"I think I've done just as good as I thought I would," Cushing told reporters. "I mean, I had a lot of expectations for myself."
Texans GM Rick Smith has been impressed with what he's seen early on not only from Cushing, but the entire Houston rookie class.
"I like what I see so far," Smith said. "It's obviously very early and you have limited exposure so far, but I like the athleticism; I like the competitiveness of the group. I think the guys have come in and done a nice job of fitting in."
Cushing knows that although he's off to a solid start, his work is just beginning.
"I'm coming to a league with a bunch of guys that have played football for a while," the Texans first-round pick said. "They've played in and out, and I just have to come out here and play catch up right now. I thought I did alright and, like I said, the 31st (I need to) come back and just be full speed."
Rick Smith elaborated to reporters on what he likes from his top pick—
"The first thing is, he belongs. He does not stand out in a negative way. He made some plays and his size and athleticism showed up very quickly. He was able to get his hands on some balls and made some very nice plays as the OTAs progressed, so he looks like he's going to be a productive player for us."
Cushing's size and athleticism allowed him to be the first of the three highly touted USC
linebackers to be taken in the draft, and the second linebacker taken overall, behind Wake Forest
's Aaron Curry
. Cushing played all three linebacker positions, as well as defensive end and strong safety throughout his career with the Trojans.
"We push each other every single day and we love coming out here and competing," Cushing told Battle Red Nation in an exclusive interview before the draft when asked about the benefit of playing with two other great linebackers. "Just like the practice field back in Los Angeles. Just put us anywhere and we'll play."
It's doubtful that the Texans will be experimenting with Cushing at any positions but linebacker, but he is adjusting well and is prepared for whatever challenges are in store for him.
"I know my role," Cushing said. "They understand me; I understand they brought me to come in and play right away. That's something I'm expecting to do. I've been playing this game for a while now. I've done a pretty good job and I just hope to keep it up."
When the Texans selected Brian Cushing with the 15th overall pick in April's draft, a lot was expected of him. Each of the Texans previous first-round picks which include Duane Brown, Amobi Okoye, Mario Williams, Travis Johnson, Dunta Robinson, Andre Johnson, and David Carr have all seen meaningful playing time as rookies and Cushing is expected to follow suit.
When the Texans selected Brian Cushing, a lot was expected of him.