Brian Cushing: ‘Best I’ve Felt In A While’

The NFL offseason is a time for rest, relaxation and maybe a vacation or two.

Unless you’re Brian Cushing.

The Houston Texans linebacker had three surgeries this offseason.

Yes, three.

Seriously.

If you’re a Texans fan, though, don’t worry. Cushing says he’ll be good to go in 2015.

“I’m ready to rock,” Cushing said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “This is the best I’ve felt in a while. I’m just really excited for the upcoming season, just being healthy and the overall goals of our team.”

Cushing had surgery to repair a broken right wrist, an arthroscopic procedure on his left ankle and a procedure on his left knee that has plagued him for years.

So if you’re wondering why NFL players get paid so much money, that’s why.

“The pain, suffering – and the worst part is the rehab on top of it,” the 28-year-old Cushing said. “You get hurt, but then the months of getting back, the exercise you’re doing, the monotonous routine over and over of trying to get back to even close to the level you were playing at before – and then fans demand (you to be back to yourself and out there for the first game) when they don’t realize the things you went through in the offseason. From surgery to then rehab and then going back to a professional level of sports – (you’re) not just going back to normal (everyday) life playing some casual hoops here and there, but playing against the best athletes in the world at their sport.”

Cushing, however, can’t wait for Week 1 – in part because he’ll be playing behind Vince Wilfork, who signed with Houston this offseason after spending the first 11 years of his career in New England.

Wilfork, a mammoth nose tackle, eats a ton of space and a ton of people.

“I know,” Cushing said. “It’s going to be huge for me. Just the experience, the years he’s played at such a high level – he’s an elite nose tackle. He’s been doing it for a long time for a great team for a great coach. The guy is just used to winning. That’s the mentality we hope he brings down here. We know he will. And then being able to play behind that guy and just (being) able to freelance and make a ton more plays (will be good).”

The Texans’ defense should be one of the best in football this year, which is good – because if you don’t have a defense, you’re not going to win.

Of course, if you don’t have a quarterback, you’re not going to win, either. Houston, which went 9-7 last year, has Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer.

Do the Texans have quarterbacks who can get the job done?

“Yeah, we do,” Cushing said. “We do. I think we’re going to have a quarterback battle. It’s going to be intense. I think the best guy is going to eventually get it. They’re going to test both of them. That’s why they brought Brian Hoyer in in the first place. They wanted them to compete. I think both are very talented. I think both are very smart. It’ll be a good battle. It’ll be very competitive and the best quarterback, I believe, in the end will get the job.”

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