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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group