Justin Houston, Tamba Hali combine to give Chiefs dynamic pass rush option

Tom Szczerbowski - Getty Images

The Chiefs defense is getting a massive boost from the pass rush of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

The Kansas City Chiefs defense has had its problems, and the cure for any struggling defense, especially in the modern NFL, is simple -- hit the quarterback. A good pass rush can cure almost any ill.

That is good news for the Chiefs, who appear to be getting some sort of a pass rush together. Defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs spoke about that on Friday, in quotes supplied by the team, and how Justin Houston and Tamba Hali can help the entire defense improve.

Q: Did your defense take a step forward last week?

GIBBS: "We hope so. I think we played better in terms of overall production. More guys stepped in and made some plays. You hope there's a carryover for this week."

Q: Both Justin Houston and Tamba Hali got to the quarterback. That's what you're trying to create, right?

GIBBS: "Certainly, you want two outside pressure players. Lately, those two guys have done a nice job of that. Certainly, last week, that was a good indication of being able to win on the outside, and that was big for us."

Q: Is Houston getting it and advancing to where he knows what he's doing?

GIBBS: "He knew what he was doing last year, but there is a process, and certainly he has matured physically and mentally. He had some good moments at the end of last year. I think the offseason certainly has helped him, working with Tamba [Hali] and others has helped him. It's still early in the year, but he's gotten off to a pretty good start."

Q: How has Tamba helped him? Can they complement each other from the opposite sides?

GIBBS: "They do complement each other; that's obvious. I think the more you're around Tamba, you see how he works, the time he puts in to being a good player. Those things pay off. As a young player, it's good to see how people are doing it and becoming good on the field, and I think Justin has done that."

Hitting the QB is the name of the game in the NFL today. If Houston and Hali can do that, and better yet help each other do it more often, the Chiefs defense has a chance.

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