Tag:Brian Cushing
Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:43 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2010 11:46 pm

Odom says positive test 'wasn't steroids or PEDs'

Posted Will Brinson

Reports surfaced earlier -- starting with the awesomely named 'Nati blog Three Way Chili 'Nati -- that Antwan Odom was facing a four-game suspension for a positive test of a banned substance.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk confirmed the potentially looming suspension, but that might not have been necessary, as Odom himself tweeted a confirmation of a positive test earlier.
To my fans and teammates: Please don't believe the rumors. Yes I tested positive for a banned substance but it wasn't steroids or PEDs. More details to come but for now it's a league issue that's under appeal. Just know that I would never cheat to gain an edge in this game that I love. Don't lose your faith in me and please don't pass judgement based on vicious rumors until all the facts are known. Thank you for all your support I really need it now. I all of you, Antwan Yes, that does sound similar to Brian Cushing's situation, thanks for asking. Except that Odom's not waiting until the end of the year to discuss it. Guess he learned the lesson in terms of managing publicity and handling things before they get out of hand.

Odom's case should be interesting too, considering the Bengals play against the Patriots in Week 1. If the league is already looking into scheduling an appeal, Foxboro isn't that far from New York City.

And certainly since Odom has now taken the discussion of why he failed a test public, they won't want to allow him to play the entire season under scrutiny from the press, the public and opponents.

And the Bengals may want to get the suspension out of the way as well: following the Pats, they play the Ravens, but then get the Panthers, Browns and Buccaneers, the latter two being about as easy a set of games as anyone can get.

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Posted on: August 19, 2010 12:59 pm

NFL upholds the Cushing suspension

Posted by Andy Benoit

Texans owner Bob McNair went to bat for Brian Cushing, hoping he’d convince the league to overturn the star linebacker’s four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. No dice.

The league has upheld Cushing’s suspension, essentially saying they don’t believe his Overtrained Athlete Syndrome excuse.

The league issued this statement:

"At the request of Texans owner Bob McNair, Commissioner Goodell reviewed additional medical information presented on behalf of Brian Cushing. The club and Cushing were notified today that after carefully considering all the information, including a review by outside medical experts, the commissioner finds no basis for changing the decision and that Mr. Cushing's suspension for the first four games of the regular season remains in place."
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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 18, 2010 9:38 am

Hot Routes 8.18.10: We're very persistent, man

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to josh [dot] katzowitz [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

-I love this quote from new Seattle DL Kentwan Balmer on what happened in San Francisco during the past week: “You’re very persistent, man.” No explanation was forthcoming, though the Seahawks seemed pretty impressed with Balmer after his first practice with his new team. Props to the AP reporter for being persistent, though.

-One intriguing storyline for Saturday’s Baltimore-Washington preseason game (you just have to manufacture these storylines for the preseason, eh?) is the return of Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn to face the team he used to coach. He insists it won’t be awkward .

-The Bengals cut last year’s fourth-round pick, C Jonathan Luigs. The move is a little surprising , because Luigs was the top center in college football while at Arkansas. He’s battled some injuries this offseason, but he played half the season on special teams last year. He wasn’t going to replace starter Kyle Cook, but he seemed like a decent-enough backup.

-Todd Haley was asked about his physical training camps . “It’s all I know,” Haley said. Why is this interesting (or, at least, sort of interesting)? Physical training camps are less and less popular these days. Haley has come under fire on more than one occasion for having a confrontational, perhaps even disrespectful, demeanor towards veteran players. All we know is this: Larry Johnson would disapprove. Not to mention Jerry Jones.

-Could Texans fourth-round rookie Darryl Sharpton really be challenging Xavier Adibi for a starting linebacker job while Brian Cushing is out? Apparently, so.

-The NFL Network forgot to blackout the Bengals-Broncos game for some lucky Northern Kentucky viewers . D’oh. Les Vann, the local CBS affiliate’s VP and GM was less than pleased. “I cannot imagine how the league would have reacted if we had a ‘communication error’ and failed to black out the game.”

-Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel has a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t sound like a big deal . He’s not practicing this morning, though.

-Browns right guard Floyd Womack (some call him “Pork Chop”) is out for the rest of the preseason after getting his knee scoped.

-A player sitting out practice because of tightness in the lower back normally isn’t a cause for major concern … unless that player is Packers DE Justin Harrell.

-Raiders defensive end Jay Richardson is expected to miss the rest of training camp after knee surgery.
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Posted on: August 11, 2010 9:55 pm

Cushing is getting hard to believe

B. Cushing has the support of Houston's owner in his fight to overturn his four-game suspension (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I’m having a hard time believing Houston LB Brian Cushing’s latest explanation for his positive steroid test. First, he said it was caused by tumors. Now, he’s claiming it’s Overtrained Athletes Syndrome. But he has a strong advocate in his corner. Texans owner Bob McNair came out the other day in support of him, and to Cushing – who’s trying to get his four-game suspension overturned – that’s a big deal.

“It means a lot. That’s the kind of owner you really want to play for,” Cushing told the Houston media, as captured by the team’s official web site . "I’ve noticed and learned the last few months that I’m in a perfect situation with the owner. I couldn’t have been playing anywhere better in the world that supports me like this.

“He’s backed me 100 percent in everything. He’s believed in me since day one. They know the kind of worker I am, the kind of player. They take my trust. That means the world to me.”

