Harbaugh on Justin Houston: 'I’m Excited About It'

Veteran linebacker will boost pass rush
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BALTIMORE — The Ravens solved one of the most glaring issues with the addition of Justin Houston, who will immediately boost the pass rush. 

Houston can also serve as a mentor to some of the younger linebackers, such as Odafe Oweh, Daelin Hayes and Jaylon Ferguson.

"He’ll help those guys a lot," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Obviously, Pernell [McPhee] is a great leader in that room, and Tyus [Bowser] has grown into a heck of a leader in that room, too. They’re a pretty young group, so to get another guy who has been around and done so many great things, it should help those guys quite a bit. 

"Especially whether it’s football or just life or just having a long great career – all those things help.”

Baltimore needed to upgrade their pass rush after losing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue to free agency. The Ravens had the fewest sacks (26) in the NFL over the past two years when not blitzing, according to ESPN Stats.

Houston, 32, has made the Pro Bowl four times and recorded at least eight sacks in each of the past four seasons.

“I feel like he’s a proven player," Harbaugh said. "I had a chance to talk to him a lot in the last number of months. He really wanted to be here. He wanted to be here months ago. For it to work out the way it did, I just compliment him, his agent and [executive vice president and general manager] Eric [DeCosta] for getting it done. 

"A number of players, Marcus Peters and he are very close. I know Marcus has been working on him to get him here for a while. Even in the last couple of days, Marcus made a couple visits over my way to make a couple calls. So, we have a role for him, and he has a chance to really help us. So, I’m excited about it.”