Linebackers aren't all created equally, according to Brian Cushing.
Brooks Reed, now entering his fourth NFL season, started all 16 games at strongside linebacker in 2013 but has been practicing at middle linebacker this offseason. It's a transition not every player can make but Reed is up to the task, according to his teammate.
"Brooks is that kind of player, an extremely athletic player," Cushing said Tuesday night at a charity event. "He's a smart kid. He's interchangeable inside or outside. There are not many guys that can do that. It's a very different breed from outside to inside, a very different mindset but he's one of the few that can do it. He's proven that and I think that he's going to be proving it even more during the season if that's the position he stays at."
With the addition of first-overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney lining up at outside linebacker, Reed's move to the inside has been a question moving forward. Still, with O'Brien's "the more you can do" motto, players like Reed and Clowney are expected to be versatile and won't be limited to just one role. Cushing, hoping to return soon after a 2013 season cut short by injury, has confidence in Reed regardless of where he plays.
"Anytime you get to have him on the football field, no matter if it's inside or outside, he's going to help your team and he's going to help your team in a positive way," Cushing said.