What's up sports fans? It is my privilege and pleasure to introduce you to the newest member of the Kategorie H team. Chase is an avid sports fan and home town boy with a love of writing. When he's not piercing people in Tomball, he's watching any sports he can get his hands on, and today we're happy to expand the Kategorie H scope to our beloved Houston Texans. Check it out, give him some love and a big thanks for our first american football story here at Kategorie H!
Looks like the honeymoon is over, folks. Its been two years since steroids and our fair city were mentioned in the same sentence. (thanks, Roger) The latest culprit, Brian Cushing, isn't a 100 mph hurler at the tail end of his career though. He's the NFLdefensive rookie of the year and a leader on what many consider to be an up-and-coming defense.
Cushing led the team in tackles (134), tied for first in interceptions (4) with stand-out saftey Bernard Pollard, and finished second in the passes-defended category with 10. Tack on the two forced fumbles, five sacks, and an amazing judo-esque tackle for a saftey against Oakland, and you've got Ray Lewis style numbers. Unfortunately, those numbers aren't what people are talking about when they mention the Texans' first round pick of 2009. The focus has shifted to the four game suspension handed down by the NFL for testing posative for performance-enhancing drugs. Exactly what those drugs were has yet to be determined, but is that an excuse? The list of banned substances isn't written in Klingon or any other language that could be deemed indecipherable by the former USC student-athlete. Players are informed well before they ever step foot on the field that several over-the-counter items conatain these substances. Cushing swears up and down that what he took wasn't a steroid, but gives no explanation for what would have triggered the positive test. [ed. note: Since this article was written, it was revealed that the banned substance was a blood thinner.]
"I was substance-tested randomly by the NFL during the 2009 season. The results of those tests indicated the presence of a non-steroidal banned substance. The League acted to suspend me based on those results, which I challenged in my appeal of the suspension. I believe we presented compelling evidence during the appeal process to challenge the test results, and I disagree with and am disappointed by the suspension. Bound by the decision of the League, I regret the situation it presents to the Texans’ organization, my teammates, and our fans. My dedication to a championship season in 2010 continues undeterred."
This isn't the first time that Cushing's name has been associated with PEDs, either. The allegations started in high school and followed him through his college career. What has yet to be determined is whether it was another case of "oops, i took what?" or simply an athlete trying to gain an edge. Cushing's rookie campaign was marred with injuries that kept him off the practice field later in the season. So its not entirely out of line to question whether this situation is a one time fluke, or something thats been going on a while. Cushing's body could have simply not been able to deal with the NFL's tough 16-game schedule.
One thing that is certain is that he will be sorely missed. With Dunta Robinson gone, the Texans are going to need equal help from both their veterans, and the fresh crop of recent draftees. Of the nine players the Texans drafted, four are defensive players, and one, Darryl Sharpton, is a linebacker. While no one is expecting Sharpton to match the numbers that Cushing put up, it might be interesting to see how well he can compete for a starting job. The job in question is the weak side linebacker position that will be vacated by Zac Diles. [Ed. Note, Since this article has been written, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak has been quoted saying Diles is only one consideration, that the team hopes to leave him as the weak side linebacker.] Diles is moving to strong side during the four game string (against Indianapolis, Washington, Dallas and Oakland) and will need help from DeMeco Ryans and the rest of the defense to make up for the loss.