Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Winston Churchill famously declared, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
If Eric Fisher makes it to Week 1, he will have succeeded in exactly that.
While Fisher shows all the makings of a perennial Pro Bowler, he normally finds himself lining up across from a rapidly budding linebacker who's creeping up on superstar status.
Justin Houston belongs to a defense that includes the likes of Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry. Although Johnson and Flowers played like top-five players at their respective positions last season, Houston was inarguably the most productive.
Everybody recalls the 10 sacks in his 2012 stat line (which is no small feat, considering how often he drifted out into coverage).
But furthermore, Houston's 63 combined tackles ranked second amongst 3-4 outside linebackers.
And despite being targeted more (25 total attempts) than any of those aforementioned linebackers, he only allowed 68 percent of the passes to reach their intended destination—a lower percentage than 16 cornerbacks. Obviously, that's an apples-to-oranges comparison, but tight ends tend to give edge-rushers third-degree burns on passing downs.
Houston is a former third-round rookie who earned a Pro Bowl nod by the end of his second season. Yet, he has still managed to raise the bar of expectations throughout camp.
Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).