HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER BRIAN CUSHING JOINS VIA SATELLITE
NEW YORK (Nov. 16, 2011) –On this week’s episode of INSIDE THE NFL, Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing joins Phil Simms and James Brown via satellite and talks about the vast improvement of the Texans defense under Wade Phillips and his impressions on Matt Leinart taking over for the team’s recently injured quarterback Matt Schaub. Host Brown, Simms, Cris Collinsworth and Warren Sapp discuss the performance of contract-awaiting players like DeSean Jackson and Peyton Hillis. Plus, INSIDE THE NFL breaks down the Dallas Cowboys’ situation as quarterback Tony Romo continues to heal. The episode premieres tonight, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
INSIDE THE NFL, now in its 33rd season, airs every Wednesday night through the NFL season on SHOWTIME for a total of 23 episodes, with multiple replays each week on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME EXTREME® and availability on SHOWTIME On Demand.
INSIDE THE NFL is produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films. The executive producers are CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and NFL Films President Steve Sabol. Pete Radovich Jr., the Emmy Award-winning Creative Director for CBS Sports, serves as coordinating producer.
Following are excerpts from this week’s episode:
On Matt Leinart taking over for injured quarterback Matt Schaub…
CUSHING: It’s tough losing Matt [Schaub]. There’s no question about it. He’s a great leader and a great football player. But if anyone has to come in and step up in that role, I’m very happy with Matt Leinart coming in. He’s a former teammate, now coming back again with a different team. I’m excited. I’m thrilled about the things he can bring. He’s a confident guy. He’s a good quarterback and I think he’s going to resurrect his career this year.
On switching from outside to inside linebacker…
CUSHING: In the off-season, from day one, he came in and told me I was going to be a middle linebacker. Growing up, college, high school, I’ve always been an outside linebacker so I was kind of unsure and unclear about that. But he told me to put trust in him and obviously I did with his background and his resume, the years he’s coached and the success he’s had. I completely believe in him. He showed me what he was going to do and said I was going to bring a lot of pressure and really be the leader of the defense. That’s a role he’s put me in and I’ve accepted it.
On the performance of players awaiting more lucrative contracts…
SAPP: Peyton Hillis is not a professional coming to work. You come to work and tell people, “I have a strep throat. I’m going home.” And you’re out throwing 50-yard bombs with the third-string quarterback? Guys are going to question that because if you can throw a ball 50 yards, I want you to run it 50 yards.
COLLINSWORTH: [The Eagles] also have the issue of having DeSean Jackson look around and going, “…Vince Young isn’t even on the field out there and he is getting paid all this money – and you don’t have any money for me? I’ve been making the plays that have made the Philadelphia Eagles good over the past three years and you’ve got no money for me? Are you kidding me?”
SIMMS: When you’re an NFL player, there’s always a concern, ‘Will I ever get paid, you know, that one contract that’s going to make it?’ And I always say this, ‘You’ve got to have personal success on the field first. Then you’ve got to get the money. And then I’ll be a team player.’ I’m serious because when you play well, and even though your team is doing well, you’re going, ‘Hey, is it ever going to happen for me? Is the timing ever going to be there where I can get that paycheck that can really – I hate to say it – make [me] happy?’
On the teams in Texas…
COLLINSWORTH: The story that nobody is talking about is Wade Phillips. Wade Phillips’ defense sort of fell apart in Dallas. People were writing him off, ‘This is going to be terrible.’ They sign him in Houston and people are like, ‘Why are you going to sign him? His defense in Dallas wasn’t any good at all.’ [The Texans are now] the No. 1 defense after being a joke in this league for about the last four or five years.
SIMMS: I think the Cowboys – when you look at them – be careful. There are a lot of things that I really like about the team. Tony Romo healthy – I don’t care if you agree or disagree with me – but when Tony Romo is healthy, he is a top flight NFL quarterback. He can move and he can make the throws.
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