The Texans named their team captains for the 2012 season on Friday.
Quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson are the offensive captains. Defensive end Antonio Smith and inside linebacker Brian Cushing are the defensive captains. Inside linebacker Tim Dobbins is the Texans' special teams captain. Each captain is selected by a vote of his teammates.
"It's a huge honor," Cushing said. "I think if you ask me, it's probably the biggest honor you can get because it's respect from your peers and guys look up to you. You want to play for them. You want to give back and show them they were right."
Cushing is a captain for the second consecutive season. Smith, a vocal leader of the defense, is a captain for the third consecutive season.
"It's always a blessing to know what you're peers think about you and that they respect the things that you do and the time that you spend with them," Smith said. "I was ecstatic about it."
Smith said Cushing naturally moved into more of a leadership role after long-time defensive captain DeMeco Ryans was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this offseason.
"I think Cush and everybody gon' fit right into the leaders that they is," Smith said. "He can't be nothing but what he is, and the type of leader that he's going to have to be is going to have to reflect his personality. He can't be a leader that somebody else was or DeMeco was. You can't try to put him in the same mold as DeMeco. Cushing is a totally different player. He leads in the way he leads, and so he's just got to believe, be himself, and we're going to follow him."
Schaub is a captain for the fifth consecutive season. This is the sixth consecutive season as a captain for Johnson. Dobbins, a seventh-year veteran, is a first-time captain with the Texans.