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USC LB Brian Cushing ?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by scott99, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. scott99

    scott99 Rookie

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    I've seen some mocks showing Brian Cushing going around the #25 range, if he were there @ 23, would you like seeing the Pats take him ? I would love to see him and Mayo terrorizing the NFL for years to come. Obviously, my feelings are that DB is more of a need, or maybe even OL, but I think Cushing can be a stud.
  2. Patdown93

    Patdown93 Rookie

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    I dunno. He seems like a roider to me.
  3. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd pass on him at #23 whether it was for another position or other LB choices.
  4. D-Money

    D-Money Rookie

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    I rather move up and see if we can get Rey Maluaga.I want him.
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Don't want Cushing. Too injury prone, steroid questions. Flailed at ILB when Rey was out. I just see much better options available elsewhere.

    Don't know if I went Maualuga at #23. He's an intimidating physical presence who would complement Mayo well at SILB, but at #23 I think we may have bigger needs to address. Not sure he is smart enough to pick up the Pats' complex scheme well. There are enough issues about his lateral mobility, coverage, and tackling (not hitting, tackling) to make me feel less than enthusiastic about him, but I'm not sure.
  6. D-Money

    D-Money Rookie

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    I dont know about that.Rey is always around the ball and the play.He moves well from sideline to sideline.
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Which is to the point, he has speed and uses it, but watching a replay of the Rose Bowl whenever an OL got a fingernail on him he was out of the play. Perhaps he can learn to play NE ILB, but I'd rather look at a SLB or DE who are used to engaging blockers and develop them at SILB.

    As for Cushing, he's an option, but I've got more question marks than answers with him.

    Mayock was singing the praises of Clint Sintim during this morning's Senior Bowl practice and stated his belief that Sintim could move to 4-3 SLB in the NFL with no problems...which is why he's my Stewart Bradley ca. 2009. After Mayock's remarks, Sintim has retaken the lead on my #23 list.
  8. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    I'd prefer to steer clear of current USC products........for the most part, success has been relativley poor in the NFL with regards to where they've been drafted
  9. tombonneau

    tombonneau Rookie

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    On the offensive side of the ball, yes; on defensive side, no. Last two highly drafted LBs were Rivers (looked great pre-injury) and Tatupu.
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Rivers was passed over in favor of Mayo and then did well in another 4-3 system. Tatupu is a great kid playing in the right system in Seattle. I'll take half of tank's point and say I don't want the USC LBs for NE's system, though Matthews late second or later would be worth it for OLB development.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  11. mesoslo

    mesoslo Rookie

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    Scouting The Draft: Brian Cushing & Clay Matthews - CBSSports.com Message Boards

    I like the fact that he can play in both4-3 and 3-4, and also line up as a DE. He can tackle, and hits hard with intimitdation. He can get penetration on TEs, which means his ability to shed a TE block should be good. Once he is blocked he does show a lot of aggressiveness. He is not easily fooled, and also drop in coverage.
    As for his injuries. For a guy who hits hard and brings his body through a tackler, a shoulder injury would be common. As for the ankle injury its probally because of his ability to change direction very well. His injuries are probally a result of his aggressive play.

    Iam willing to risk his injury factor.
  12. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    I think Cushing is the most complete of the SC LB. He went to High School 20 min. away from me and Ive gone to Defranco's (his gym). Everything you see on the NFL network about him is true. He is one of the hardest workers Ive ever seen. At the same time he is a bit of a workout warrior. I think he could be an impact player for us either inside or outside. I think he is best as a 4-3 Sam though.
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Cushing's a tough one. He doesn't have great length (short arms) and hasn't shown elite pass-rushing skills, but has excellent power, tackles well, and is the one of the three USC LBs I'd trust grappling with blockers. All of that says ILB rather than OLB to me, but he didn't look comfortable playing inside. That makes him every bit as much a conversion project as the DE-->OLB guys, and at the spot where we'd probably have to take him I'd rather roll the dice on an explosive pass rusher.
  14. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    Injury prone i agree with failing at ILB I could disagree but we will leave that for later. Steroids? Every time I see anything about Cush and steroids. I ask from where do you hear this and why do you believe them?
  15. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Rookie

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    Cushing has played DE, OLB, ILB, and Safety. He played the Elephant position at SC which is basically what a New England 3-4 OLB does pass rushing wise. He isnt really a conversion project because of this and because his true position at SC was OLB. So he has plenty of experience rushing the passer and playing in place. Usually a conversion has no or very little exp playing in space and having to deal with various coverage assignments.
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No specific reports, but any football player with his degree of overly developed and defined muscles scares me a bit. I had the same concern with Vernon Gholston, though to a lesser degree. Much (or even all of it) could be the product of being a weight room fanatic, but that degree of muscularity raises concerns for me - plus I personally feel that such overly bulky players often lack flexibility and fluidity and don't do nearly as well as their muscles would suggest.

    As an aside, the medical parlance for someone who looks like their on steroids is "Cushingoid" (after Sir Harvey Cushing, the early 20th century neurosurgeon).

    Again, no specific report. Just an uneasy feeling.
  17. BadMoFo

    BadMoFo Rookie

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    So would someone with a little flabbier physique make you feel any better? If any prospect is on steroids it would've been discovered by now. This isn't the 70s, or 80s, or whenever the NFL's steroid era was.
  18. mesoslo

    mesoslo Rookie

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    This scout profile from new era scouting says he gas long arms and can rush well to the outside. He still is developing pass rusher, but he does have the motor and work ethic to help him learn.

    http://www.newerascouting.com/profiler/viewprofile.php?id=200
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  19. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    At the Senior Bowl weigh-in Cushing's arms were 31 3/4". Here's a comparative height listing using the Senior Bowl heights, including Cushing, with arm lengths listed. He's a bit on the short side.

