Former LB to work as a strength coach and help with the defense

Report: Cushing returns to Texans as coach

Brian Cushing
Tim Warner/Getty Images

One of the most popular and polarizing Texans in the team's history will return to the franchise as a coach.

Cushing has long been heralded for the way he approaches his body and workouts. Many Texans over the years have praised his work ethic in the weight room as well as his dedication to the supplements and nutrition necessary to have his body operate at a high level.

Cushing played in nine seasons with the Texans playing in 109 games totaling 696 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and nine interceptions. He was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 as well being elected to the Pro Bowl the next year. He had two seasons derailed by injury with the Texans. In 2012 he tore his ACL. The next year he broke his leg.

His second and last season in football were marred by violations of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Cushing missed four games in 2010 and 10 games in 2017. Cushing and the Texans pursued a reduction of the suspension in 2010 claiming Cushing violated the policy due to a rare condition called overtrained athlete syndrome. It even went as far as Bob McNair meeting with Roger Goodell pleading his case.

Cushing has always maintained his innocence during the suspensions. In 2018 on former teammate Arian Foster's podcast Cushing said he was blindsided by his failure early in his career. He also said on his second failure a supplement he took that was allowed by the NFL turned into another banned substance in his body.

When asked by Foster if he had ever "juiced," aka taken steroids, Cushing said no and believed it would be very hard due to the amount of testing in the NFL to blatantly cheat.

Cody's Take

People are going to lose their mind about a guy who was accused of cheating is helping with the strength program. That's silly. Cushing isn't introducing anything new these players couldn't get if they didn't already want it. His process of beating it, if that's what happened, doesn't work so no reason to cry foul about him helping them hide it either. He's always had an idea for what it takes in the weight room to be successful and players loved working out with him. He is also heralded as one of the better football minds from the linebacker position in Texans history so his contributions there can only help.

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Duran leads the AL to victory! Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Speedy Jarren Duran describes himself as a player who keeps his head down, works hard and never thinks of himself as being better than anybody else.

Duran turned some heads in his first All-Star Game, hitting a tiebreaking two-run homer for the American League and being awarded the MVP trophy named after Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams.

“That's an honor. Who else would I want to try to follow in the footsteps of besides a guy like that, who is not just a great baseball player but a great human being,” Duran said after becoming the fifth Red Sox player selected All-Star Game MVP. “That guy was awesome, and I’m honored to be able to have his award.”

The decisive homer came in the fifth inning Tuesday night as the AL beat the National League 5-3 for its 10th win in the past 11 All-Star Games.

Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes pitched a hitless first for the NL, twice hitting 100 mph, and Shohei Ohtani also went deep in Texas with a three-run homer for a 3-0 lead in the third.

Juan Soto hit a two-run double and scored on David Fry’s single to tie the score in the AL third, and Duran went deep off Cincinnati’s Hunter Greene.

“It’s a surreal moment. So I’m just thankful to be here,” said Duran, who was one of 39 first-time All-Stars this year.

Oakland right-hander Mason Miller got the win after throwing a 103.6 mph pitch, the fastest in the All-Star Game since tracking began in 2008. Hard-throwing Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase struck out two in the ninth for the save.

The 22-year-old Skenes, who has pitched only 11 big league games since being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last July, became the first rookie starter since 1995 and had the fewest games played for any player to make an All-Star team. The right-hander threw a hitless first, with a two-out walk to Soto before his Yankees teammate Aaron Judge grounded into a forceout on the next pitch.

Skenes threw 11 of 16 pitches for strikes, with seven fastballs up to 100.1 mph.

“Frankly, I wish I’d had a few more pitches to do that today,” said Skenes, who has a good mix of pitches to go with the hard stuff. “It’s cool to bring eyes to the game.”

Ohtani, who has gone deep 29 times in the first season of his record $700 million, 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, pulled a 400-foot drive to right off Tanner Houck. That came after the Boston right-hander allowed singles to the first two batters he faced: No. 9 batter Jurickson Profar and leadoff hitter Ketel Marte.

“I haven’t really hit well in the All-Star Game, so I’m just relieved that I put the ball in play,” Ohtani said. “I just focused on having a regular at-bat as if I was in the regular season.”

When Ohtani went against Miller in the fifth, he struck out on an 89.2 mph slider well inside and out of the strike zone. That was after twice taking strikes on fastballs of more than 100 mph.

Ohtani’s first All-Star homer made him the first Dodgers player to go deep in the Midsummer Classic since Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza in 1996. Eleven days after his 30th birthday, Ohtani was an All-Star for the fourth time — his first with the NL.

Baltimore’s Anthony Santander, after taking over for Soto in right field, had a two-out single in the fifth before Duran’s 413-foot homer to right-center after he had replaced Judge in center. Duran took a 95.9 mph fastball before going deep on an 86 mph splitter.

“I knew he threw really hard so I was just praying he would throw me a first pitch fastball so I could see how hard it was. After that, I was hoping to get a pitch up,” Duran said. “He happened to leave a pitch up. I happened to put a good swing on it.”

The last Red Sox player to be the All-Star MVP was J.D. Drew in 2008, following Pedro Martinez in 1999, Roger Clemens in 1986 and Carl Yastrzemski in 1970.

Duran was voted by his peers as an All-Star after being the first AL player to go into the break with at least 100 hits, 10 triples, 10 homers and 20 stolen bases.

The AL has a 48-44-2 record in the All-Star Game, and had won nine in a row before the National League's 3-2 victory last year in Seattle.

AL starter Corbin Burnes arrived in Texas the morning of the game after spending time at home with his newborn twin daughters. The Baltimore right-hander allowed a walk and then a two-out double to Bryce Harper before getting out of his inning on a comebacker by William Contreras, his catcher last season in Milwaukee.

After his underhand toss of the ball to first base, Burnes had a big smile on his face when he kept jogging and wrapped his arm around Contreras on the baseline.

Quick game

Played in 2 hours, 28 minutes, it was the shortest All-Star Game since 1988, a game that the AL won 2-1 in Cincinnati that took only two minutes less.

Won in both leagues

Bruce Bochy of the host Rangers became the first manager to win World Series titles and All-Star Games in both leagues. Bochy is now 2-3 as an All-Star manager, leading the NL to a win in 2011. He won the World Series three times with the NL's San Francisco Giants in 2010, 2012 and 2014, then led the Rangers to their first championship in his debut season with them last year.

Up next

The MLB regular series resumes Friday when 14 games are scheduled, with Milwaukee and Minnesota the only teams that won’t play until Saturday. Philadelphia (62-34) has the best record in the majors and Cleveland (58-37) has an AL-best .611 winning percentage, though Baltimore and the New York Yankees also have 58 wins.

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