Colts DE Justin Houston: 'I have plenty left in the tank'

Justin Houston is no longer young and injuries have been an issue in recent years. That's why the Kansas City Chiefs' decision to release their star pass rusher wasn't simply about the money.

But the film will tell you Houston is still a problem.

Surely, the Indianapolis Colts, who signed Houston to a two-year, $24 million deal Thursday, saw that his production on a per-game basis has remained steady over the past four years.

The 30-year-old is coming off arguably his best season since his 2014 All-Pro campaign. Houston registered three fumble recoveries, a career-high five forced fumbles and nine sacks in 12 games last year, earning him the No. 8 spot on NFL.com's Top 101 Free Agents of 2019.

"I have plenty left in the tank," he said, via the team's website. "And I think some people don't believe that. So it's more so what I'm about to show the world than myself, because I know what I'm capable of."

Part of Houston's voyage toward vindication will involve becoming a defensive end in the Colts' 4-3 base defense after being an outside linebacker in the Chiefs' 3-4 system. But it's not like this will be the first time he's had to put his hand in the dirt over the course of his eight-year career.

"I don't think it's going to be a big difference because nowadays it's a passing league," he said. "So 70, 80 percent of the time you've got your sub (package) out there and I'm rushing the passer anyway. I think that's just going to be a part of the game and I get to do that every down and not have to worry about dropping into coverage. So I think my job will be easier than it has been in the past."

The harder part might be staying on the field. Houston has missed 21 games over the past four seasons, including four last year because of a hamstring injury. But he was healthy down the stretch and the Colts saw first-hand who Houston is when he's on the field, as he logged two sacks in the Chiefs' playoff win versus Indy this past January.

"I feel good -- I feel great. I'm healthy," Houston said. "I'm healthy, excited -- just ready to be out here with the guys, get to know everybody and get used to being with a different group of guys, because I know from what I'm hearing these guys love to work, so I'm just excited to join."