    6'4"
    - Barwin 33"
    - Ayers 32 1/2"
    - Cushing 31 3/4"
    - Matthews 32"
    6'3"
    - Sidbury 35"
    - Sintim 33"
    - Cody Brown 33 3/4"
    - English 32 1/2"
    6'2"
    - Maualuga 31 5/8"
    - McKillop 31 3/4"
    - Vaughn 31 1/2"
    6'1"
    - Moore 31 3/4"
    6'
    - Delmas 31 3/4"
    - Patrick Chung 31"
    - Mickens 31 1/2"
    5'11"
    - Darius Butler 31 3/4"
    5'10"
    - Lankster 30 1/2"
    5'9"
    - Alphonso Smith 31"
  20. mesoslo

    mesoslo Rookie

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    What I really like about cushing is his versatility and strength. Now Iam not a defensive coach, but the way I see it, during defense, you react to the offense, so I want my players to be able to be good in as many areas of the field as possible. If the play is to the inside middle of the field, I want my ILB to be good at that area, I want my OLB to be good at that area also, this way my OLB can make a play and make an impact to that situation/play.
    If an OLB is not good at playing inside, chances are when he tries to may a play on the inside he will flop.
    Football is a team game, so maybe the a ILB makes a good play and then its the job of a OLB who can play inside to complete the play, or you need an OLB to make a good play on the inside this way the star ILB can put on that huge hit for a fumble. I want my OLB to be able to perform on areas of the field that is usually ocupied by a DE.

    Maybe USC linebackers are great because they play like a team, and the guys who play on the outside help out the guys who play on the inside.
  21. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hmm...in my post I explained why I saw him as an ILB, not an OLB for the Patriots. So you countered with info on how "his true position at SC was OLB" and so he wasn't a conversion project for OLB at all. So I guess we actually agree. :)

    Again, Cushing doesn't approach the length of any OLB on the Patriots roster. (He gives up 4 1/2 inches to Crable.) And he wasn't a dominant pass rusher in college. I see him as a better fit long-term inside, but also as a risky choice when you project that position change.
  22. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FWIW...

    Many people point to a photo of Cushing's physique at one point that suggested steroid side-effects. For me, though, the troubling report is that his transformation from skinny kid to muscle-bound hulk didn't take place over 5 years of college conditioning like Matthews...it took place suddenly between his sophomore and junior years of high school. Cushing was dogged by a "roider" reputation before he even hit USC.

    It was also widely reported that scouts at the senior bowl were agog at Cushing's ongoing nutritional program involving thousands of dollars worth of specialized supplements every month. The term "manufactured athlete" constantly hangs around him.

    For some, this will read as a positive -- he's doing everything possible to be the best he can be. Others will point to his major history of soft-tissue injuries, which is one of the risks of "manufactured athletes." And still others will call him a classic workout warrior.
  23. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Cushing did also have gynecomastia (male breat enlargement) and other signs consistent with steroid use early on at USC, which have largely resolved. He may have used steroids at one time and then caught up with his weight work. This is all pure speculation.
  24. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This on Cushing from his pro day yesterday from Nolan Nawrocki and Todd McShay.

    First, from Nawrocki: "Cushing, closely being eyed by New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton, appeared a bit 'overtrained,' according to one evaluator, but overall, based on his body of work, was said to be the 'safest' of the Trojans’ linebackers."

    NFL Draft - NFL draft preview and analysis from Pro Football Weekly

    Next, from McShay: "Cushing displayed impressive quickness and explosiveness but showed tightness in his hips during coverage drills. That is a bit of a concern because he came off the field a lot on third down in college and there are questions about whether he will be a three-down linebacker at the next level."

    QB Mark Sanchez, ILB Rey Maualuga answer questions at USC pro day - ESPN
  25. BadMoFo

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    Couldn't he just let his fingernails grow out? ;)
  26. mesoslo

    mesoslo Rookie

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    DE jason taylor can also play LB, I dont know how well his cover skills are, but Iam speculating that Cushing, might be a Jason taylor mold. Would it be far fetch to compare cushing to a young Jason taylor?
  27. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Jason Taylor who's a lanky 6'6" and who started for both the football and basketball teams in college, and who averaged as many sacks per year in college as Cushing has totaled in his career? I honestly don't see the resemblance.
  28. mesoslo

    mesoslo Rookie

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    Well he doesnt have the sack numbers that jason taylor has, but that could be dependent on how his college coach used him on the field. True, if he was a great pass rusher, chances are a coach will use him to pass rush so the fact that his sacks totals are not stellar it doesnt bold well for his pass rushing skills.
    Jason taylor's natural position is DE, and a DE plays closer to the line than an OLB, so even on non pass rushing plays, the DE still has a better chance of recording a sack than compared to a OLB.
    If cushing has the raw talent and athletic ability to be a good pass rusher for an OLB, his sack numbers might be a lot better in the NFL.
  29. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    I think Cushing would be a solid pick in the third round.

    Incidently, that's a full round higher than I have his LB running mates.
  30. Box_O_Rocks

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    With his injury history? :eek: A chipped nail could put him out or weeks! :p
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