"Ray's the best that's ever played," Cushing said. "He's the guy I grew up watching. He's the guy I wanted to model my game after."
"I just think he plays with a very, very, very high motor," Lewis said. "It's one special thing that every linebacker, a good linebacker, has to have. And that is one thing that I appreciate about the way he plays football."
Their similarities are striking.
Each is the emotional core of his unit. Both faced early career adversity -- Lewis pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 2000 in order to avoid murder charges and a likely prison sentence, while Cushing was suspended for four games in 2010 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs -- and seemingly have moved on, undaunted.
And both demand a considerable amount of attention from the opposition's offense, which is how it's always been for Lewis and has become routine for Cushing.
To read the rest of the story, click here.