Brian Cushing has worked long and hard this offseason to be able to say those words.
"There will really be no restrictions," Cushing said during the Texans' first day of training camp on Friday. "I mean, I'm going to ease myself back into it and we got a pretty good plan on how to go about this and to be smart. It's a long camp and the most important thing is really just to be 100% when we come out of it."
Cushing, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury October 8 against the Jets, looks back on his rehab as one of the toughest things he has done.
"Anything that I've done rehab-wise is a lot harder than practice. I mean, it's been a grind. It's been a really tough couple of months. When you trust in your preparation this much, you come out here. It's almost easy but, at the same time, it's an unbelievable feeling being back and it just feels great," said the All-Pro inside linebacker.
When asked if he felt confident resuming normal activities on his knee, Cushing said that the work he put into rehab paid off in an unexpected way.
"I'm very confident in my knee right now, probably more confident in that knee than my other one just because of the amount of work I have put into it and the hours and workload that has gotten into just preparing myself to come back out here. I'm full go. There's nothing holding me back mentally and when it's time to go, I'll be going."
The ACL injury to Cushing's left knee, suffered on an illegal "peel back" block, initiated a rule change at the NFL owners' spring meeting. The 'Cushing Rule' states that if a player is inside the tackle box, he cannot be blocked below the waist if the blocker is moving toward his own end line or if he approaches the opponent from behind or from the side. Pleased with the new rule, Cushing hopes that future injuries like his can be avoided.
"I'm glad that the rule got changed," he said. "Obviously, I think it's something that can be prevented and will be in the future now. So if I think it prevents injuries and saves guys, takes away a lot of injuries, then I'm all for it."