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Old 05-30-2012   #1
Ryan
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Default Some Love For Cushing

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...module=HP11_cp


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Bronze: Brian Cushing, Houston Texans

This was a tough decision. The Bears LB duo of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs continues to perform at a very high level. Lewis isn't quite the same player that he used to be, but he still plays the game with more violence than any other linebacker in the league. There are several talented young players at the position who deserve consideration (see list below), but Cushing gets the nod because of his size, speed and versatility. He played outside in his first two seasons. He was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 after he recorded 133 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions. His reputation took a bit of a hit following a positive drug test, but he played well again in 2010. This past season, he moved to the middle in Wade Phillips' 3-4 attack and responded by having an outstanding campaign. He totaled 114 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. It's very difficult to find linebackers with the size and strength to take on lineman in the run game while also possessing the speed and athleticism to cover running backs and tight ends in the passing game. Cushing excels in both areas.

I think he's better than Bowman though. Look at who Bowman lines up next to.
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Old 05-30-2012   #2
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Default NFL Podium Awards: Linebackers

NFL Podium Awards: Niners duo rules linebacker position
By Daniel Jeremiah NFL.com

Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah is getting into the Olympic mindset early this summer, handing out NFL Podium Awards for the top three players at each position group. Remember, this list is based on where these players are ranked heading into the 2012 season. Today, he takes on linebackers.

First of all, before Dallas Cowboys fans start to panic, this list is not for 3-4 outside linebackers. Those players will be grouped with all of the 4-3 defensive ends in Friday's Pash Rusher Podium Awards. In compiling this list, there were several fine candidates to choose from, but these three players stood out above the rest because of their combination of size, speed and instincts. I spent four years in the Baltimore Ravens scouting department while Rex Ryan was on the coaching staff. He used to always say that a big hit was just as valuable as a turnover. All three of these players make their presence felt with explosive tackles.

Gold: Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers

For over a decade, this spot was firmly in the grasp of the Ravens' Ray Lewis. However, Willis has been the gold standard at the position for the last few years and he doesn't show any signs of relinquishing the title any time soon. In his first five seasons, Willis has been to five Pro Bowls and been named first-team All-Pro on four occasions. He's averaged 138 tackles a season and also collected 17 career sacks. His combination of speed, explosiveness and instincts is tops in the league. The 49ers' defense has become the most feared in the entire league, and Willis has been the captain of the ship ever since he arrived in 2007.

Silver: NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers

If Willis is going to face any competition for the top spot over the next few seasons, it will likely come from the player who lines up right next to him every Sunday. In just his second season, Bowman exploded on the scene. He led the team in tackles with 143 -- his 111 solo tackles ranked second in the NFL -- and also recorded a pair of sacks. Bowman was named first-team All-Pro for his efforts. He has a lot of similarities to Willis in his style of play. He has the speed to range sideline to sideline and he's explosive on contact. At only 24 years old, he's just scratching the surface of how great he can become.

Bronze: Brian Cushing, Houston Texans

This was a tough decision. The Bears LB duo of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs continues to perform at a very high level. Lewis isn't quite the same player that he used to be, but he still plays the game with more violence than any other linebacker in the league. There are several talented young players at the position who deserve consideration (see list below), but Cushing gets the nod because of his size, speed and versatility. He played outside in his first two seasons. He was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 after he recorded 133 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions. His reputation took a bit of a hit following a positive drug test, but he played well again in 2010. This past season, he moved to the middle in Wade Phillips' 3-4 attack and responded by having an outstanding campaign. He totaled 114 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. It's very difficult to find linebackers with the size and strength to take on lineman in the run game while also possessing the speed and athleticism to cover running backs and tight ends in the passing game. Cushing excels in both areas.

Others considered: Jon Beason, Carolina Panthers; Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens; Lance Briggs, Chicago Bears; Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears; Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs; Desmond Bishop, Green Bay Packers; Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots; D'Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns; Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings; Sean Weatherspoon, Atlanta Falcons; Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals; London Fletcher, Washington Redskins; James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams; Sean Lee, Dallas Cowboys.
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Old 05-30-2012   #3
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Default Re: NFL Podium Awards: Linebackers

Daniel Jeremiah ‏@MoveTheSticks
This LB list doesn't include 3-4 OLBs. They are grouped with the 4-3 DEs for Friday's post on pass rushers. #NFL
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Old 05-30-2012   #4
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

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Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
I think he's better than Bowman though. Look at who Bowman lines up next to.
Agreed, I will take Cush over Bowman any day.
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Old 05-30-2012   #5
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

Cushing is better than Bowman. Bowman is not the second best in the league.
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Old 05-30-2012   #6
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

love cush, but i don't have a problem with bowman taken ahead of him. bowman is a beast. you guys need to watch a 9er game.
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Old 05-31-2012   #7
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

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Originally Posted by Trap_Star View Post
love cush, but i don't have a problem with bowman taken ahead of him. bowman is a beast. you guys need to watch a 9er game.
Exactly. I love cush but bowman brings it every week. Not as ferocious as cush but better range and maybe better instincts.
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Old 05-31-2012   #8
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

By no means am i trashing Bowman's game. I've seen Niners games and I think he definitely deserves consideration for one of the best, but I honestly think that Cush is better.
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Old 06-01-2012   #9
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

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Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
By no means am i trashing Bowman's game. I've seen Niners games and I think he definitely deserves consideration for one of the best, but I honestly think that Cush is better.
I agree with you bro... hes not Brian Crushing for nothin.. and he should also grow out the locks again, that would definitely help get him another 20 tackles haha
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Old 06-03-2012   #10
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

