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2013 Houston Texans Training Camp Player to Watch: Brian Cushing

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Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans feel they are ready to contend for a Super Bowl in 2013, and they sure have the defense to get them there. Signing future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed this offseason was another fantastic addition to an already elite unit.

In 2012, the Texans defense played 11 games without one of their most important pieces in linebacker Brian Cushing. The fifth year pro out of USC tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) last season and has now been cleared by doctors to resume football activities.

The excitement is building within the fan base.

Houston will begin their training camp on the 26th and Cushing will be there in uniform. While the Texans will likely ease him back into the rotation, it will be great to see him on the field nonetheless.

Camp will mean more than it ever has to Cushing, as he gets his legs back under him and prepares himself for a return in 2013. Coming back from an ACL tear is no easy task — unless you’re Adrian Peterson, of course — and Cushing will use camp more as a continuation to his rehab process.

Finding himself back in football shape will be the key of camp for the 6’3” 250 pound linebacker. The unit features a tight-knit group that — on most occasions — can shut down some of the best offenses in the league. So, the scheme won’t be first priority for Cushing.

Being able to play in week one has been his ultimate goal and at this point he is on schedule to do so, assuming camp goes well. Cushing is one of the more crucial parts of this defense and to have him back to start the season would give the team an enormous boost not only in talent on the field, but energy as well.

Look for Cushing to be going hard in camp and executing all of the little things as perfectly as he can. He’s got himself a season opener to prepare for.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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