It was interesting, though, to hear how he started off his answer when he was asked to explain OAS. “I think that’s the final diagnosis we came up with.” Yep, nothing sounds fishy when you begin an answer that way. He went on to say that many doctors have supported that claim, and he says he has the science to back it up.

CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman isn’t buying this story either. Read his first line, and you’ll be hooked (or really pissed): 
This week, the impossible happened. Just when you thought an athlete couldn't possibly get more self-absorbed, more ridiculous and less willing to take personal blame for his foibles, a man named Brian Cushing comes along.

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 5:13 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 8:18 pm

Goodell to review the Cushing case?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Interesting Tweet from Stephanie Stradley of the Houston Chronicle:

"Roger Goodell is on conference call w/ #Texans season ticket holders. Talking #Cushing-> Goodell says 'further evaluation of the facts."

We'll know later what this means, exactly. Cushing recently blamed his positive test on "Overtrained Athlete Syndrome" (which, apparently, is not a made-up medical disorder). Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Texans owner Bob McNair personally traveled to New York on Monday to persuade Roger Goodell to re-open the Cushing case. As Pro Football talk explains, this is highly unusual. McNair said in a team-issued press release: "I had a meeting with the league's medical staff and presented additional medical information about Brian Cushing. The doctors will review the information and we'll hear from them at a later date."

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:39 am

Cushing's excuse? 'Overtrained Athlete Syndrome'

Posted by Will Brinson

Last night, news leaked out that Texans owner Bob McNair was heading to the big city to visit Roger Goodell and plead his case for why his star linebacker, Brian Cushing, shouldn't miss four games of his sophomore season.

Cushing's excuse? According to an interview Peter King featured in Monday Morning Quarterback , it's "Overtrained Athlete Syndrome," which results, according to King, "from athletes training intensely for long periods of time, with the possibility of a testosterone imbalance resulting when the athlete stops training."


"Everything points to that overtrained athlete syndrome," Cushing said, walking back to the Texans' locker room after their afternoon practice. "I'm pretty sure it is. I'm pretty positive. I didn't take anything. It's not a tainted supplement. So all roads lead to that."

Worth noting here is that King seems to share my skepticism, pointing out that no one's tested as high for hCG as Cushing. Ever. But the Texans owner seems convinced, so there's that.

"He shows no sign of ever having been on steroids," McNair said. "His weight hasn't changed appreciably since he's been with us. I've looked into it pretty thoroughly, and I haven't found anything that would lead me to believe that he has ever taken a performance-enhancing drug."

Cushing also added that he's "well aware" that the average fan and/or viewing public won't believe that OAS is a real problem among athletes.

It's tough when you know what kind of discipline you have, and what kind of work ethic you have, and the whole world doesn't believe you, and is against you. It's frustrating. But I know that the quickest way to answer all of this is by production on the field,'' Cushing said.

He's correct. Sorry, but no one's buying that, right? People have been notoriously focused on the "Cushing/steroid" combo for quite some time now (since he was in high school !) and even though everyone was upset by the news that Cushing was allegedly on the juice, no one was that surprised.

Sure, Cushing's syndrome could be real and simply a result of him just working too darn hard. But so could my Time-Over-Time Aging Languidly Blogging Syndrome. Or as it's called in the medical profession, TOTALBS.

The point there is that if this is the best thing that McNair brings to the table in an effort to clear Cushing's name, you shouldn't expect to see any change in the four-gamer.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 10:29 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 11:11 pm

McNair meeting Goodell over Cushing suspension?

Posted by Will Brinson

Brian Cushing is scheduled to miss four games due to a suspension for violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing substances. Cushing's suspension caused quite the stir, as he claimed to have never taken HcG (a substance used to mask steroids) and re-won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year during a highly contested re-vote.

Texans owner Bob McNair apparently hopes to change Commissioner Roger Goodell's mind on the length of the suspension, though, and according to John McLain of the Houston Chronicle , he'll meet with him Monday to do just that.

The crux of McNair's argument (and Cushing's as it were) is that the elevated levels of HcG in Cushing's body are naturally occurring; it's a hormone that the body produces anyway, but high levels typically indicate either the possible presence of tumors or an attempt to mask steroids. Cushing has since been tested for tumors and none were found.

But even if McNair can provide evidence that Cushing been experiencing inflated levels of the hormone since he was initially tested, the possibility of Goodell actually cutting down the suspension seems like a pretty big stretch -- Goodell would be inviting further personal re-appeals of his authority in the future, and that's not something he wants to deal with.

The smarter move by McNair and Cushing would have been to take this positive PR stance before the suspension was announced, rather than much later.

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Posted on: July 25, 2010 12:31 pm

Texans' owner candid reference to David Carr

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle has a story about the love and admiration Texans owner Bob McNair has for second-year linebacker Brian Cushing. What strikes McNair most about Cushing is the linebacker’s passion for the game. Tucked into the piece is an attention-grabbing comment McNair makes about former Texans quarterback (and No. 1 overall pick) David Carr.

"Maybe in the case of David Carr, that was probably the one thing we overlooked," (McNair) said. "I think David enjoyed the game, but I don't think he has that real burning desire, that passion, that not only do I want to play, but I want to be the very best at this position. And I'll do whatever it takes to do it.”

The rest of the article focuses on McNair’s excitement for the 2010 Texans and his approach to the day-to-day side of being an owner. It’s worth reading .

-- Andy Benoit

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com