Houston, a second-round draft pick in 2010, is moving away from being a young player to one of the most vital on the defense.
The versatile Houston will play right defensive end. He is expected to be the anchor of the defensive line. The team moved away from veterans Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour. Houston will be the leader of the group.
Houston is also expected to help with the team's need for a pass-rush spark. Oakland was weak in that area last season and it did not add a reliable pass-rusher to the roster.
Houston is taking all of his responsibilities in stride. He said he understands a lot more will be expected from him, but he is not putting too much pressure on himself.
“It’s a new era on the defensive front,” Houston said. “But it’s just not me. The line as a unit will work to help find a pass rush. It’s a group thing.”
Houston said the key for him will be to continue to work on his technique because it is different on the right side.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Houston said. “But technique is the key for me.”