A seed of doubt has been planted in my mind concerning Lamarr Houston. It could be nothing, or it could be the moment I realized he was headed for a sophomore slump. But there is no doubt, that seed has been planted.
Houston's name has hardly been mentioned this preseason. His half a sack against the Saints last night was the first play I remember him making all preseason. I also haven't heard his name mentioned for standing out at practice one time. And, most notably, he hasn't gotten into one fight in training camp.
This stands in stark contrast from last year. Houston managed to work his name into almost every report from the Raiders' practices or games. The guy's motor was revving at a million RPMs. He was competing on every play and he was making plays.
His performance led to Houston drawing high praise this offseason. Many people had him pegged for a breakout season. Is it possible that Houston has begun to believe the hype and lost his edge? Last year, he had to prove himself as an untested second-round rookie. He used that as a chip on his shoulder and was intent on proving people wrong on every play.
I am not hitting the panic button. This is just the preseason. Houston very well could show up in dominant and fire driven form in Week One, and this worry will all be for naught. But I am not as confident as I was that Houston is ready to take the next step in his development.