Saturday, March 30, 2013
Slauson still thinks about Cushing hit
By Matt Ehalt
One play will forever link Matt Slauson and Brian Cushing.
When the Jets hosted the Texans on Oct. 8, 2012, Slauson, now an ex-Jet after signing with Chicago on Friday, delivered a cut block to Cushing. The hit knocked the Texans linebacker out of the game, and ultimately sidelined him for the year with a torn ACL. The hit would spur debate about its legality.
Five months later, that play still sticks with Slauson.
"I think about it all the time. It was just unfortunate the way it happened, Brian getting hurt. I didn't want it to happen. I was just trying to do whatever I could to win," Slauson said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "And unfortunately, it worked out very badly. It was a frowned upon block. But I think about it all the time, and I'm really sorry the guy got hurt for it."
In the aftermath of the block, Slauson defended his hit, saying he and his coaches believed it was legal. Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips called the hit "unnecessary," and the league ultimately fined Slauson $10,000 for an illegal peel-back block.
Slauson told the Sun-Times he attempted to reach out to Cushing -- he got the linebacker's number from Cushing's college teammate and current Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez -- but the two couldn't connect.
"I tried," Slauson said. "But it didn't work out. I wanted to let him know that I was really sorry. I heard he's a great guy, and I wish him all the best, and I'm sure I'm going to be seeing [him] on the field again."
Slauson started 48 of 51 career games with the Jets, including every game the past three seasons. He took a pay cut prior to last season and was rotated with Vladimir Ducasse during the campaign. The Jets originally drafted Slauson in the sixth round of the 2009 draft.
"The Jets were in contention, but they couldn't match what the Bears were offering," Slauson told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini. "The Jets weren't offering any long-term security."