) was eighth-best out of 121 qualifying edge defenders.
Detroit Lions: James Houston has set a lofty goal for his second season
On Thursday, Houston was a guest on Woodward Sports with Braylon Edwards and Tom Mazawey. Houston proceeded to set a big goal for the 2023 season.
"Being as you know, my role is majority pass rush and getting sacks. I just want to expand on that," "Anything else they give me, I’ll be super happy, super blessed and fortunate to have. But you know, what I did was extraordinary. I set NFL records, so I honestly just want to continue to build on that. I want to double up my sack total. If I could get that this year, that would be my dream.""- James Houston
LIons general manager Brad Holmes, via Tim Twentyman of the team website back in January, talked about the ceiling for Houston.
"I think it’s not out of the realm to say that he has starter-level traits and abilities… I think he’s got the ability to be as good as he wants to be, and I’ve got a lot of faith in that because I know how he wants to work."- Brad Holmes
With more snaps in store for him, naturally over more games too--health-permitting, Houston is easily lined up to up his sack total in his second season. Doubling from last year to 16 sacks this year might be a little bit of a stretch, but it's good that Houston has big goals on his mind.