Justin Houston is a huge fan of Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
The dynamic pass-rusher signed a record contract with the Kansas City Chiefs before the July 15 deadline that theoretically locks him up through 2020. The deal is worth $101 Million with an astounding $52 million guaranteed, making Houston the second-highest paid defender in the league.
Certainly the money involved was a driving factor for Houston to sign with the Chiefs, but it wasn’t the only one that spurred him to commit to the franchise.
“For me, it was very important (to stay in Kansas City),” Houston said (h/t Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star). “I like Coach Reid a lot. He’s a great coach. He helped motivate me, pushed me to become a better player. So any time you get around that type of coach, you love to play for him.”
Long hailed as a player’s coach, Reid has an easy-going demeanor that appeals to many, though nobody would ever accuse him of being a softy. It’s quite a testament to his legacy that Reid has made such a lasting impact in just two years as the coach of the Chiefs.
Houston now has the task of earning his massive paycheck.
We’ve seen players in the past take the money and then drop off the face of the earth (Albert Haynesworth being the poster child), but that’s not part of the plan from Houston’s perspective.
“The work I put in,” Houston said. “Once you get paid, it’s not like you won the lottery. You’ve still got work to do, prove yourself. You still can get better each and every day. So that’s my goal.”
The pass-rusher set the bar last season with a league-leading 22 sacks, just 1/2 a sack from breaking Michael Strahan’s record for a single season.
Too bad Brett Favre wasn’t on his schedule…
The Chiefs need Houston to continue piling up quarterback sacks and pressures in the coming season. With top signal-callers Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers on the schedule twice a year, along with up-and-coming star Derek Carr, Kansas City has its work cut out to make the playoffs.
Given the track record he’s compiled, with 48.5 sacks in four years, that’s not going to be a problem.
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