Phillips, who returned to practice from a medical leave of absence on Wednesday, was beside himself about Cushing’s omission. After meeting with a crowd of reporters for a few minutes to discuss his health situation, the 35th-year NFL coach went out of his way to offer some unsolicited – and very passionate – comments about his playmaking inside linebacker.
“How Cushing didn’t make the Pro Bowl is beyond me,” Phillips said. “I mean, the guy’s got at least 160, 180 tackles by our count, which is coach’s count, which is the correct count. It’s not off the game where somebody sees – they don’t see how many plays he makes that are unseen unless you go back and you put the camera on it and you slow it down and you go in slow motion, he’s there going to be to make a play. I know a lot of people are deserving, but that guy is a holy phenom, now. He’s one of the best I’ve coached. I’ve been in it a long time. So, that’s my say-so.”
Going by Stats, Inc., Cushing officially has 110 tackles this season. That’s still 38 more than his next-closest teammate, safety Glover Quin. Cushing has more solo tackles (74) – again, according to Stats, Inc. – than Quin has overall (72). One has to wonder how much bigger the discrepancy is on Phillips and Reggie Herring’s stat sheets.
Cushing was one of nine Texans players who were chosen as Pro Bowl alternates, meaning they still could end up in the game if the players picked ahead of them drop out.
UPDATE: Here’s Cushing from the locker room on Wednesday afternoon, on if he’s disappointed about not being selected to the Pro Bowl: “Yeah, I am. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t. I play this game to be the best and I’m never going to hide that. It only means one thing, there’s room for improvement. Obviously, they don’t think I’m good enough yet and I’ll continue to do it. As far as motivation and a driving force, this is going to be a big one.”
Tags: Brian Cushing, Pro Bowl, Wade Phillips
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