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Brian Cushing’s play since return comes under criticism

Image (2) B.%20Cushing2-thumb-250xauto-16604-thumb-250x185-16605.jpg for post 950

I was all set to do a post about the increasing criticism and pressure Texans coach Gary Kubiak is facing in Houston. That post will come later, but first let’s take a not-so quick detour to the land of Brian Cushing.

In this well-thought-out takedown of Kubiak’s decision-making, Lance Zierlein of the Houston Chroncile‘s Z Report blog says that Cushing looks “VERY average after his suspension for banned substances.”

Cushing missed four games for violating the league’s PED policy and he’s now playing middle linebacker, a new position for him. I’m inclined to give Cushing a break, but I know Zierlein is an NFL coach’s son that does the homework to watch every snap, so his criticism is worth considering.

He questions the decision-making process that went into drafting Cushing in the first place when there was a lot of smoke out there.

“He better jump back into Beast Mode or Mr. McNair is going to wonder if he was duped by the old bait-and-switch,” Zierlein writes.

Cushing wasn’t the focus of the article, but that section caught the attention of Cushing’s father Frank, who wrote a passionate response defending his son’s behavior and left his number for Zierlein to call. (He checked it out and the number is legit.)

The response starts: “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?”

Frank Cushing goes on to say his son passed lied detector tests and is a “clean cut kid.” The whole response is worth a read, although it somewhat misses the point.

Zierlein’s point wasn’t about Cushing’s integrity, as much as his play this season. Whether the Cushings like it or not, the best way for the Texans linebacker to rehabilitate his image is to play like he did in 2009.