Linebacker Brian Cushing (pictured after his new haircut) is determined to return to the field for the regular season.
Linebacker Brian Cushing has big expectations for his rookie season. The first-round pick from USC showed up to offseason workouts in excellent shape and was having a solid training camp before he was sidelined with a knee injury.
Cushing is close to resuming drill work this week and is not expected to miss any regular season games.
1. How are you dealing with your injury and missing your first preseason games?
"I think I'm doing alright, of course it wasn't really my plan. I think everything happens for a reason and I just want to come back smarter and better."
2. Did you ever think of not letting your teammates cut your hair? Was it a difficult process to let all that hair go?
"Yeah, I thought about. I also thought about the bigger scheme of things. It was probably just the right thing to do and a good teammate move. Actually, it was really quick. It was about one snip and five minutes later it was gone."
*3. What other experiences have you gone through as a rookie? *
"I just had to sing songs, carry pads, things like that. It's not too bad. Everyone is on the team, and it's a matter of respect, but no one takes it too far."
4. What are your impressions of DeMeco Ryans now that you're teammates with him?
"He's a real good guy. He's just a normal guy off the field for how good he is. He's not stuck up or anything like that. He's the type of guy that leads by example and he's a great role model."
*5. Which player on the Texans has impressed you the most with their play and talent? *
"Probably DeMeco and Mario (Williams)."
6. Have you gotten settled in Houston and what are your impressions of the city and its fans?
"A little bit, you know I haven't really gotten the opportunity to go out and do stuff. I like it so far, though. I like the fans a lot."
*7. Is Frank Bush's coaching style similar to anything you experienced at USC? *
"I think so. He has an aggressive coaching style. I look forward to playing for him."
*8. What made you flip the switch in high school and become a gym rat? *
"Just the level of competition. To get to that next level, I knew I had to do that."
*9. Your personal trainer, Joe DeFranco, posts a lot of videos of you working out on YouTube. What's the toughest thing that he's put you through in terms of strength and conditioning? *
"Probably the prowler runs after our conditioning. You know that's never fun."
*10. How does NFL training camp compare to training camp at USC? *
"I think NFL training camp is more mental. At USC, it was more of a grind. Coaches would break the guys down and see how they responded. Both are tough, and I can't wait for this one to be over."