Kubiak calls Cushing injury “a big blow,” won’t call block dirty

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Texans coach Gary Kubiak confirmed today that linebacker Brian Cushing has suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

“It’s what we thought, obviously, he tore his ACL and we lost him for the year, and he’s going to have surgery in probably two or three weeks when the swelling goes down,” Kubiak said at his press conference. “It’s a big blow for our team. You feel so bad for Brian, because he’s worked so hard, he’s playing so well, he’s the leading tackler on our team.”

Cushing was hit in the knee from behind by Jets guard Matt Slauson on a play that many Texans fans and members of the Houston media have decried as dirty. But Kubiak declined to get into all that, saying “cutting is part of football” but stopping short of directly answering whether the cut block from behind that Slauson performed crossed the line.

“That’s in the league’s hands,” Kubiak said. “It doesn’t change the fact that we’re sitting here today having to deal with losing a heck of a player. I’m more concerned with that.”

Kubiak expressed confidence that backup linebacker Tim Dobbins will play well in assuming Cushing’s spot in the starting lineup. And he expressed confidence that Cushing will work hard and return to the field as strong as ever.

“Brian’s got a brilliant future ahead of him,” Kubiak said.

But that future begins with the 2013 season.

43 responses to “Kubiak calls Cushing injury “a big blow,” won’t call block dirty

  1. Kubiak smart to steer clear from criticizing the ‘cut block’ that ended Cushings season, considering that cut blocking is what the Texans’ offense is all about

  2. As a Jet fan, I don’t like the block and never liked cut blocks. I think the league should crack down on it.
    However, there is a reason that he will not and cannot call the block dirty. It’s because his zone blocking scheme specializes in cut blocks and defenders screamed about it for years with his teams (Texans and Broncos). He is not is a position to critique this block

  3. If Kubiak won’t call it dirty… I will.

    It was illegal, dirty, and should be fined and suspended.

    Before you all start telling me that the Texans use cut blocks all the time, this was not a cut block. This was clip from behind. It should have been flagged as clipping.

    The flag nor any fine or suspension does anything though to fill the void in the middle of our defense now though. Run defense already suspect and now maybe a downright weakness.

  4. Its to bad no one was really talking about this last night! They were still trying to talk to Rex at his Presser about Sanchez and Tebow! How does the head coach Kubiak or even Watt not get any pub on Monday night after the game for a 5-0 team but talk to a trash 2-3 team? No interview for Kubs or Watt from the winning coach?

  5. Of course it was dirty. He wasnt even near the play, not to mention he wasnt looking. Credit Kubiak for not whining like a packer. Also shows the character of the Jets players and coaching staff. What goes around comes around, so hopefully they continue to get theirs.

  6. Umm first off, Kubiak didn’t label it dirty.

    Secondly, this was a block from a less athletic player (Slausen) who had no agle for a proper cut block so he went from behind and shredded Cushings knee.

    I agree that cut blocks are more dangerous than normal blocking but when done correctly they are very effective and quite safe. This was anything but!

  7. That wasn’t close to a legal hit. Helmet was not in front of the defender, he was well behind and to the side. The reason those hits aren’t legal is precisely because they force the leg and knee to move unnaturally side-to-side causing the type of damage we see with Cushing.

    Dirty play.

  8. There’s a difference between zone blocking a guy who’s facing you and cutting a defender from behind. Slausons did the latter

  9. When I read the headline I was ready to criticize how the whole Texans blocking scheme relies on cuts and low blocks but everyones already done it for me

  10. Cut blocking is one thing… slamming into a guys knees from behind is called clipping, and it has been illegal for a LONG time.

  11. Am I the only one who saw the replay? The initial hit was to Cushing’s thigh which is legal. Only when Cushing got upended did the Slauson’s helmet come into contact with Cushing’s knee and cause the injury. I’m not a fan of that kind of low block because although legal, could lead to injury, which it did. But just because the Houston media thinks the play was dirty doesn’t mean it was.

  12. “A big blow” is probably the wrong message to send to the team. As a Texans fan, I know there is depth at ILB with Tim Dobbins and Bradie James as capable starters while Mister Alexander is a capable backup. Brian Cushing is a good player but he does not make every tackle for the Texans.
    Injuries are part of football so I will not waste time talking about whether or not it was a dirty block. I would have preferred if Matt Slauson was in front of Brian Cushing instead of coming from behind him but that does not change the status of the injury. A zone blocking scheme should not be illegal as it is used by alot of teams like Army, Georgia Tech and many others professional and college teams. Mike Hemmindinger used it in Tennessee with Chris Johnson before his unfortunate death. Regardless of your viewpoint, zone blocking is a legal part of football. Let’s focus on the depth on the roster and on the Packers. Go Texans.

  13. The Houston guys on here defending their type of “clean” cut blocks is laughable. All of their cut blocks are clean. Their guys never miss a mark or go low.

