The Chicago Bears wasted no time once free agency started in 2014 when they signed former Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston. His services will be greatly needed in the regular season, especially with Chicago’s defense ending the 2013 season ranked dead last in the NFL in run defense (161.4 yards per game). This was also the worst defensive performance in the storied history for the Bears.
Houston’s 16 career sacks during his first four years in the league definitely shows that he isn’t a pass-rushing specialist. However, his presence against the run should greatly improve the Bears’ efforts to stop the running attack. Houston’s play against the run did help the Raiders finish in the top half of the NFL in run defense last year.
The 27-year-old veteran won’t have to worry about not making Chicago’s 53-man roster. Considering the fact that the Bears invested a five-year, $35 million contract with $15 million guaranteed on him, it’s safe to say that Houston will be in the starting lineup at defensive end, along with sack specialist Jared Allen.
Seeing that Houston has been a starter since his rookie year, and has yet to miss a game throughout his career, the Bears’ coaching staff should be pleased to have such a durable player along their defensive line, which was ravaged by injuries last season. In addition, his experience will be of great benefit for the defensive linemen the Bears selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Although Allen was the biggest free-agent addition to Chicago’s roster this offseason, Houston should have just as big of an impact on the Bears’ defense in 2014.