In 2013, Justin Houston missed five games with the Chiefs but still ended up with 11 sacks and was chosen for the second of his four Pro Bowl appearances.
Houston’s breakout season came a year later when he threatened to set the NFL sack record but came up just short with 22. Houston, who was released by the Chiefs on Sunday, had 78 1/2 sacks in 102 career games with Kansas City, which drafted him with the third pick in the 2011 draft.
After Houston’s release, a former teammate shared a story that showed how serious Houston viewed practice.
Geoff Schwartz, whose brother is current Chiefs offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz, tweeted: “I enjoyed playing with Houston... in 2013 wk 10 we played the Browns. My bro was the RT. I played Mitch on scout team. Houston refused to rush me all week because I might tell Mitch how he was rushing me, even tho I would never do that. He’d take 2 steps and stop each rep.
“Also it was week 10. There’s nothing I could have told Mitch he didn’t see on film. And we take different pass sets so in practice I play nothing like him”
The Chiefs beat the Browns 23-17 in that game on Oct. 27, 2013, and Houston had his team’s only sack. Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes and Ryan Succop kicked three field goals.
After Houston was released, a couple of Chiefs players sent their best to him: