Houston, Thomas recognized; Green inducted to Chiefs Hall of Fame

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs on Saturday announced three honors, including the newest inductee to the team’s Hall of Fame.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston was named the Derrick Thomas Award recipient as the team’s MVP, while running back/wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas earned the Mack Lee Hill Award as the Chiefs’ top rookie.

Former Chiefs cornerback Gary Green will be the 45th player to enshrined during Alumni Weekend during the 2015 season at Arrowhead Stadium.

Houston comes off a season where he led the NFL with 22 sacks, which established a single-season team. His 2014 sack totals finished a ½ sack from tying the NFL single-season record of 22 ½ established by Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan in 2001. The fourth-year linebacker out of Georgia earned first-team All-Pro recognition by The Associated Press and named to his third straight Pro Bowl.

Thomas, the Chiefs’ fourth-round pick out of Oregon, emerged as a dangerous punt returner during his rookie campaign with 34 punt returns for 405 yards, averaging 11.9 yards per return. Thomas broke out in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders where he produced 156 punt returns yards on eight attempts, including an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. The effort earned Thomas the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

Green, a native of San Antonio, joined the Chiefs as a first-round pick (10th overall) out of the Baylor in the 1977 NFL Draft. He spent seven seasons in Kansas City (1977-83) and appeared in 100 games with 99 starts, recording 24 interceptions, which included a pick-six, and 10 fumble recoveries.

“It is my pleasure to announce that Gary Green will be inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame this fall,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “Gary was one of the most competitive, physical and intelligent players we’ve had in a Chiefs uniform. His desire and drive propelled him to great success on and off the playing field. His stats are impressive, but what the numbers don’t show is how much opposing quarterbacks feared throwing to his side of the field. We are looking forward to adding his name into our Ring of Honor.”

Green also stood out on special teams, where he served as a team captain in five of his seven seasons with the Chiefs. Green’s two career blocked punts currently ranks tied for third in franchise history.

His team awards include the Mack Lee Hill Award following his rookie campaign and the team’s MVP award in 1982.

Green was selected to three Pro Bowls before the Chiefs traded him to the Los Angeles Rams in 1984 where he played the last two seasons of his career. He made the Pro Bowl with the Rams in 1985.