2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Raiders seek leadership, sacks from Lamarr Houston

By JOSH DUBOW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-05 17:10

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Lamarr Houston's time in the shadows of the Oakland Raiders defensive line is over.

After spending his first three seasons as the young guy on a veteran line dominated by Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, Houston is being counted on to lead Oakland's front.

He has moved from left defensive end to the right side, where he is being counted on as the primary pass rusher on a defense that has no proven player when it comes to getting to the quarterback.

He has also stepped into the leadership void on a defense that will have nine new starters from last season.

``Fortunately I was here with Seymour and Tommy and they taught me a lot,'' Houston said. ``I've been learning and I'm still learning. But being one of the older guys on the line, I just feel it's my job to help the other guys to come along and get toward the vision we want as a team.''

The Raiders overhauled their defense after it struggled a year ago in the first season under defensive-minded head coach Dennis Allen and coordinator Jason Tarver. Seymour, Kelly, Rolando McClain and Michael Huff were all cut. Philip Wheeler, Matt Shaughnessy and Desmond Bryant were among those who left in free agency.

In total, the players who won't be on the active roster for Sunday's opener against the Indianapolis Colts accounted for 79 percent of the defensive snaps a year ago.

``He's running that show there up front,'' Tarver said. ``We're excited about what he's doing. He's the one that's running that group and he does a good job with it.''

As much as the Raiders need leadership, they really need a pass rush from Houston. The entire defensive roster accounted for just 16 sacks in the NFL last year and lacks a proven pass rusher.

Houston rushed the passer from the left side more than 90 percent of the time last season, according to game-tracking by the Website Pro Football Focus.

``He's demonstrated that he's got the best ability as a rusher,'' Allen said. ``He's a little bit more of a power rusher than he is a speed rusher. But I really think he's a guy that can help getting some pressure on the quarterback.''

He was rated the 15th best 4-3 defensive end at pressuring the passer with four sacks, 14 quarterback hits and 35 quarterback hurries. His production picked up as the season went along with 25 of his 53 pressures and three of his sacks coming in the final five games.

He will be counted on to be the team's primary pass rusher to disrupt the opposing quarterback from the blind side.

``Everybody takes pride in getting the quarterback down,'' he said. ``That's one of Al Davis' most famous quotes. Take the quarterback down in the first couple of plays and take him down hard. As a D-lineman I pride myself on trying to get to the quarterback.''

Houston has been at his best early in his career as an edge-setting defensive end in the run game. He has just 10 career sacks and is more of a power rusher than a typical speed guy who beats tackles around the edge to get to the quarterback.

After cutting veteran pass rusher Andre Carter to get down to the 53-man roster limit, the current Raiders defense has no proven pass rusher.

The Raiders need an upgrade from the pass rush after having a franchise-low 25 sacks a year ago if this defense is going to be able to slow down opposing offenses.

``I want to be a complete player,'' Houston said. ``Some of the best guys who ever played on the D-line did a pretty good job of both stopping the run and sacking the quarterback. Guys like Deacon Jones, Reggie White, John Randle. I think it's important to be the total player.''

NOTES: LT Menelik Watson missed practice a day after tweaking his knee. If he can't play Sunday, the Raiders would only have two healthy tackles with Khalif Barnes forced to move to the left side and newly signed Tony Pashos stepping in on the right. Oakland could activate Matt McCants off the practice squad to get a backup tackle on the roster Sunday. ... K Sebastian Janikowski returned to practice on a limited basis after being sidelined by a sore right calf. ... LB Sio Moore was limited with a foot injury.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group