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Lamarr Houston Fights for Survival

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It would be great to write a glowing review about Lamarr Houston. I would be happy. The Field Gulls readers would be happy. Maybe Houston would contact me like Trevor Laws contacted me and we could have a big hug-fest. It would be great if Houston, a prominent player on a team that contended for the National Championship, had a diverse and effective pass rush arsenal, was lightning-fast off the snap, hyper aware, and a bona fide playmaker. On top of all that, he could fall to the sixth, put on another 15 pounds of explosive muscle and become Meaner Joe Greene. That would be better than ten Super Bowls. Hell, let's toss in ten Super Bowls, too. Seattle would then win ten Super Bowls, in five years.

It would be great, but it wouldn't make a lick of sense. Houston isn't hiding in plain sight. Like Price and Alualu before him, he's flawed, unrefined and by no means certain to be a star. He doesn't show many pass rush moves. He shows awareness, but isn't nearly as quick off the snap as Price. He is an investment. Price and Alualu are investments. Picking the right one is part determining what they are, and part determining what they could become. The first part is easy. The second part is the true art of the draft.

1. 1st and 10 at ALA 43 Mark Ingram rush for 8 yards to the Texas 49.

LDT, 3-tech, 3 down linemen. Houston attacks the "B" gap but sees Ingram running right. He disengages from right tackle Drew Davis and runs straight towards the left sideline, reaching Ingram and joining a gang tackle.

2. 2nd and 2 at TEX 49 Mark Ingram rush for 9 yards to the Texas 40 for a 1ST down.

LDT, 3-tech, 3 down linemen. He gets extremely low to almost crawling, nevertheless forces Davis back and cuts of Ingram's hole before being dropped. Ingram is incredible. He redirects, tippy toes into a developing hole and explodes into the second level.

3. 1st and 10 at TEX 40 Roy Upchurch rush for 5 yards to the Texas 35.

LDT, 3-tech, 4 down linemen. Wildcat: Church Cat. Right guard pulls, Houston knifes in but is blocked away from the hole by center William Vlachos.

4. 2nd and 5 at TEX 35 Greg McElroy pass complete to Julio Jones for 23 yards to the Texas 12 out-of-bounds, TEXAS penalty holding declined for a 1ST down.

LDT, 3-tech, 4 down linemen. Engages and gets marginal push on right guard Barrett Jones, but flashes no moves to separate.

5. 1st and 10 at TEX 12 Mark Ingram rush for 9 yards to the Texas 3.

RDT, 1-tech, 4 down linemen. Houston is initially stood by a double team, but holds, sheds and closes on Ingram's hole but can't wrap. Ingram runs through two more tackles before being dropped.

6. 2nd and 1 at TEX 3 Mark Ingram rush for 1 yard to the Texas 2 for a 1ST down.

LDT, 1-tech, goal line formation. Houston hits the pile hard and low, but is swallowed up.

7. 1st and Goal at TEX 2 Mark Ingram rush for 2 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.

LDT, 1-tech, goal line formation. He is able to stand his blocker but doesn't factor. Ingram rushes through a huge hole.

(Garrett Gilbert looks completely lost.)

1. 1st and 10 at ALA 42 Greg McElroy pass complete to Trent Richardson for 11 yards to the Texas 47 for a 1ST down.

LDT, 3-tech, 4 down linemen. Houston is moved right, McElroy rolls right (opposite the line movement), Houston sheds pursues but isn't close before McElroy dishes underneath to Richardson.

2. 1st and 10 at TEX 47 Trent Richardson rush for 1 yard to the Texas 46.

RDT, starts 3-tech but motions right into a 5-tech, 4 down linemen. Houston forces left tackle James Carpenter back, uses his reach to separate, rides the linemen until Richardson approaches and disengages in time to wrap Richardson low for minimal gain. Pretty dominant.

3. 2nd and 9 at TEX 46 Greg McElroy sacked by Sergio Kindle for a loss of 7 yards to the Alab 47.

LDT, 1-tech, 3 down linemen. Houston attacks the "A" gap, moves right, sees play action, disengages from his blocker, finds McElroy and closes. McElroy is attempting to set up a play-action bomb, but right as he's cocking to throw, Houston jumps and screens his throwing lane. McElroy aborts and tucks. Kindle explodes off the edge and sacks.

4. 3rd and 16 at ALA 47 Roy Upchurch rush for 4 yards to the Texas 49.

LDT, 3-tech, 4 down linemen. The Crimson Tide offensive line is pulling left except for Mike Johnson. Johnson pulls under center and trap blocks Houston. Good play, but strange time to call it.