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Tamba Hali: Justin Houston is 'probably the best thing that's happened to me'

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Jamie Squire

For the first time since Jared Allen, Tamba Hali has a pass rusher on the Kansas City Chiefs that is arguably better than him. So it's no surprise to hear that Tamba is very grateful for the presence of Justin Houston, who is a rising star in the league.

"It's probably the best thing that's happened to me since I've been here," Hali told about playing next to Houston, "to have another pass rusher that poses a threat on the other side. It's a family thing. Justin's my boy. We cause problems in backfields so I love playing next to Justin."

Over the years offensive coordinators facing the Chiefs have talked about having to account for Tamba. While that's still true, you're starting to hear more about accounting for Houston. This year, for arguably the first time, Hali is not the biggest focus for those offensive coordinators. That's great news for Tamba because the less attention the defense gives him, the easier it is for him to produce.

Talking about Tamba's age and the "Does he have any left?" question is an annual tradition around here. Adding Houston will and has already helped Tamba maintain his production, perhaps even longer than we previously thought.