We take a look at the Houston Texans inside linebackers prior to the opening of the 2014 Training camp.
On the Spot:
It has been a tough two year stretch for Brian Cushing who has missed the past two years with season ending leg injuries (ACL in 2012 and Broken Leg in
2013). Given a contract extension last season coming off his ACL, Cushing has been a non-factor for the defense and now more than ever the team needs him.
Cushing, when healthy, is one of the best roaming the middle of the defense for the Texans and the lack of depth at the position makes him even more
Already on the PUP list to open camp, it will be a controlled time table for Cushing coming back to the practice field. Once again, keeping him healthy
throughout the season will be key for the Texans.
Battle to Watch:
Akeem Dent vs. Brooks Reed is the match up to watch during camp. Dent was acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons and Reed is making the position
change from outside linebacker. Dent was no longer a fit with the Falcons and he could be in line to push for a starting job next to Cushing when week one
opens. Reed will be a trial by fire and when pads are put on a better feel will be known for what he can do.
It is tough not to like what Justin Tuggle has done over the offseason and he finally gets to concentrate on one position for the season. He made his mark
as the top tackler for the special teams last season and it is expected to be an integral part for the teams unit once again.
Don’t Be Surprised If:
Brooks Reed ends back up at outside linebacker with the lack of experience at the position. With bringing in Dent, the Texans opened up options for
movement within the position group. Reed will have to be flexible and could be used in either one of the spots at linebacker.