It's been a good offseason for Brian Cushing.
The inside linebacker has been healthy in the January to June months of the year for the first time since 2012.
Then, he was coming off a 2011 campaign that saw his teammates select him as the squad's MVP.
Now, he's coming off a 2014 that was frustrating for him at times.
In the early halves of 2013 and 2014, he was recuperating from major knee surgeries. With a full season
back under his belt, and no physical limitations, he said feels like his old self.
"I feel great and just really excited to be back out there," Cushing said on Friday. "Mentally the best I've been in a while because physically it's the best I've been in a long, long time."
The 7th-year pro joked that he's truly back at 100 percent, or "98, 99 percent", as opposed to the 100 percent he said he was the last two offseasons.
"I can say that up here and really mean it," he joked. "I've said it before and really haven't, so I'm telling you the truth right now."
That transformation is clear to head coach Bill O'Brien.
"He made a play today out there in a two-minute drill on about a 20 yard pass where he got back in coverage and he tipped the ball away," O'Brien said. "That was a big play. It was good for me to see that. I think he felt good about making that play, but that's an example of how far he's come from the end of last year."
Cornerback Kareem Jackson is pleased to see the return to form of Cushing, too.
"Cushing is looking good, man," Jackson said. "It's the same Cushing I've seen since year one and a lot of energy, he's definitely moving well out there for a guy that's gone through the things he's gone through."
Cushing and the Texans are finished with OTAs, and start up a three-day minicamp on Tuesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 4/16/2021)