For one of the contests, this past season, we were asked to dissect what playing like a Jet is. I made a long laundry list of Jet like behavior. When looking at Justin Houston, there are a lot of key pieces missing.
Let's look at 2 different players that play like a Jet.
Jim Leonhard: Leonhard might not have all the physical characteristics that come together to make an NFL player, but he has the heart, and motor of a champion.
- Houston on the other hand does not seem to have those features. I won't go as far as saying he takes plays off, but he doesn't go all out every play. He can make a huge play at one point, and then seemingly disappear for the rest of the game. With the 30th pick of the draft, I want to draft someone who has to be accounted for, for an entire game. With Leonhard, you know you are going to get his best every second he is on the field.
Jerricho Cotchery: Cotchery made the play of the season last year, when after pulling his groin, he still managed to lay out, and make a game changing catch. Cotchery knew what was needed and did it no matter how much adversity he faced.
- Houston is very powerful, and very athletic, but when he is faced with an unfavorable situation, he doesn't step up to the plate. He will sometimes give up on plays that are not ran to his side. he can also be seen jogging around when the guy with the ball reaches the 2nd level. He will struggle on occasion to break down in space against shiftier ball carriers. This isn't someone who looks at a challenge and attacks it, he jogs around it.
I know every player has negatives, but Houston's negatives are ones that Rex doesn't look favorably on. I think Rex would rather take a character risk than a guy who doesn't go hard with everything he faces on the field. Heck, Phill Taylor is something like 70 pounds heavier and even he isn't afraid to go sideline to sideline to make a play, or to chase someone down who has reached the 2nd level.