Tag Archives: Watt

Brian Cushing’s anticipated return in 2014

Brian Cushing, Houston Texans

 

A Healthy Brian Cushing Will Go A Long Way In Helping The Houston Texans Make A Drastic Turnaround In 2014

The Texans and Cushing have yet to set a date for his return to the field during training camp, but Cushing himself on multiple occasions has said that he has no worries about being ready for week 1 against the Redskins. Being ready for the first game of the season has been the main focus for Cushing throughout this entire process.

Cushing was cleared and declared himself 100% many weeks ago, but because of his importance to the team we have wanted the assurance of Cushing being fully healthy by seeing him participate in the off-season activities with the team.


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When Cushing had his ACL torn in 2012 in the first week of October he didn’t begin to start running until about the middle of the following Spring. The ACL tear was more significant than the broken fibula and torn LCL that he suffered in Mid-October this past year, and he was able to start running again towards the end of winter.

Luckily Cushing avoided suffering another ACL tear because it would have been extremely hard for him to have been able to comeback and return the same player after suffering that injury in consecutive seasons.

Last year Cushing participated in training camp from the start, but this year even though he was able to begin doing things much sooner he is starting off training camp on the PUP (Physically Unable To Perform) list, but can come off of it any anytime.

The Texans apparently want to be extremely cautious bringing back Cushing this time around and slowly acclimate him into football activity. Ultimately it may be the best way to go, he is likely to be able to go full speed sooner and be more confident when he finally gets on the field because of all the extra time he has gotten to work on strengthening his legs compared to last year.

At the Bill O’Brien’s introduction as the new head coach back in February, Cushing was extremely confident in his rehab and where he was in his recovery. He compared the 2012 and 2013 processes as “night and day” and even felt as though he would be a full go for OTAs.

Since Bill O’Brien’s arrival to the Texans there hasn’t been as much light shed on the injuries of players. But because of how confident Cushing was early on and how confident he is on being ready week 1, I am assuming that the fact that Cushing hasn’t been on the field yet is purely precautionary. Continue reading

Playoffs possible for Houston Texans

Houston Texans, Bill O'Brien,

Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.

Is taking the AFC South, or even a wildcard playoff berth, out of the picture for the 2014 Texans?

The word accountability has been a popular term used in analyzing the Houston Texans these past two years. Many have said that the Texans have lacked it, Bob McNair, front office, coaches, and players, from top to bottom as an organization. The consensus opinion is that the Texans in this upcoming season will struggle and will not be a very good team. Most believe that the Texans will win about 5, 6, or if things break their way possibly 7 games, which would be a big improvement record wise over the 2 wins from the disastrous 2013 team.

Fans demand accountability but if they truly want to hold the Texans accountable they should not be satisfied with such a low bar. I don’t believe the city of Houston should expect to win the AFC South division, the uncertainty of the Texans’ quarterback position and a new coaching regime makes it difficult to realistically expect that. However, the possibility of those things happening in 2014 shouldn’t be pushed aside like as if they are completely unattainable.

The Texans won 10 games in 2011, 12 in 2012, and fell all the way down to only 2 wins last year. As the 2013 season was ending questions were raised about how much talent was there really on the Texans’ roster. Some speculate that the Texans were actually never all that good to begin with and simply overachieved in 2011, 2012. But that can hardly be the case because you can’t luck yourself into 10 plus wins in the NFL two straight years without having the talent on the team.

The Texans proved that they were a good team for 2 years, last season involved a perfect storm of things going wrong, and it all finally fell apart starting with the demise of Matt Schaub. Gary Kubiak is a decent NFL coach, but he took the Texans as far as he could ever get them. His time here had finally run its course, and when that is the case for not only your coach but your quarterback as well, things are likely to result in a horrific year like the one we witnessed. Signs of this started to show towards the end of the 2012 season. Continue reading

Houston Texans’ Voluntary Mini-Camp

Houston, Texans, First Day of Voluntary Minicamp, O'Brien, Andre, Johnson

Houston Texans’ first day of voluntary mini-camp practice. Photo Credit: HoustonTexans.com

Bill O’Brien and the coaches got their first opportunity to work with the Texans players.

Because the Houston Texans are one of the few teams that have a first year head coach they are given an early opportunity to get with their players on the field and work with them.

There are a few noteworthy things from the first day of voluntary mini-camp that stood out.

 

  • Brian Cushing’s status not fully determined

In the months after Brian Cushing’s knee injury, he said he figured to be healthy and back to normal around the first week of February. Cushing also as recently as 3 weeks ago posted a picture on Instagram saying they he was 100% healthy, but he is not a participant in the team’s voluntary camp.

Cushing of late seems to have a change of tune when it comes to expectations on future participation in team activities. Cushing had a youth football camp a few days ago, and said he does not yet know how limited he will be in drills during OTAs in the coming weeks, but the main focus is being 100% healthy for week 1 of the season. Cushing didn’t even play in J.J. Watt’s charity Softball game this past weekend, instead acted as the Head coach of the defensive side.

Coach O’Brien after the practice was asked if he had a timetable for Brian Cushing, and O’Brien simply answered, “No.”

The Texans are possibly just being as cautious as can be since Brian is coming off back to back years of having season ending knee injuries. There might not be any need for concern but it is still disappointing that the leader of the Texans defense has to be limited during off-season team activities.

  • Andre Johnson missing from voluntary mini-camp

The news of Andre not being at the voluntary mini-camp came as a bit of a surprise. I don’t see it as a big deal but I would have figured that Andre be present because of the simple fact that there is a new coaching regime, playbook, etc.

However, we know what Andre is about, and if anybody has earned the right to skip out on voluntary practices, it would be Andre Johnson.

  • J.J. Watt is probably not going to holdout

J.J. Watt from his brief post practice media session gave off the impression that he has no intention of holding-out during off-season activities in hopes of reaching a big contract extension from the Texans. He was firm on his typical J.J. Watt talk of the showing up to “work” every day, working hard, and the team working hard during the first practice.

Holding-out would be the smart thing for Watt to do, and I for one would not blame him for doing so. He has been the best defensive player in the NFL these past two seasons and  Injuries can happen at anytime, Watt himself was lucky not to have missed the entire 2012 season when he dislocated his elbow during a training camp practice.

On a different note, J.J. Watt had a funny response to two questions involving the upcoming draft.

He was asked whether he has been paying attention to all the talk surrounding the draft, and whether he will be watching the draft. Watt answered with a simple “No” to both questions.

J.J. Watt in the past has said he does not like being compared to other players, and I’m guessing J.J. has finally had his fill of draft talk and doesn’t want to address the draft talk anymore.

  • The Helmets and Jerseys that the team practiced in

The Texans went through the first day of voluntary practice with helmets that didn’t have a Texans logo on them, and in jerseys that did not have players’ names on the back. Coach O’Brien brushed it off when asked about it and said not to read into it, but i think it is obvious that it might be some kind of message to the team. Unless of course things these things are changed back in the second practice.

  • Pace of O’Brien’s practice

The practice was said to have been with a much faster pace than what Kubiak would run. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect, if any practicing with a faster pace will have on  the team. Both Duane Brown and Ryan Fitzpatrick described the flow of practice as “very detailed”.