Justin Houston got Jacoby Brissett's jersey after Thursday night and plans to frame it as a career keepsake. But Houston's celebration of his 100th sack in Miami was short-lived, both in the moment and afterwards.
Houston's celebration was somewhat subdued by Brissett getting injured on the play. Then Houston's son, Junior, told him 100 isn't enough. The bar has been raised.
"He had been on my head about getting to the 100-sack club," Houston said. "He was happy. But I've still got more work to do, so he's not too happy. He's going to work the crap out of me. We've got some more goals to reach."
Junior said he now wants 130 sacks.
Keep in mind that only 15 players in NFL history reached 130 career sacks. And only three active players have more sacks than Houston – the Rams' Von Miller (110.5), and Cardinals' Chandler Jones (103) and J.J. Watt (102).
"He said you can't retire until you get 130 [sacks]." Houston said. "So, I'm praying, somehow, God makes that happen."
The Ravens signed the 32-year-old Houston during training camp, boosting an edge pass rush that was going to be light on experience. Houston has delivered three sacks so far, second on the team behind rookie protégé Odafe Oweh, but he's been closer to a lot more.
Houston has the third-most quarterback hits (11) in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Only the Raiders' Maxx Crosby (14) and 49ers' Nick Bosa (12) have more. Houston has the 11th-best pass rushing grade among edge players in the league.
Yet the veteran said he isn't satisfied with how his season has gone so far.
"I'm not pleased right now. I'm a little disappointed in where I'm at," Houston said. "I know the work me and my son put in this offseason. We put in a lot of work, and … I just know it be like this. You've just got to ride the wave and continue to work. Don't get down on yourself. It's a long season, so it can change at any moment, and that's what I'm praying and hoping for, and just continue to work."
Houston's impact has gone beyond his pass rush. He's set a strong edge in the run game and his influence on the team's younger linebackers, particularly Oweh, has been priceless.
"He's a really good pass rusher, sure, but he's also a really good football player. He plays the run well. He drops occasionally for us in our system," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's great to be around every day. He always has a really good demeanor. We appreciate him.
"There's a reason these guys are so successful for so long in this league. Once you kind of suspect that they're that kind of guy, and then you get them here and you see how they work every day, you're confirming that really is what it takes. For the young guys to watch guys like that and say, 'Oh, if I want to be in the league and I want to have that kind of success for a long time, I'll do it like he does it.'"