Tag:Brian Cushing
Posted on: January 10, 2011 4:21 pm

Hot Routes 1.10.11 wild card aftermath

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

The NFL wild card games averaged over 32 million viewers -- a new record.

Not surprisingly, there are now questions about Reggie Bush’s future in New Orleans.

The Baltimore Sun wants to know….Joe Flacco’s playoff beard: hit or miss?

Michael Oher spent most of Sunday’s game scuffling with KC players.

A fed up Bengals fan is auctioning off his NFL allegiance to the highest-bidding NFL city.

Monday night's BCS National Championship will feature Clay Matthews’ brother (how many Matthews stars are out there?)

Brian Cushing has fired his agent and hired Drew Rosenhaus.

Roger Goodell dressed like Joe Fan and attended a town hall meeting with 60 randomly selected Chiefs season ticket holders Sunday.

As expected, the Bucs exercised their one-year option on GM Mark Dominik.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: January 3, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 4:58 pm

Texans keeping Kubiak, replacing defensive staff

Posted by Andy Benoit

To the chagrin of many Houston fans, owner Bob McNair has announced that head coach Gary Kubiak will return for a sixth season. The Texans just turned in a disappointing 7-9 season in which it set new lows for defensive ineptitude (267.5 passing yards allowed per game, 32nd in the NFL).

"I appreciate Bob's confidence in me," Kubiak said in a statement released by the team. "We visited today and decided on a new direction. I am very lucky. I work for a great man that believes in me. That means a lot to me. I have a lot of work to do to make him proud."


One could make the argument that Kubiak is not deserving of the blame, though. Mike Shanahan’s long-time assistant in Denver was hired for his offensive pedigree. The Texans have ranked in the top four in offensive yardage each of the last three seasons. The problems have been on defense.

Consequently, Kubiak fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush, defensive backs coach David Gibbs, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and assistant linebackers coach Robert Saleh Monday. He is looking to bring in a defensive czar to right the ship, and he says it doesn’t matter if that individual has a 4-3 or 3-4 background, but has said that Wade Phillips -- previously rumored as a DC candidate -- will be interviewed.

A 4-3 background does matter, though. GM Rick Smith has invested very high draft picks in a slew of 4-3 front seven players (Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing). The 4-3 system has not panned out the last several years, but that’s been a player performance issue more than anything. This season, besides Ryans’ Achilles injury and Williams’ nagging hernia, the Texans were done-in by callow cornerbacks and safeties who are hard-hitting but inept in coverage.

Kubiak is not responsible for the defensive personnel, and he’s not responsible for players having basic fundamentals. That issue pertains more to the assistant coaches. Hence, McNair felt sweeping changes on that side of the staff would suffice for 2011.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 19, 2010 6:05 pm

Texans teammates fight each other (VIDEO)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You know what’s not a good sign for your NFL team? When one of your players gets into a fight …

With another one of your players.

That’s what happened today for the Texans when Brian Cushing and Antonio Smith got into a shoving match on a play in which Titans QB Kerry Collins had been sacked. Not sure why they were going at each other, but, well, it doesn’t look good.

Here’s the video, via The Big Lead:

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:43 am

Week 12 injury news and analysis, part I

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Jaguars at Giants

Two of Jacksonville’s most important offensive players, WR Mike Sims-Walker and RB Maurice Jones-Drew, are questionable because of an ankle and an abdomen, respectively. Sims-Walker didn’t play last week because of his high ankle sprain, so it’s a bit surprising that he practiced at all this week (high ankle sprains tend to keep players out at least three to four weeks). Sims-Walker was limited Thursday and Friday, which tells us one of two things – either he’s an unbelievably fast healer or coach Jack Del Rio is using a bit of gamesmanship to keep New York guessing.

Jones-Drew has been on fire recently – he’s accumulated 368 yards and three touchdowns in his past three games (he’s also added 123 receiving yards) – and he’s more likely to play than not. If not, look for Rashad Jennings to get more opportunities.

Though he’s been awfully entertaining on his Twitter account since he was admitted to the hospital with back pain (he was released from the hospital Saturday morning), New York G Shawn Andrews is doubtful (Will Beatty will take his place). CB Will Blackmon is questionable with a chest injury.

Steelers at Bills

Once again, LB Shawne Merriman (who still hasn’t played a game since signing with Buffalo) is out with an Achilles tendon injury. RB C.J. Spiller is questionable, but considering Fred Jackson (249 yards, three touchdowns) has been so good the past two games, Spiller’s absence shouldn’t have a huge impact on the offense (special teams might be a different story, though). The team doesn’t want to play Spiller until he’s 100 percent healthy, which he almost surely is not.

Pittsburgh only has four players on the injury report – WR Antonio Brown and DE Aaron Smith are out, TE Matt Spaeth (concussion) is doubtful and S Troy Polamalu (ankle) is questionable. Polamalu most likely will play. He played last week despite the injury, and the Steelers plan was to rest him early in the week and let him play Sunday (he was limited Wednesday and Thursday but had full participation in practice Friday).

Titans at Texans

If you formed a flag football team just out of the players that are listed as probable on Houston’s injury report, you’d have a pretty good chance to win an intramural title. Those players include QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson, LB Brian Cushing and DE Mario Williams. Unfortunately for your beer-league dream team, all will be playing NFL football Sunday.

For Tennessee, Randy Moss still isn’t listed on the injury report, which confuses me. If he’s active and playing, how come nobody is throwing him the ball? If he was hurt, then it would make sense. Speaking of players who don’t throw the ball to Moss, backup QB Kerry Collins – who will be the starter once again at some point – is questionable. But rookie Rusty Smith still is slated to the start at QB.

