Justin Houston Visits First Take, Says Chiefs Need Offensive Line Help And More Receivers


Original Photo: Matt Kartozian — USA TODAY Sports

When sack leader Justin Houston joined the roundtable on Tuesday, the crew at ESPN’s First Take came to the same conclusion that many Kansas City Chiefs fans have: He could take the Hulk’s lunch money.

After picking the Seattle Seahawks to win Super Bowl XLIX, Houston touched on a variety of topics, from his absence in the Pro Bowl to his confidence in Alex Smith.

First, he elaborated on his Super Bowl pick (52:16 mark), claiming that he thought the Seahawks could “rattle” Tom Brady.

Stephen A. Smith then noted that the Chiefs embarrassed the New England Patriots, saying, “You guys destroyed New England on Monday Night [Football]. I had the owner, Robert Kraft, come on my show and talk about how that was the worst beatdown he’s ever experienced since he’s been the owner of the New England Patriots.

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When Skip Bayless added that the Chiefs also topped Seattle, the All-Pro said that Kansas City helped itself by forcing the reigning champions into a number of 3rd-and-longs. He mentioned that, from a linebacker’s perspective, defending the fleet-footed Russell Wilson is a taller task compared to someone like Tom Brady, who isn’t nearly as threatening when flushed out of the pocket.

Houston’s nonparticipation in the Pro Bowl then took center stage, as he maintained that a stomach virus—not pending contract negotiations—was the culprit for his inactivity. Smith, who didn’t blame him, facetiously added, “Why would you skip out on a flag football contest? Of course it was a stomach ache.”

The subject then switched to Alex Smith, with Houston stating that he’s “very convinced” that No. 11 can lead them to the Promised Land. He admitted:

"We need some more pieces. This year, I feel like our offensive line struggled a little bit. We had some injuries on our offensive line that caused him to get sacked more than usual, but I think we can do it."

Stephen A. followed up:

"Even though I don’t think he’s a superstar, I actually like Alex Smith. I respect him, and I do think that he’s somebody who can get you there if the requisite pieces are in place. …You look at your running game, Jamaal Charles—enough said. I look at the receivers, whether it’s [Dwayne] Bowe, it’s Donnie Avery, I mean, who the hell else…What else do you think you need other than improvement on the offensive line?"

Houston then acknowledged, “We definitely need some more receivers.”

Finally, the edge-rusher contended that J.J. Watt should be the league MVP. However, when host Cari Champion asked if Watt was better than him, a laughing Houston responded, “I wouldn’t say that.”

And he’s right because, like Stephen A. alluded to, who’s going to tell him differently? “What are they going to do to him? They’re going to listen. … Better hope they don’t get sacked.”

Next: How Wide Is The Chiefs' Window?

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