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Originally Posted by ckhouston View Post
Agreed, I will take Cush over Bowman any day.
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Originally Posted by The Medic01 View Post
Cushing is better than Bowman. Bowman is not the second best in the league.
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Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
By no means am i trashing Bowman's game. I've seen Niners games and I think he definitely deserves consideration for one of the best, but I honestly think that Cush is better.
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Originally Posted by BattleRedRock View Post
I agree with you bro... hes not Brian Crushing for nothin.. and he should also grow out the locks again, that would definitely help get him another 20 tackles haha
I think some of yall might be wearing blue and red sunglasses. I have to say, Bowman takes the cake. He's not considerably ahead of Cushing, but I'd pick Bowman over Cush every single time.
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Old 06-07-2012   #11
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

Cushing moves into lead role on Texans' defense


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Jun 7, 2012 4:50 PM ET
HOUSTON (AP)

It may be the most indelible image of the Houston Texans' 2011 season - blood pouring down the face of linebacker Brian Cushing after a scrap with Cleveland guard Shawn Lauvao in a November game against the Browns.

The 6-foot-3, 248-pound Cushing led the Texans with seven tackles and a sack that day, helping Houston to a 30-12 victory. The Texans' defense evolved into one of the NFL's best last season, the main catalyst for the franchise's first division championship and playoff berth.

Expectations are higher than ever in Houston for this season, and they are for Cushing, too, with one-time defensive cornerstones Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans now playing for other teams.

The Texans acquired veteran linebacker Bradie James, but many see Cushing as the emerging leader of the defense after three seasons as a starter. He feels groomed for the role after watching Ryans, a two-time Pro Bowler, and serving as a team captain himself last year.

''You're not going to learn from a better guy,'' Cushing said. ''It was a lot of leadership stuff I learned from him, how to be a pro, how to act and the kind of hours he put in, the dedication and how much he loved this game.''

Statistically, Cushing has set his own high standards after leading the league's second-ranked defense in tackles (114). He was also the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 after making 133 tackles, second-most in the AFC behind Ray Lewis (134).

A first-round pick out of Southern California, Cushing turned out to be a perfect fit for new coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 alignment. Phillips called Cushing ''a holy terror'' for his knack for disrupting offensive plays.

Texans safety Danieal Manning, who played in Chicago with eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher before coming to Houston, watched Cushing play in college and then marveled at what he could do when they became teammates last season.

''I always knew about Brian, coming up from USC,'' Manning said. ''He was always a fierce competitor. And now, in developing his game, he's moving all over the field. He's just a phenomenal athlete and a great football player.''

Cushing said there's still vast room for improvement. He pores over video to find ways to get better and prides himself on putting in the extra time in the weight room.

And he hopes his habits spill over to the rest of Houston's defensive players.

''I think if people see that and see that,'' he said, ''no matter what awards or accolades you get, and you don't change and you continue to work the same way, I think that's more important than anything.''

The Texans gave up only 285.7 yards per game last season, second only to Pittsburgh (271.8 yards per game). Houston allowed 91.2 fewer yards per game than the defense did in 2010, the third-largest decrease since 1970, and the defense ranked sixth in sacks (44) and 12th in takeaways (27).

Cushing has no individual or team statistics in mind as the season approaches. The only number that matters to him is the one that lines up with those high expectations.

''We were second in the league (in defense) and this year, we want to be first,'' he said. ''We've just got to go 1-0 in every game. That's the main thing - keep our goals short-term and just be smart about it. We know we can get better and we're going to try to improve every game.''

Houston went 10-6 last season, then battered Cincinnati in the first round of the playoffs. The breakthrough season ended in Baltimore the following week, and Cushing said the Texans' defense should be better, since it will have a full season, summer and training camp to absorb Phillips' defense.

Last year, Phillips had to give a crash course in his 3-4 scheme because of the lockout.

''Really, we were learning our defense as we went into camp,'' he said. ''Now, with a full year under our belt and with the OTAs going into training camp, we feel that we have a big advantage.''

And Cushing himself is as comfortable and confident as he's been as a pro, two years removed from a four-game suspension resulting from a positive test for a banned substance.

He patiently answered every awkward question upon his return in 2010, put the situation behind him and recaptured his form in 2011. As OTAs ended, his focus was once again squarely on football, just where he wants it.

''My mind is free. I'm happy,'' he said. ''I couldn't be in a better place and I'm just excited for this upcoming season, so it's a good feeling.''
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Old 06-11-2012   #12
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

I just saw Cushing's clip of him being #59 (IIRC) in top 100 and there was one clip that made me laugh so hard. It's when he goes and makes a hard hit in a game, runs back to the defensive huddle and reaches across the huddle to get JJ Watts attention and says "By the way that's how you hit someone." JJ just kind of looks at him like why are you telling me that. It was a funny way of insipring another player. I thought that was awesome.
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Old 06-12-2012   #13
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

More praise of Cush. Might be pushing it here on this one... but praise none the less.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...ior-linebacker
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Old 06-12-2012   #14
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Default Re: Some Love For Cushing

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Originally Posted by Tailgate View Post
More praise of Cush. Might be pushing it here on this one... but praise none the less.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d...ior-linebacker
I wouldn't say it is pushing anything. He only gave one category to Cushing.

If anything he made the impact plays category look more impressive by comparing five year totals with three year totals. Their production in the areas he listed are a wash:

Sacks per season - Willis 3.4, Cushing 3.2
Takeaways per season - Willis 3.4, Cushing 3.7
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