Skip to main content

Cushing signs, joins team for practice


Linebacker Brian Cushing signed with the Texans on Sunday morning and joined his teammates for practice on the third day of training camp.

The Texans have signed their first-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, linebacker Brian Cushing. Cushing, the 15th overall pick from USC, joined the team at practice on Sunday morning after missing the first two days of training camp.

Cushing agreed to terms with the team on Saturday morning. He signed his contract on Sunday around 7 a.m. after the details of the deal were ironed out between his agent, Tom Condon, and Texans general manager Rick Smith and director of football administration Chris Olsen.

Cushing had been anxiously waiting in Los Angeles to be able to join the Texans for camp.

"Any time your team's here and you're not there, it's something you don't want to have," he said. "You want to be here every possible second you can be. But I'm here now, and that's what's important. We've got a lot more camp left."

Sunday morning's practice was the Texans' first with players in shoulder pads. Cushing immediately stepped back into the starting lineup at strongside linebacker, where he lined up during OTAs.

"We're glad to have him back and we hate that he missed the first (two) days, but we'll get him caught up," linebackers coach Johnny Holland said. "Cushing is a good student of the game and very conscious of how he plays and what he does, so we're real excited about getting him through the reps and improving himself as a player."

{QUOTE}Texans coach Gary Kubiak instructed Holland to give Cushing half of the normal amount of reps on Sunday in order to ease him back into action.

"He looked very good," Kubiak said. "I caught him a couple times trying to cheat him in there, but he looked good. I think his conditioning level is good."

The Texans named Cushing a starter as soon as they drafted him in April. They expect him to help improve their run defense, and they like his ability to stay with tight ends in pass coverage and rush the passer when called upon.

Kubiak has said that Cushing will be a big part of the defense's success this season, but he doesn't worry about the rookie trying to do too much too early.

"With this young man, I think he's fine," Kubiak said. "This kid just loves the game. He's all about studying and football and taking care of himself. I think he'll be fine. He's one of those guys that will be a pro very quickly, and he showed that during the offseason."

Cushing, a four-year starter at USC who earned All-America and All-Pac 10 honors as a senior, embraces any lofty expectations that the Texans have for him.

"That's what I came here for," he said. "I always want to have an impact on whatever defense I play for.

"I'm the kind of guy that comes in day in and day out and goes as hard as I possibly can. I'm here to work and I'm here to improve this defense and this team."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content