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Old 10-23-2013   #41
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by disaacks3 View Post
Until / unless Cushing becomes less of a liability in coverage (which he is post-injury) - I'd keep him in the middle.

As Cloak and I discussed on Sunday, his lateral movement has noticeably deteriorated. He's no longer the sideline-to-sideline guy he used to be. Another knee injury isn't going to help that.
That's exactly why he shouldn't be in the middle where being a sideline to sideline guy is most important.
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Old 10-23-2013   #42
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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I know exactly what I'm talking about. Suggesting that Cushing would be a better OLB than ILB at this point is something that I don't agree with.
Yeah....I don't agree with anything you're saying...

There's a reason you routinely see de 'a playing 34 olb and not many going to ilb. The movement skills and instincts are completely different.

If I'm the texans I'd consider Cushing outside and consider letting reed compete with Mercilus. Draft a big NT. Get a sideline to sideline 3 down mlb or two.
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Old 10-23-2013   #43
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

Personally, I'd leave him inside until he shows he's incapable of being the Cush we're used to seeing. We were only a few games into the season. I think he was getting better every game. Considering his ACL was intact I think he'll be back well before TC and be full go when TC begins.
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Old 10-23-2013   #44
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

I like the idea of moving Cushing to ILB, especially when you think of the nightmare offenses would face if Watt and Cush were coming from the same side. Move Cushing to the other side, opposite Watt, and offenses would have to worry about two great players coming from both directions.

Would you suggest just playing Cushing from one side only? Or move him from one side to the other as situations dictate?

Hopefully this is a conversation with merit because he's back next season. Just kills me that we've lost him twice within a 12 month period. Just sucks all the way around.
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Old 10-23-2013   #45
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Completely disagree. Reed would be a below average full time MLB.
People thought the same thing about cushing. Both coaches have said that Reed would be the 2nd best ILB on the team behind cushing. Reason he's playing outside is we have zero players behind him and he can set the edge. He has next to zero pass rushing skills.
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Old 10-23-2013   #46
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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....I don't agree with anything you're saying...

There's a reason you routinely see de 'a playing 34 olb and not many going to ilb. The movement skills and instincts are completely different.

If I'm the texans I'd consider Cushing outside and consider letting reed compete with Mercilus. Draft a big NT. Get a sideline to sideline 3 down mlb or two.
So now you have huge holes at MLB and only one pass rusher at OLB? Cushing is not a pass rusher.
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Old 10-23-2013   #47
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

Cushing is a better blitzer than pass rusher. To me he is in his perfect role. Putting him out on the edge against 330LB Tackles all day would diminish all that he brings to the club as the guy controlling the middle of the field. I don't think he would fare all that well on the edge consistently, or at least not impact the defense like he does in the middle of the field chasing plays from sideline to sideline.
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Old 10-23-2013   #48
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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 exactly why he shouldn't be in the middle where being a sideline to sideline guy is most important.
He's not having to cover as much in the middle. On the edge, he will be exposed. He can't rush every play. This is the same issue we're having with Reed currently.
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Old 10-23-2013   #49
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by disaacks3 View Post
He's not having to cover as much in the middle. On the edge, he will be exposed. He can't rush every play. This is the same issue we're having with Reed currently.
So we're not losing anything there; on the other hand, I think Cushing can be more physical with the TE, knocking him off his route a little stronger than Reed.

Reed isn't a guy that can run the arc explosively; I don't know if there's a drop-off with Cushing. On the plus side, I think Cushing can be stronger when he rushes to the inside of the TE or the OT.

We can protect Cushing from being cut down ferociously.
He's more aggressive than Reed.

We just need to find a big NT to help Reed in the middle on running play; this type of part-time player can be found in the third or later.
Such an example is John Jenkins that the Saints took in the third (one among those I considered for the Texans), and he's showing some impact for them already.

Reed isn't an animal like Cushing in nature, but his numbers from the combine suggest that he can be a sideline to sideline player (the 20SS and the 3-cone).

I think it's quite doable. It should help to keep both of them on the field.
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Old 10-23-2013   #50
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

Just saw this Tweet from PFF. My original thought of leaving him in the middle and that he was getting better every game remains the same

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Pro Football Focus ‏@PFF 4h
18.1% of Brian Cushings run defense snaps saw him make defensive stop. Most of any player. 2nd Sean Lee (17.3) & 3rd Brandon Spikes (17.2)
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Old 10-23-2013   #51
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
Just saw this Tweet from PFF. My original thought of leaving him in the middle and that he was getting better every game remains the same
Oh, I adopted his move to ILB, but the draw back is that his aggressiveness can result in injury.
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Old 10-23-2013   #52
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by disaacks3 View Post
He's not having to cover as much in the middle. On the edge, he will be exposed. He can't rush every play. This is the same issue we're having with Reed currently.
Reed isn't nearly as talented as a healthy Cushing so I don't understand those comparisons. They are two vastly different players.

And MLB's are expected to cover much more ground that OLB's in the 34. Especially Wades 34.

Teams aren't running up the middle all day.

The problem we're having with Reed is that he's not all that talented. He's an average player.
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Old 10-23-2013   #53
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
Just saw this Tweet from PFF. My original thought of leaving him in the middle and that he was getting better every game remains the same
He's by far the best LB on the team. No one else is close. To me that mostly says that Cushing was playing well against the run and he likely wasn't getting a lot of help from other LB's.

I didn't start this thread to say Cushing sucked in the middle this year. But projecting the future of the team I do believe that a move to the outside should be entertained.
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Old 10-23-2013   #54
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I like the idea of moving Cushing to ILB, especially when you think of the nightmare offenses would face if Watt and Cush were coming from the same side. Move Cushing to the other side, opposite Watt, and offenses would have to worry about two great players coming from both directions.

