I didn't even know his combined stats were this good. Halfway through the season, he leads all LB's --not just rookies-- in some categories. Here's the link to the NFL's stat sheet. Among all NFL LB's, he's #1 in passes deflected with 9, and is in an eight-way tie at 7th place overall. The funny thing about this standing is that he's right in the middle of a long list of CB's, and is tied with Champ Bailey. He and six others are tied for #1 among LB's in interceptions with 2, and he's also in a million-way tie for 3rd in forced fumbles with 2. 1st place for forced fumbles belongs James Harrison with 4. These two rankings may seem less significant since a rank can change so easily, but the company this puts Cushing in is important. It's important to note that Aaron Curry also has 2 forced fumbles. Among all LB's, he is fifth in sacks with 1.5. In solo tackles, he is tied at 15th with 36. Kirk Morrison of Oakland is #1 at 56. He is 2nd in the league in assisted tackles with 36. London Fletcher is #1 with 40. Cushing's rank here isn't surprising since it reflects Bush's defensive philosophy of everyone flying to the ball. Cushing has also always been adept at reading plays and knowing exactly where to go, as demonstrated in his USC highlights on Youtube. His combined total in tackles places him at 5th in the league with 66, and London Fletcher at #1 with 71. As of week 8, only seven defenders in the NFL have a safety. Cushing and Tamba Hali are the only LB's included in that group. Some of these stats on their own aren't remarkably impressive, but combined they make the strongest case of any rookie. Also, as we all know, stats don't tell the whole story, but I'm certain that Cushing's intangibles give him an even bigger advantage among other defensive rookies.