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Old 10-22-2013   #1
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Default Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

I've thought about this some and I think playing Cushing at olb more next year could be very beneficial to the defense. Cushing was playing well this year, but his mobility wasn't the same. With this injury I think it might get a little worse. I don't know, but even if it doesn't, I think this could still be a viable move.

Ilb requires better wheels. More change of direction, more guys coming right at you taking your legs out...more coverage responsibilities.


I was thinking maybe we could sign or draft a good ilb and slide Cushing to the edges more. He could still play in the middle some, but I think he could be a beast on the edges pressuring qb's more often. And like I said it'd be easier on his legs. Our edge pass rush has not been great and I know Cushing would be a force out there. Plus he'd be more versatile because he can drop into all kinds of coverages.


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Old 10-22-2013   #2
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

No. He was one of the best ILB's in the league until he got hurt and was at the top of the league in TFL. You need a tackling machine in the middle and moving him outside takes away his greatest asset.
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Old 10-22-2013   #3
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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No. He was one of the best ILB's in the league until he got hurt and was at the top of the league in TFL. You need a tackling machine in the middle and moving him outside takes away his greatest asset.
while i dont disagree, we BETTER still draft an ILB high, because frankly Cushing was a shell of his former coverage self.....he def. did not regain his ability to run in space IMO...but shifting through the trash, he is still great at
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Old 10-22-2013   #4
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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No. He was one of the best ILB's in the league until he got hurt and was at the top of the league in TFL. You need a tackling machine in the middle and moving him outside takes away his greatest asset.
Disagree. I think it's easier to find a good LB that can play in the middle and make a lot of tackles. We've actually rarely been without one. Almost every team has at least one good ilb that can make a bunch of tackles. I think that part if cushing's game would be the easiest to replace. His pass rushing and pass coverage are what I'd be worried about.

That said, I saw Cushing struggle some out in space this year. He usually hadn't done that. Coming off another season ending knee injury it could get worse.

Meanwhile I believe he could be a huge asset on the outside and make a big impact immediately upon his return. He has experience on the edges and he's a good pass rusher. I think he could make a huge impact for this defense on the edge.



If I'm the texans I'd seriously be thinking about this.
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Old 10-22-2013   #5
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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while i dont disagree, we BETTER still draft an ILB high, because frankly Cushing was a shell of his former coverage self.....he def. did not regain his ability to run in space IMO...but shifting through the trash, he is still great at
Which is why he should stay in the middle. Playing on the outside means a lot more playing in space.

And yes, we absolutely need to upgrade ILB regardless of where Cush is playing.
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Old 10-22-2013   #6
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

Wade moved him from OLB to ILB. Might reconsider this when he is no longer DC.
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Old 10-22-2013   #7
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by amazing80 View Post
while i dont disagree, we BETTER still draft an ILB high, because frankly Cushing was a shell of his former coverage self.....he def. did not regain his ability to run in space IMO...but shifting through the trash, he is still great at
Cushing has lost lateral movement due to his ACL. He now functions within a more straight ahead confined space.
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Old 10-22-2013   #8
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

Yeah, these injuries are reducing his lateral quickness/mobility.
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Old 10-22-2013   #9
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by WolverineFan View Post
Which is why he should stay in the middle. Playing on the outside means a lot more playing in space.

And yes, we absolutely need to upgrade ILB regardless of where Cush is playing.
Nope.

That's why you routinely see DE's placed at 34 olb.

34 mlb need to far more agility than the OLB's.
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Old 10-22-2013   #10
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Wade moved him from OLB to ILB. Might reconsider this when he is no longer DC.
That's true, but wade has shown a willingness to move guys around....try things...

Brandon harris at safety, crick at nose, reed at ilb, Montgomery doing whatever he was doing...tuggle moving back and forth.
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Old 10-22-2013   #11
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by Rey View Post
That's true, but wade has shown a willingness to move guys around....try things...

Brandon harris at safety, crick at nose, reed at ilb, Montgomery doing whatever he was doing...tuggle moving back and forth.
It wouldn't hurt to see if a switch Cushing/Reed would work or not.
Playing OLB would reduce the chance of getting cut down as Cushing tend to be super aggressive.
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Old 10-22-2013   #12
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

I don't mind this idea at all. In fact, I'd probably make Cushing the WOLB and let him rush the passer. He's always been a good blitzer and he could just cut loose on the QB.
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Old 10-22-2013   #13
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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I don't mind this idea at all. In fact, I'd probably make Cushing the WOLB and let him rush the passer. He's always been a good blitzer and he could just cut loose on the QB.
Yeah...and I wouldn't even see it as a demotion. He'd still be the best LB on the field likely. Tons of OLB's have been the best lb's on their team and made huge impacts.

I really believe it could be a good move. Draft a young ilb high in the draft bring in a solid vet or two, try reed there or let him and merciless compete for the other olb spot.
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Old 10-22-2013   #14
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

It usually takes a good year and a half to be back at 100% after a ACL injury. Its barely been 12months and he got hurt again. I feel bad for the guy.
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Old 10-22-2013   #15
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

We may possibly be in new regime next year which runs a 4-3 meaning Cushing could return to the original SAM position he was drafted to play in the Texas 4-3 back then in 2009 right out of USC.
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Old 10-22-2013   #16
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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We may possibly be in new regime next year which runs a 4-3 meaning Cushing could return to the original SAM position he was drafted to play in the Texas 4-3 back then in 2009 right out of USC.
In that SAM position, Cushing was on the line very often; not much different than a 34 OLB.
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Old 10-22-2013   #17
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Nope.

That's why you routinely see DE's placed at 34 olb.

34 mlb need to far more agility than the OLB's.
The DE's that are placed at 3-4 OLB are guys that can really athletic and can rush the passer, but are not big or strong enough to play with their hand down. Some guys, like Sam Montgomery, do not have the agility or athleticism to do so. That's why 3-4 teams stay away from them. Other guys, like Aldon Smith or Demarcus Ware, have that agility and can play on the edge and rush the passer while still being able to drop into coverage.

OLB's have to play on the edge, rush the passer, and set leverage. This means playing in space. 3-4 ILB's go downhill and fill gaps. Instincts and tackling ability are much more important than agility for an ILB.
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Old 10-22-2013   #18
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

Cushing seemed to struggle shedding blocks compared to he play in previous years.

Moving to the outside might allow him to pursue down the line more than taking things head-on.

I like the idea.

Should be interesting to see what happens with the team coach-wise and, consequently, scheme-wise, during the offseason.
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Old 10-23-2013   #19
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

He would be a average player on the edge. In fact I bet he would look exactly like Brooks Reed. Reed is better suited in the inside and so is Cushing. Both are below average pass rushers and can't disengage from blocks well.

When wade first got here he said Cushings best attribute was his ability to set the edge. The same thing he always says about Brooks Reed.
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Old 10-23-2013   #20
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by Rey View Post
Yeah...and I wouldn't even see it as a demotion. He'd still be the best LB on the field likely. Tons of OLB's have been the best lb's on their team and made huge impacts.

I really believe it could be a good move. Draft a young ilb high in the draft bring in a solid vet or two, try reed there or let him and merciless compete for the other olb spot.
I was thinking this after the latest injury. Gives him a chance to protect himself a bit more and use his pass rush ability.
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