Brian Cushing was one of the few players in attendance for head coach Bill O'Brien's first press conference on January 3. In his short time with the team, O'Brien has found common ground with the All-Pro linebacker from New Jersey.
"Just from first impressions, I couldn't be any more excited," Cushing said in an interview on Texans All Access. "He's a guy that loves football, always wants to talk football, always wants to be around the building, get to work. He's fired up. He's an East Coast guy, I'm an East Coast guy. I think we can relate on a lot of different subjects and things. It's been an instant connection and it's something that I know myself and a lot of other guys are really looking forward to."
Cushing is also impressed with feedback he has received about playing for position coach Mike Vrabel, former All-Pro linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots.
"I've talked to a bunch of people that have played with him or been coached under him and nothing but tremendous things," Cushing said. "Just to have the opportunity to play for a guy that played so long and at such a high level in such a successful organization, I feel like it's only going to make myself better."
With the draft and OTAs months away, amount of interaction coaches and players can have in the offseason is limited due to the rules outlined by the NFL's collective bargaining agreement. Cushing admits that part of it has been "a little frustrating" and that the learning curve will be steep when the coaches and players can finally meet formally. As far as his role in Romeo Crennel's defense and how it will evolve, Cushing will just have to wait and see.
"Just the specifics and what you want to get down to, you can't really get into it," Cushing said. "I know I'll probably be inside linebacker and that's really how bland it's been. You can't really go full-go yet but when the time is right, we're going to be going full speed and we're going to have to learn a lot quickly but it's something that we're going to love to do."