Post-Draft Outlook:BEST PICK: The Texans like OLB Brian Cushing because he was a four-year starter at Southern California who became a team leader and plays with the kind of intensity and energy they want on defense. He'll play on the strong side. He's tough against the run but fast enough to learn to cover. A closer look at the Texans' picks: Round 1/15 -- Brian Cushing, OLB, 6-3, 243, Southern Cal...The Texans liked the USC linebackers -- Cushing and Clay Matthews -- and when the 15th pick arrived, both were still available. Cushing was the target of defensive coordinator Frank Bush since the college season ended. Bush says Cushing will compete with Zac Diles for the starting job on the strong side. He has the versatility to line up even on the edge and rush. The Texans love his athleticism and work ethic, and he is expected to make an instant impact. - by The Sports Xchange
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Draft Scout Brian Cushing News
08/15/14 - ILB Brian Cushing passed his physical, was removed from active/physically unable to perform and returned to practice for the first time since the seventh game of last season.
He was limited against the Falcons, though.
"It felt great (but), it's a very small step, and September 7 will be the big step," Cushing said about the regular-season opener against Washington. "Just being back out with the team is the most important thing. Obviously, I'm going to ease my way back into it. It feels good to get back out here and practice football. You can only do so much in the classroom.
"There's a major difference between practicing and playing. I'm in really good shape right now, but there's football shape, and I've got to get there."
Last year, Cushing suffered a torn lateral collateral ligament in his knee and a fractured fibula against Kansas City and was lost for the season. It was the second consecutive year he suffered a season-ending knee injury.
"It's been a tough past two years, but I feel like the worst part is over," he said. "It was tough not being out here. You have a new staff, and you want to show them what you can do and what your value is to the team, so that was put on hold a little.
"I don't know if I have to prove who I am (to) them or myself. I'm just a competitive guy, and I want to prove I can help the team and do a good job. That's really important to me, something I focus on a lot."
Cushing isn't expected to play against Atlanta.
08/13/14 - LB Brian Cushing practiced for the first time this year with the Texans and could play in Saturday's preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Cushing, 27, was activated from the physically unable to perform list. He hits the field determined to shake the injury-prone label tagged on him because of 20 games lost to injury the past two seasons.
Cushing had a broken fibula and torn LCL that caused him to miss most of last season. He was hurt in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs on a low block by running back Jamaal Charles.
07/27/14 - ILB Brian Cushing is on active/physically unable to perform as he continues to rehabilitate from surgery to repair a ligament in his knee and a fractured fibula.
Cushing said he definitely will be ready to play before the Texans host Washington in the regular-season opener.
07/22/14 - LB Brian Cushing (knee) was declared active/physically unable to perform by the Texans Monday (July 21).
10/22/13 - LB Brian Cushing will have Dr. James Andrews repair his torn lateral cruciate ligament and fractured fibula in Pensacola, Fla., this week.
Cushing suffered the season-ending injuries in Sunday's 17-16 loss at Kansas City. Cushing said on Monday it'll be a three-month rehab process, about a third of what it took him to return from surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament last season.
"I will rehab again harder than ever," Cushing said. "Last year was just the warmup. I'm at expert at the process now. I will be back better than ever next year, and that's a fact."