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While Cushing sits, Texans will shuffle linebackers for four weeks

The suspension of Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will have a domino effect on the rest of the team’s linebackers, with one starter changing positions and two backups vying for a starting spot for the first four weeks of the season.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that while Cushing serves his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, he is expected to be replaced as the starting strong side linebacker by Zac Diles, who will move from his customary spot as the starting weak side linebacker. Diles previously started on the strong side for the first eight games of 2008, until he was lost for the season with an injury.

The void created on the weak side by Diles moving to the strong side will be filled in a training camp competition, as veteran Xavier Adibi and rookie Darryl Sharpton will compete for Diles’ weak-side job. Adibi started five games in 2008 after Diles got hurt. The Texans took Sharpton out of Miami in the fourth round of the draft.

The Texans are also likely to add a veteran free agent linebacker to add some depth before training camp.

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10 Responses to “While Cushing sits, Texans will shuffle linebackers for four weeks”
  1. Dezone says: May 10, 2010 11:45 AM

    If Cushing and the rest of the Texans worked as hard as Andre Johnson they would be a playoff team every year.

  2. ToledoLions says: May 10, 2010 11:46 AM

    Even when Cushing comes back they will have to shuffle linebacker’s. Without the steroids he’ll have Shawn Merriman syndrome. He’ll probably get a serious injury getting off the roids too, again Shawn Merriman style.

  3. Krow says: May 10, 2010 11:47 AM

    I suggest signing Antonio Pierce. The only way he’d take a PED is if you wrapped it in bacon.

  4. Slow Joe says: May 10, 2010 11:53 AM

    The Texans must run their defense differently than a lot of 4-3s. In the Tampa 2, the most talented (and fastest) LB is put at the weakside, and generally makes a lot of plays. The strongside LB’s job is basically to eat up blocks. You’d never move your WLB to fill in at the SLB position. You’d just find someone else to eat up blocks.

  5. ItalianArmyGuy says: May 10, 2010 11:56 AM

    But the important question: which of the Texans linebackers is going to wear lipstick and look like a freaking ’80′s hair band wannabe while Cushing is suspended??

  6. Chiefs2010 says: May 10, 2010 12:10 PM

    if you’re looking for a 26 year old washed up former high schooll middle linebacker I’m ready..
    give me some juice and I’m good to go, and I’m adept at Microsoft Excel.

  7. CleanSlaton says: May 10, 2010 12:24 PM

    Zac Diles, Xavier Adibi, and of course, DeMeco Ryans are more than capable vets that will help shoulder the load in Brian Cushing for-the-pushin’s absence. Kevin Bentley and Darnell Bing are special teamers that are going to have to fill in a few snaps here & there. Cush won’t have to miss the pre-season, so I expect him to be inserted without missing a step after a month, albeit the toughest month of our season’s schedule.
    However, Shawne Merriman seems to be the player with the more obvious dependence on PED’s; Cushing came from a program that typically produces better pros than Maryland, although there does exist contradictory evidence[more trojans in the hall, that's my point]; Merriman flips out anytime someone insinuates anything about him or says something derrogatory [testosterone junkie]. Cushing is probably working his ass off to quell any rumors when he gets back. I just hope he lives up to our fans’ support and isn’t that crucial step slower. Hopefully the roids only made him angrier, not faster or stronger[sigh....yeah right].
    It takes PFT over a month to even talk about a Texan, and this is the bone that our fans get thrown. Thanks a pantload, Cush.

  8. pkrjones says: May 10, 2010 12:29 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see how effective Cushing is playing at a non-roid weight of 235 lbs.
    Suspension, injury, IR, frequent testing, washed-out after 2013 without a new contract.

  9. Redleg says: May 10, 2010 1:00 PM

    Give Al Davis a call…He might be willing to let Thomas Howard go relatively cheap (i.e. future draft pick).

  10. ben.there says: May 10, 2010 3:43 PM

    1. Kubiak has said that Diles is staying at WLB.
    2. Merriman had a monster year after his 4 game suspension.
    3. Cushing doesn’t have teased glam band hair, he cut all that off before training camp last year.

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