It is a well known story locally, the knee injuries that Houston Texans' Brian Cushing has overcome to rejuvenate his career, he continues to be a mainstay in the middle of the defense. With his knee injuries behind him, Cushing has his sight set on being the player he used to be for the defense.
“I feel great and I’m really looking forward to the year. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and really just kind of taking over and dominating again.” said Cushing. “I haven’t said that in a while but I really feel like I can and I can play like myself again.”
How tough was it for Cushing in the past? Getting his knee drained after every practice, wearing a knee brace just to get in through the next day was a normal day for Cushing. Now that is in the rear view mirror and he is looking like his former self since the start of OTAs into training camp.
“My movement. My recovery. Two years ago it felt like every two practices I had to get my knee drained or something done.” said Cushing of the difference. “None of that’s happening anymore and I’ll walk off the field and I’m looking forward to the next practice, the next workout and not worrying about my recovery so much or how my body is going to respond because I know how it is now.”
Coach Bill O’Brien has even noticed how healthy his middle linebacker is compared to the previous two seasons.
“Well, he’s healthy. He was healthy last year. He works very hard to stay healthy. He’s done a great job of adapting his offseason workouts to be able to be out here. He’s a guy who’s a heart and soul player for us.” explained O’Brien.
Teamed with a defense that returns multiple starters and contributors, the Texans are primed to have another solid defense if everything goes right. Cushing sees himself as the leader of the group to put them in position to make that run again as a top defense. He is back mentally and physically and is excited what is ahead for him this season.
Cushing explained, “Once you get back to yourself, and like I said, it’s a hell of a feeling and something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time now.”