Thursday, November 11, 2010
On Cushing moving back to strong side
By Paul Kuharsky
Brian Cushing may still see some time in the middle, but the big move from strong-side (Sam) to middle linebacker to replace the injured DeMeco Ryans is over.
It’s good that coach Gary Kubiak can look at it and decide that moving Cushing back outside maximizes his chance to make more plays. It’s bad that the other alternatives are so limited.
Here is Cushing from John McClain’s article.
“Sam is where I’ve made the majority of my plays. I’m going to be back at the position that I need to be.
“I think the coaches could see the frustrations that I had. I didn’t feel that anything was wrong, but I didn’t feel like I was really playing the game that I can.”
We should point out that even as Sam, Cushing has hardly been the same guy who won defensive rookie of the year in 2009 (twice). Is it a second-year slump? Is it a comedown from whatever caused the PED policy violation that got him suspended for the first four games of the year?
We don’t know.
We do know, I think, that he can’t play corner or defensive tackle, which is where the Texans need help the most.
It was a two-game experiment, although in the loss at Indianapolis the Texans played nickel defense in which Cushing played the same role he always has. Against San Diego he said he was over-thinking things in the middle.
Now Cushing will see some time in the middle but Kevin Bentley will be the main guy there.
It’s not a change that will transform the league’s worst defense into a monster. But it won’t make things any worse.