    I understand their mad because of their loss and I wish that it didn’t happen. However, the Texans cut more than anyone so please stop rationalizing you “clean” cut blocks

  14. If this kind of hit were regularly done to QB’s, it would have been eliminated from the NFL even before ‘The Tom Brady’ rule was even conceived.

    But, it’s “just” Linemen and Linebackers, so the league just lets it go.

    P.S. I’m not a Jets or Texans fan, just an NFL fan. Not that it should matter.

  15. A lot of ignoramuses posting on here.

    Cut blocking is a LEGAL NFL block between where the tackles line up and 3 yards on either side of the line of scrimmage. This block occurred about 4 yards to the outside of the tackles. That makes it ILLEGAL. Get it, yet? Stop all the misinformation. If you don’t like the legality of cut-blocking, don’t blame the Texans, Redskins, Raiders, etc. Blame the league.

  16. Whoever mentioned the Texans offense utilizing cut blocks themselves is right. It’s been Kubiak’s offensive MO back to his years with the Broncos with Shanahan.

  17. This is the only actual injury to a player on the team facing the Jets where I’d say it’s dirty. I’m not a fan of cut blocking at all and even with cut blocks being legal this one is pretty dirty.

    And before the “hurr hurr Jets bounty hot sauce” morons show up, if the team was instructed to deliberately hurt a player, why not go after Watt, who easily beat our offense over the head all night? It was just a stupid play by Slauson.

  18. I’m sure Cushing will get back on the PEDS and heal very quickly. Oh, wait – he wasn’t doing PEDS when he was suspended. It was just from working out too hard. LMAO

  19. Watch now as the 11 remaining teams on the Texans’ roster secretly breathe a Cushing-sized sigh of relief, all-the-while expressing their genuine sympathy that no one wants a player to be hurt this way.

    Yes, the Texans use legal cut-blocking schemes, as do many of the other elite teams in this League. Yes, Cushing was illegally chop-blocked. Yes, the refs missed the call.

    And YES, the lineman should be fined and/or even suspended for this heinous act.

    You’ve ruined this man’s season, and put a potentially massive dent in his career. And there should be more hell to pay than just being shamed on sports blogs for 24 hours.

  20. Kubiak may not call this block “dirty” but ANYONE who watched it WILL. There was absolutely NO REASON what so ever to throw that block that way. Cushing was hardly even in the play, a simple shove would’ve been more than enough.

    Also, Good on Clay Mathews for calling out the NFL on this. He tweeted about how the league “protects players…” yet they only seem to be offensive players. This cut blocking that goes on is ridiculous. There is absolutely no place for cut blocks anywhere other than right on the line of scrimmage. Linemen on linemen anywhere else it should be outlawed and further more anything anywhere near the side or behind should be taken as seriously as a hit on a defenseless receiver. Since, in Cushing’s instance he could not protect himself from this type of block. Something needs to be done other than this “with in 3 yards of line of scrimmage..” and “not when engaged by another player..”, its just NOT enough protection for these guys.

  21. Does it really matter if he is blocked from the front or the back? You can blow a guys knee out just the same. Chop blocking should be band but the NFL knows all to well that high scoring games attract fans, so they continue to bend the rules in favor of the offense even if it comes at the expense of players health.

  22. Zone blocking ur facing the o lineman u see it coming… Getting cut from behind n at the knees u have no chance.. Dirty is all there is to say..

  23. dwheel79 says:
    Oct 9, 2012 6:43 PM
    Zone blocking ur facing the o lineman u see it coming… Getting cut from behind n at the knees u have no chance.. Dirty is all there is to say..

    Cutting from behind is legal. Check the rules.

  24. Come on, does anyone here believe that if the guy who’s year was ended by this was named Aaron Rodgers or one of the Manning Brothers instead of Brian Cushing, that the NFL wouldn’t move to change the rule?

    They’d act faster than they did after that Monday Night Football call with the Replacement officials.

  25. In zone blocking linemen are not going in the opposite direction of the end zone they are trying to get to, as Slauson was.

    I bet Cush wishes Slauson had put an effective, legal cut block on him instead of an illegal clip.

    Dirty? I don’t know what Slauson’s intentions were so I can’t say. Stupid, illegal – yep. Fair to compare to the Texans legal blocks? Nope.

  26. Reading over these comments it is clear that no one bothers to actually look up what the rules are before running their mouth.

  27. We know that steroids have long term health effects any affect muscle growth. I was wondering if any of those affects could make this kind of injury more likely?

  28. Did Gruden actually say that Wade Phillips is heading to the Hall of Fame, or was I just wasted?

  29. Cutting from behind is legal. Check the rules.


    Must be a replacement ref, it’s only legal in certain circumstances (as the linked article by Jerome Solomon points out). This wasn’t legal. Period.

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