Harbaugh gushes about Cushing, Watt

Harbaugh gushes about Cushing, Watt
September 18, 2013, 11:45 am
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Brian Cushing (left) and J.J. Watt (right) have a friendly rivalry.

(USA Today Images)

Last season when the Texans crushed the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens 43-13 in Week 7, Brian Cushing wasn’t even on the field.

Cushing was done for the season after tearing his ACL but Ravens head coach John Harbaugh knows what to expect from the Texans’ leader on defense.

"Brian’s a force in the middle; run and pass. In pass coverage and in pass rush,” Harbaugh said during a conference call with Houston reporters on Wednesday. “He had the interception for a touchdown to kind of cap things off. But when he blitzes and he brings it up the middle and he adds on those blitzes, he’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s just such a powerful, strong, explosive guy.

“And then, the run game, he’s kind of tackle to tackle and, really, sideline to sideline. He plays off of J.J. so well in what they do in terms of gap control and the different things they do to change things up schematically. They just really fit well together.”

Harbaugh said the Ravens have to change what they do because of reigning Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt’s ability to get into passing lanes.

“Oh, gosh, yeah,” Harbaugh said. “You really can’t believe it until you see it. I don’t think we really had a great understanding of it last year until we experienced it, what a force he is. I can tell they do a great job coaching the rushes. And it’s the whole defense, it’s not just the defense. When they get blocked, they all gets hands up and try to find the quarterbacks eyes and intentions and try to get up in the passing lanes. He just has to probably be the best at it because he’s so big and athletic.”

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