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The Houston Texans have released veteran linebacker Brian
Cushing.

Cushing J'Mon Moore
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 , who was a first-round pick in 2009, is the franchise's
all-time leader in tackles with 664, but his career has been marked by two
suspensions for violating the league's policy on performance enhancers.

Cushing was suspended for the first four games of 2010 after testing positive
for HCG, a fertility drug that is on the league's banned substance list. Cushing
had won 2009 Defensive Rookie of the Year, an honor which was jeopardized by the
suspension. He kept the award after a revote by The Associated Press' awards
panel.

His second suspension came in September and cost him 10 games. He appeared in
five games last season and finished with 16 tackles and 1陆 sacks.

Cushing has had several major injuries in his career and played 12 games
combined in 2012 and 2013 because of knee injuries and a broken leg. He missed
three games in 2016 because of a sprained knee ligament and sustained a
concussion in Houston's season opener against the Jaguars last season.

He had more than 100 tackles in three seasons, led by 133 in his rookie year,
and is fifth in franchise history with 42 tackles for losses. He also had 13陆
sacks, eight interceptions Patrick
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 , 30 passes defended, 57 quarterback hits, nine forced
fumbles and one safety in his nine seasons in Houston.

James Harrison is
headed back to the Super Bowl.

And he says the only thing he’s focused on is winning a third
championship.

Everything else is secondary for the 39-year-old Patriots linebacker, who is
thriving in his new role with the team that was once his rival.

”That’s the goal. To win the Lombardi (Trophy). There’s only one winner,”
Harrison said as he prepared to make his first trip to the Super Bowl since the
2008 season, when he captured his second ring with Pittsburgh.

He’s done talking about his abrupt departure from the Steelers last month and
the suggestions from his former teammates that it was Harrison who asked to be
released after complaints about playing time.

In a lengthy post on Instagram days after joining the Patriots, Harrison
responded directly to his critics, writing: ”If anybody thought I signed a
two-year deal with a team in the NFL at age 39 to sit on the bench and collect a
check and a participation trophy Travis
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 , they’re mistaken. I didn’t sign up to sit on the
bench and be a cheerleader.”

What’s not in dispute is that Harrison’s playing time decreased significantly
this season with the Steelers.

The Steelers’ sack leader with 80+ in 14 seasons in Pittsburgh, Harrison
appeared in just five games and played a total of 38 snaps for them this season.
He had only one sack. His five appearances were his fewest since his first
season in Pittsburgh in 2002.

After being released on Dec. 23, Harrison signed with New England in time to
play in the Patriots’ regular-season finale against the Jets. He had three
tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in his debut.

In one regular season and two playoffs games with the Patriots, he’s already
been on the field for 89 snaps.

”I’m doing whatever they ask me to do,” Harrison said. ”I’m getting more
snaps than I had (in Pittsburgh), and I like that.”

As to whether he has something to prove at this point in his career, he said
that has always been his mindset.

”Anything people say I can’t do Patrick
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 , I want to prove them wrong,” Harrison said.

He says it would be impossible for him to feel truly acclimated after just
three games, but he has an appreciation for the way the Patriots approach
things.

Safety Devin McCourty said Harrison’s work ethic has been noticeable.

”I think younger guys, a lot of younger guys on the team compared to him, can
learn from him,” McCourty said. ”I think we all saw that from Day 1 when he came
in here bright and early getting whatever he needs done.”

Coach Bill Belichick praised Harrison’s ability to handle the different
things they’ve asked of him.

”This guy is a professional. He’s into football. He’s into his job and wants
to do it well,” Belichick said. ”I, 100 percent totally respect that. That’s
what you want from everybody.”

Harrison started at outside linebacker in the AFC title game against
Jacksonville and is in line to start again alongside Kyle Van Noy and Elandon
Roberts against the Eagles.

Whatever happens Youth
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 , Harrison is secure in the decisions he’s
made.

”It feels good, but like I’ve said before, this is all God’s plan,” he said.
”This is all his doing. I’m just reaping the benefits of it right now.”

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