Skip to content

Brian Cushing: Defensive players have to be protected, too

Brian Cushing AP

The torn ACL suffered by Texans linebacker Brian Cushing when he was hit in the knee from behind by Jets guard Matt Slauson may have been the tipping point for a change in NFL rules to emphasize protecting the legs of defensive players. Cushing supports that.

Cushing would have preferred not to have to sacrifice his own ACL for the cause, but he told Albert Breer of NFL Network that he’s glad to hear the Competition Committee is focusing on the matter.

I’m happy they’re taking the initiative to look at this,” Cushing said. “To me, it’s an acknowledgement that defensive players have to be protected, too. I wasn’t the first guy to go down like this; there have been similar injuries. What happened, that’s a play that can be eliminated. You look at the play, it doesn’t need to be done. So for them to go back and really acknowledge that guys need to be protected, that’s moving in the right direction.”

Slauson’s block was actually already against the rules, and Slauson was fined $10,000. But an increased emphasis on protecting players’ legs, especially for players who are away from the ball and not looking, is overdue. And that emphasis is likely coming in 2013.

Permalink 23 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Houston Texans, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
23 Responses to “Brian Cushing: Defensive players have to be protected, too”
  1. texans3four says: Feb 21, 2013 1:49 PM

    Queue the “roids” comments in 1… 2… 3…

  2. ncs115 says: Feb 21, 2013 1:54 PM

    Defensive players don’t need to be protected according to Roger the Great. In 10 years he will make it so that defensive players won’t be allowed to run while the quarterback has the ball.

  3. raiderufan says: Feb 21, 2013 1:56 PM

    When the defensive players go from “let us play” to “protect us just as much” the times are a changin….

    I agree they need to be protected but this league is RACING towards two hand touch.

  4. herman23934 says: Feb 21, 2013 2:13 PM

    Don’t fine players for dirty play. Suspend them. Look at sports like rugby league in England and Australia. No messing about their. Cheapshots lead to bans.

  5. redwoodking says: Feb 21, 2013 2:15 PM

    Does anyone else think that getting paid millions of dollars playing a game is worth the sacrifice? They get paid insanely for that reason, because its dangerous. I don’t wanna pay $10 a beer and $100 a ticket to watch flag football. If they don’t like it, don’t play.

  6. bullcharger says: Feb 21, 2013 2:22 PM

    herman23934 says:Feb 21, 2013 2:13 PM

    Don’t fine players for dirty play. Suspend them. Look at sports like rugby league in England and Australia. No messing about their. Cheapshots lead to bans.

    ——————–

    Fully agree… stop with the fines, start with the suspensions and the dirty plays will stop almost immediately.

  7. nyyjetsknicks says: Feb 21, 2013 2:26 PM

    raiderufan says:
    Feb 21, 2013 1:56 PM
    When the defensive players go from “let us play” to “protect us just as much” the times are a changin….

    I agree they need to be protected but this league is RACING towards two hand touch.

    ____________________

    What do you expect the league to do when it’s facing a couple thousand people suing them?

  8. wrdtoyrmama says: Feb 21, 2013 2:33 PM

    I think Herman has it exactly right. Don’t fine ‘em, suspend them for cheapshots.

    And while Cushing has a point, I think the same could be made on the offensive side of the ball.

    How many times did Ray Rice get speared in the Super Bowl by some DB flying into the pile, helmet first, when his momentum had been stopped, yet he was not down on the ground?

    Players need to be educated, they’re playing a dangerous sport, and unnecessary roughness/contact should be met with suspensions and lost game checks.

  9. toddm1016 says: Feb 21, 2013 2:36 PM

    The perp should miss as many games as the victim.

  10. winninitall says: Feb 21, 2013 2:44 PM

    You want the NFL to protect defensive players, but what about defensive players protecting themselves from the long after math of using steriods?

  11. raiderufan says: Feb 21, 2013 2:55 PM

    I expect exactly what’s happening….I don’t have to like it.

  12. jibzek says: Feb 21, 2013 3:06 PM

    “How many times did Ray Rice get speared in the Super Bowl by some DB flying into the pile, helmet first, when his momentum had been stopped, yet he was not down on the ground?”

    Like every Raven defender?

    Haloti, Lewis, Ed Reed have made careers out of cheap head shots so save it.

