The team rewarded him as such this offseason with a new five-year contract worth $25 million.
With his starting position and role within the Lions defense pretty well established, the seventh-year pro is now looking forward to seeing how the competition plays out for the right cornerback spot.
"I can't wait to sit back and watch how that plays out," Houston said. "I can't wait until the preseason games come and guys get thrown into the fire and see how they react."
That, according to Houston, will separate the bunch.
"A person can always practice good, but we really don't know until the games," he said. "I can't wait for those guys to go up against good receivers from other teams and see how they match up."
Each of those players in the mix for that starting spot brings a little something different to the table.
- Slay is a nice combination of size and speed and showed the ability to be around the ball in mini-camp.
- Bentley won the job out of training camp last year and has shown the aptitude this offseason to make plays (i.e. interceptions) and get his hand on footballs.
- Bartell has started 72 games over nine NFL seasons. He's savvy and has good size at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds.
- Green played in (15) and started (5) more games than any of the rookie cornerbacks last season. He might be the toughest of the bunch, too.
- Greenwood is the most physically gifted off the group and might just have the highest ceiling of them all, but how quickly can he go from raw to ready?
The competition for the last starting spot in the Lions secondary should be one of the better ones in training camp and Houston will be just as captivated as the rest of us to see how it plays out.