Also for the Titans, DT Jason Jones is questionable with a knee injury. DT Tony Brown (knee) also is questionable, but he’s more likely to play.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 11, 2010 10:59 am

Hot Routes 11.11.10: Booing Braylon

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Braylon Edwards is correct that he will be booed when the Jets play in Cleveland this weekend. He is incorrect in thinking that he doesn't deserve his reputation for dropping the ball. After all, that's not like a rep for running hard or anything -- dropping the football is an easily quantifiable statistic, even if Derek Anderson is the guy throwing you the ball. Either you hold onto it or you don't. What makes his pre-Browns game behavior so bizarre is that by any account, Edwards should be humbled and thrilled that he got a chance to go somewhere else and pick up DUIs play football. And instead, he's just trying to hate on a city that deserves nothing more than pity when it comes to sports these days.
  • Rex Ryan has instituted a new "pushups for penalties" rule in Jets practice -- and said penalty includes owner Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum, who were forced to do pushups every time the Jets committed a penalty too. We need video of this ASAP. 
  • Brian Cushing is going to maybe move back to strongside linebacker after spending some time in the middle. Not that it really matters for Houston, since people have stopped bothering trying to run against them and now just have opposing quarterbacks throw the ball as high and as far as they can on every single play. Or at least that's what it feels like.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 3:42 pm

Cushing's dad (apparently) defends him

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A few days ago, Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chronicle wrote about Texans LB Brian Cushing and about how average he’s looked since he returned from his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy.

Wrote Zierlein: “Multiple sources around the league have told me that they felt like the rumors of potential PED use surrounding Cushing had enough smoke behind it to keep them from taking him, but the Texans either didn't have that info, didn't believe it or chose to ignore it. He better jump back into Beast Mode or (or owner Bob) McNair is going to wonder if he was duped by the old bait-and-switch.”

Apparently, Cushing’s father didn’t enjoy the piece. He sent an e-mail to Zierlein, reprinted here, in which he defends – or tries to defend – his son.

Part of the e-mail reads:

Do you still believe in BP, Enron, Wall Street, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and all the corporations that feed the American public like the NFL?

Do you know the NFL's testing procedures? Do you know what happened at the appeal's meeting in Indy? What was his score? Do you know the agreement for further testing and the scores?

Do you know that his nutrionist is the New York Jets nutrionist since college?

Amazing that you take one side and hang a clean cut kid!

Follow the link for the rest of the e-mail and for Zierlein’s response.

Oh, and by the way, Cushing DOES look kind of average.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 29, 2010 9:17 pm

McNair goes on a search ... for drugs (sort of)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Houston owner Bob McNair had his staff go through his players' lockers to see if there was anything illegal in them (Getty). Kind of a strange story here from the Associated Press regarding Texans owner Bob McNair.

If you’ll remember McNair was extremely supportive of Houston LB Brian Cushing before and during his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy (Houston LT Duane Brown served a four-game suspension as well). Now, McNair apparently REALLY wants to make sure nobody on his squad will face the consequences of another league violation and suspension.

So, about a month ago, McNair instructed team officials to rifle through the players’ lockers and remove anything that was illegal.

“We concluded that one thing we can do is to just go through the locker room and make sure that if anybody is using anything, it's a product from one of the approved manufacturers," McNair said. "That's about all that we can do."

McNair also said the team has the right to control the players when they’re in the team’s facilities. The NFL Players Association didn’t comment for the story, but I’d be interested to hear their take.

But Brown seems cool with it (of course, what’s he going to say, considering he’s one of the guys directly responsible for the idea of the search and seizure?).

"Whatever you decide to bring into this stadium, whatever you decide to have in your locker, I feel like they have a right to know," Brown said. "There are a lot of things out there where you feel like it's perfectly fine. Some things you could be taking, you could've taken for a while, and it can just come up one time and get you.

"I think they have the right to do that."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 4, 2010 11:37 am

Welcome back, suspended stars!

Posted by Andy Benoit
B. Roethlisberger (US Presswire)
With the first quarter of the NFL season in the books, several big name players will be returning from league-mandated four-game suspensions. The headliner, of course, is Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers relied on three different quarterbacks and wound up going 3-1 without their star.

Santonio Holmes returns to a Jets offense that’s riding a three-game winning streak and has put up big passing numbers in two of those games. Holmes will replace Jerricho Cotchery in the starting lineup and instantly become Mark Sanchez’s primary deep target. (Holmes is also a spectacular route runner who can play underneath.)

Brian Cushing returns to a Texans defense that is 3-1 but getting gashed through the air. Cushing is an assertive blitzer who can defend tight ends in the flats. He won’t fix Houston’s problems, but he could at least alleviate them.

There are also two smaller name players of significance coming back. The Titans will have brash outside linebacker Gerald McRath bolster their linebacking depth. McRath is a tad inconsistent in the open field but he’s a better athlete than veteran Jamie Winborn at this point. Expect McRath to start at some point, if not right away.

Supple second-year tight end Shawn Nelson returns to a Bills offense that pretty much hasn’t existed through four games. Nelson, thanks to fluid agility, has star potential, though it’s a question whether he can stay focused and be properly utilized in Chan Gailey’s offense.

The underlining story of these suspension is that the teams of the three stars – Roethlisberger, Holmes and Cushing – all went 3-1 during this early stretch.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com