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Conference call: LB Brian Cushing

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After the Texans selected him with the No. 15 pick, USC linebacker Brian Cushing talked to the Houston media via conference call. Below is a transcript.

LB Brian Cushing

(on fitting in with Texans Pro Bowl LB DeMeco Ryans) "I'm just coming in and trying to make an impact from day one. I know I was drafted for a reason. I'm a first-round linebacker, first-round pick and you know that's the point - to come in and try to make an impact among the linebackers around me."

(on going from strong side to weak side linebacker) "I say a little bit of both. I feel comfortable at all those positions, so I don't see why not. And, like I said, either one of those positions don't matter how I can help the football team win more games."

{QUOTE}(on going from strongside linebacker to weakside linebacker in the NFL) "I have played a little bit of both. I'm comfortable with all."

(on making the transition to the next level) "I know I can keep working on my mental game. I'm coming in learning a whole new scheme, meeting brand new coaches and I've got to be able to adjust to play with the best of them."

(on whether past injuries will be a factor in the NFL) "No, I don't think so. I'm going to play hard and I've taken care of my body all of these four years, so I'm looking forward to a healthy, long career."

(on steroid rumors not following you to the NFL) "No, I don't think so, you know I'm going to continue to prove people wrong like I have in my 22-year career. And day-in and day-out, I'm just going to keep working hard and people can say what they want to say, but everyone knows the truth."

(on being listed, along with teammate LB Clay Matthews, on a report saying they tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs) "You know it's unfortunate for something like that to have to come out. But we're both clean, hard working guys and we just have to get those kind of things behind us."

(on playing on the strong side and how long it would take to adjust to the NFL and be ready to start) "Yeah, I mean just coming in and playing immediately, so you know I just can't say that. You know, I got to come in, perform, get in my play book and learn everything I possibly can."

(on his on-field demeanor) "I'm a nice guy off the field, but once I step between those lines, it's game time and I know that. [I see myself] coming in, doing great things and just playing hard all the time."

(on how he feels about coming to Houston) "I feel great. I feel great about the whole opportunity, and I'm just ecstatic right now. You know, I'm sure I will calm down a little later tomorrow."

(on adjusting to coverage in the NFL) "It's a similar kind of game, but of course there are going to be better athletes, better players and I've just got to be able to stick with those guys."

(on how much he knew about the Texans before the call) "So far, I'm not sure. I've never really been to Houston. You know, I've definitely watched them play a couple games, but I'm sure the whole attitude will be a lot different once I actually get down there."

(on if he was surprised he was picked over Clay Matthews) "No, I don't think so. I was a four-year starter in college. I've proven myself game-in and game-out. I think the right decision was made."

(on if his reputation for being a blue collar worker will rub off on the team) "I hope so. You know I kind of always thought I did. I always thought I make players better around me. You know, it's just a hard working bunch of guys. I'm hoping I can come in there and get things going immediately."

(on getting the call from the Texans) "I was just ecstatic, just the opportunity to come down there. And I'm in the NFL right now, and it's more than words could ever explain."

(on being picked by the Texans) "It feels great. Coming in with a staff up next year, you know I'm not going to disappoint. I'm going to keep that ball rolling and hope to make great relationships with the head coaches and everyone - teammates and everyone."

(on if teams talked to him about steroids) "There was one team that didn't bring it up because they knew what kind of guy I was, knew the kind of character I had. We stayed off that topic because it was just rumor. A couple of teams asked me about my size and my speed, and I think it was probably just precautionary, and I told every team that I never did it. I've passed every drug test out there and still have. I'm not that kind of guy."

(on how he felt with the Texans keeping him on their board threw the first 14 picks) "It was a privilege, you know, the fact that few guys were selected, and you know just hearing your name called and getting the chance to go up on stage is awesome."

(on what strengths he can bring to the defense) "I think that I can bring a lot of intensity and a lot of versatility, and [I'm] a guy that is going to fly around on every single play trying to make that tackle."

(on what he is most looking forward to) "Just coming in and performing, you know, first day of practice, mini camps. I'm just looking to get on a pretty good team as fast as I can."

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