Would you suggest just playing Cushing from one side only? Or move him from one side to the other as situations dictate?

Hopefully this is a conversation with merit because he's back next season. Just kills me that we've lost him twice within a 12 month period. Just sucks all the way around.
I'd play him on both sides and still in the middle at times. We don't have a LB close to Cushing and we don't have a big DLine to protect them. Cushing rushed the passer a lot in college. He was an edge player. When he first got here he was an olb. I rember a lot of people freaking out when he went inside that one year demeco was hurt. The team ended up nixing that.

When wade was coming on there was a lot of discussion on where he's play. Those threads are probably around here somewhere.

With these last two injuries, I think it's wise to start thinking about ways to use him to keep him extremely effective.
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Old 10-23-2013   #55
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

I would like to see what a swap of Reed and Cush would bring especially with my new mock of NT Nix and ILB Smallwood. Nix would allow OLBs to be more effective. Also this is last contract year for both Mitchell and McClain (RFA).
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Old 10-23-2013   #56
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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
Reed isn't nearly as talented as a healthy Cushing so I don't understand those comparisons. They are two vastly different players.

And MLB's are expected to cover much more ground that OLB's in the 34. Especially Wades 34.

Teams aren't running up the middle all day.

The problem we're having with Reed is that he's not all that talented. He's an average player.


When was the last time we saw a healthy Cushing? If you think he'll return to early 2012 levels after this injury, you're not watching games closely.

Cushing's go-forward issue isn't talent or heart, but injuries that will affect his physical ability to make plays. It was already apparent this year.

A banged-up Cushing is still better than 70% of the LBs in the league, but if you force him to cover TEs or follow a slant across the field, he'll be several steps behind.

Sure, if you dedicate him to the pass rush and coverage only to the near sideline, it could work. It's all hyperbole until he recovers though.
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Old 10-23-2013   #57
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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When was the last time we saw a healthy Cushing? If you think he'll return to early 2012 levels after this injury, you're not watching games closely.

Cushing's go-forward issue isn't talent or heart, but injuries that will affect his physical ability to make plays. It was already apparent this year.

A banged-up Cushing is still better than 70% of the LBs in the league, but if you force him to cover TEs or follow a slant across the field, he'll be several steps behind.

Sure, if you dedicate him to the pass rush and coverage only to the near sideline, it could work. It's all hyperbole until he recovers though.

Way to focus on one statement and blow it out if proportion. Talk about hyperbole.

When I say healthy, I mean able to play. I didn't put any percentage on it, you did.

But really that's not even relevant. You're comparing two players who are no where near the same talent wise. You used reeds struggles as an example as to why Cushing would struggle. "That's the problem we're having with reed"

No, the problem with Reed is that he's a limited player. No matter where he plays he's a two down player. That he's 0 to do with Cushing.
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Old 10-23-2013   #58
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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When was the last time we saw a healthy Cushing? If you think he'll return to early 2012 levels after this injury, you're not watching games closely.

Cushing's go-forward issue isn't talent or heart, but injuries that will affect his physical ability to make plays. It was already apparent this year.

A banged-up Cushing is still better than 70% of the LBs in the league, but if you force him to cover TEs or follow a slant across the field, he'll be several steps behind.

Sure, if you dedicate him to the pass rush and coverage only to the near sideline, it could work. It's all hyperbole until he recovers though.

And btw, how many slants across the field have you seen reed and Mercilus cover? How many TE's have you seen them go man to man on?

You don't know what you're talking about. The ilb's on this team have more coverage responsibilities. Wade has outlined this several times. When he's asked about our OLB's in coverage he's explained that most of the time it's simple flats type zones they go in.

What image do you guys have of our OLB's? We don't have Von miller, dion Jordan type OLB's. These guys are more like hybrid de's in a 52. They mostly set the edge, chase down the line and rush the passer. The strong side guy covers more than the weak side guy but he's still not man to man very often and he's definitely not running across the field covering slants very often if at all.


Your bolded is exactly the point except for some reason people think that the OLB's in this defense need more athleticism than a 3 down mlb in this defense. His potential loss of range and sideline to sideline ability and quick change of direction is EXACTLY why I started the thread.
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Old 10-23-2013   #59
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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He's by far the best LB on the team. No one else is close. To me that mostly says that Cushing was playing well against the run and he likely wasn't getting a lot of help from other LB's.

I didn't start this thread to say Cushing sucked in the middle this year. But projecting the future of the team I do believe that a move to the outside should be entertained.
Understandable. I do realize we have a major issue at OLB. This is the 2nd year in a row where we've seen next to nothing.

What I'd like to do is this, experiment by moving Reed and Trevardo inside during the offseason to see if one of them can stick. Whichever one looks the best, prolong the experiment into TC to see how they do next to Cush. The OLB position must be upgraded by FA and the draft.
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Old 10-23-2013   #60
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Default Re: Cushing at OLB next year. What do you think?

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Understandable. I do realize we have a major issue at OLB. This is the 2nd year in a row where we've seen next to nothing.

What I'd like to do is this, experiment by moving Reed and Trevardo inside during the offseason to see if one of them can stick. Whichever one looks the best, prolong the experiment into TC to see how they do next to Cush. The OLB position must be upgraded by FA and the draft.
LoL...not laughing at you, but every time I think of trevardo the image from pre season of him getting bullied 15 yards down field like a kid pops into my head. I literally have to hold back laughter.

Dude has his work cut out for him.
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