  13. judsonjr says: Feb 21, 2013 3:18 PM

    They should protect the legs. It seems like everytime I see a defense player get hurt on a low block it’s because the O-lineman is too slow to get in position to lock the guy up.

    I hate a lot of the flags for incidental contact to the head, but this seems to be fine. You aren’t putting skirts on the guys, you could argue it’s making the game more physical. It’s your strength, speed, technique versus the other guy. It’s no longer, “well I’m over matched, guess I’ll dive at the legs”

  14. justintuckrule says: Feb 21, 2013 3:38 PM

    Like I said in an earlier post, let’s just throw flags when the play is LEGAL. I’m already conditioned to look for them after every play. There might as well be a positive connotation attached to them.

    My wife who’s trying to learn football said, “Why do they keep calling penalties against the team who keeps tackling the guy catching the ball? Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?” At that point, I figured it was just as easy to explain the birds and bees to my daughter than explain defenseless receiver to my wife so I said “I don’t know”, up and left the room.

  15. melikefootball says: Feb 21, 2013 3:55 PM

    Is this league falling aprt or what. I’m sorry no one has twisted one players arms to play and make millions of dollars and be set for live if and if you are smart. Stop playing if you feel so badly of the injuries, not going to happen. Been a huge fan of NFL since 1962 and this yer with all the garbage going on I have to say I actually lost interest in the game . Just make it a flag league and move on.

  16. jessejames182 says: Feb 21, 2013 4:17 PM

    I half heartedly agree that we shouldn’t treat the players like babies but some of the reforms I feel have us in mind. Yea we don’t want to see flag football but we also don’t pay to watch our franchise players go out for the season and all of a sudden have a useless team. You don’t want to buy a Ferrari have someone hit it with a corolla and then be forced to drive a prius while your sports car is in the shop. CAR METAPHOR FOR THE WIN.

  17. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 21, 2013 4:53 PM

    I know what many of you are saying and I agree with a lot of it. These guys get paid generational type of money and they know the consequences now and the overwhelming majority are ok with the risk/reward ratio.

    But some hits, like the hit that Cushing took, need to have consequences. When you dive at the back of guys knee, you need to be taken to task. Slausen got a $10k fine…. which was less than they fined Frank Gore for wearing his socks too low…

  18. thetooloftools says: Feb 21, 2013 4:59 PM

    These (pocket change) fines and 15 yard penalties are NOT working.
    If the NFL is serious about injuries and flagrant fouls, they need to remove a player for 15 mins. of playing time for a flagrant foul and kicked out of the game for “possible injury causing violations”
    such as hitting a defenseless receiver, malicious face mask, clip. ect.
    If it happens in the 4th qtr it’s an automatic 1 game suspension on top of being kicked out of the game.
    Also… no running starts on kickoffs. Why would you NOT do this? Don’t get rid of the kickoff, slow it down. Instead of doing the obvious, we are left with endless touch backs.
    Try making special teams really special? If you have the lead by 9 points, you have to kick off from your own 20.
    Nascar changes rules race to race and the NFL takes years to even make small adjustments.
    Still the best game ever though.

  19. myosin10 says: Feb 21, 2013 5:46 PM

    I’m fine with protecting defensive players from these low blocks but get rid of the defenseless WR flags. Part of the game is fear of getting hit. Also those garbage penalty a when a DL touches a QBs helmet.

  20. csilojohnson says: Feb 21, 2013 6:14 PM

    Sorry Cushing. You need the lawsuit first before you get any protection. Call your lawyer and tell him the NFL didn’t specify that continuous blunt trauma to the knees would cause any harm. Wait a year. Then the rules will be changed.

  21. whatjusthapped says: Feb 21, 2013 9:37 PM

    Hate to say it, but karma bite Cushing in the ass. Ya, it was a cheap shot to the knee that did him in but it was roids that got him Rookie of the Year honors.

    In the end, it kinda balances out.

  22. matthewcarlson1 says: Feb 21, 2013 9:37 PM

    Ummm… STEROIDS.

  23. justwannawinna says: Feb 21, 2013 9:46 PM

    Honestly let the guys play on both sides of tbe ball. On eaxh team i think they should enforce a waiver signing to sueing the laegue over previous injuries.
    We pay them as gladiators, thus there should be a sacrifice for the big money they get paid.
    I liked it better in the 80s people would get a 100 thousand bucks and work for it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!