Houston (CBS Houston) – Brian Cushing struggled to return to the form he’s accustomed to last season. The inside linebacker wasn’t the same in 2014 coming off of his second major knee injury in two years.

With the 28-year old playing on one of the teams bigger contracts, ne of the looming questions heading into next season  is which Brian Cushing will be on the field.

Bill O’Brien thinks it will be the Cushing of old .

“He’s a leader of this team,” Bill O’Brien said. “He’s taken to heart some of the things he and I have talked about and he’s come back and had a hell of an offseason.”

Cushing played in 14 games last year, but found himself on the sidelines in some key situations as he struggled to regain his speed and quickness.

“It feels feels really good getting my range back,” Cushing said.

“I think he changed his training regiment a little bit this offseason,” O’Brien said. “I have very high expectations for Brian. He’s a very good football player and really one of the leaders of our team.”

It’s not just Cushing’s teammates who have noticed, Kareem Jackson has seen a difference too.

“Cushing is looking good man,” Jackson said. “It’s the same Cushing I’ve seen since year one. A lot of energy. He’s definitely moving well out there. For a guy who’s going through the things he’s going through the last couple of years, just looking at him on the field you wouldn’t even be able to tell.