Cushing returns to form of old

September 22, 2011 5:55:52 PM PDT
Relaxed and healthy again, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing is showing the form that earned him the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2009.

His surgically repaired right knee is fully healed, and more significantly this year, Cushing hasn't had to answer the nagging questions about performance-enhancing substances that dogged him during training camp in 2010.

New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips says Cushing has been "a holy terror" in the first two games, and Cushing leads the team with 17 tackles. Defensive end Antonio Smith says Cushing had a calmer, quieter demeanor last season. So far this year, Smith says Cushing is back to his "crazy" self.

The Texans (2-0) play at New Orleans (1-1) on Sunday.

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