HOUSTON -- Brian Cushing wanted to make sure Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith was aware of the progress the linebacker was making during months of excruciating rehabilitation on his surgically repaired left knee. Nike Air Force 1 Womens On Sale . He bombarded Smiths phone with pictures and videos, all of it a reminder of how far hed come. It paid off Wednesday when Smith and the Texans signed Cushing to a six-year, $55.6 million contract extension. The deal includes $21 million guaranteed. "I wanted to just improve every single week," Cushing said. "Every time I set a new goal I would send it to him and just let him know Im coming back." Smith laughed as he recounted the near-constant updates and beamed as he announced the deal. "Its a big day for the franchise," Smith said. "He can lead our defence and be a part of what were doing for many, many years to come." Cushing saw limited action in preseason while easing his way back after surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, but the Texans expect him to start in the opener Monday at San Diego. The 26-year-old standout has been sidelined since the injury in Week 5 last season. He had never had a major injury before and had a difficult time dealing with being away from his team for so long on top of the physical demands of rehabilitation. Coming through it, he said, made him a much stronger person. "It was a very dark time," he said. "Any previous injury before that was maybe missing a game or two. And now having a season taken away from, watching the guys go out and practice every day and not being able to contribute was a helpless feeling. It was something that I just didnt want to feel anymore. It motivated me to get back and to just push every single day." Cushing, the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, has had more than 110 tackles in the two seasons when he played each game. The Texans are hoping he is as effective as he was before the injury, when he finished with 114 tackles and four sacks in 2011. Smith raved about the versatility, playmaking ability and instincts of Cushing. But he thinks he can be even better. "I do think that as good as he is theres a level for him to reach that he hasnt gotten to yet," Smith said. "I think hes motivated to reach that level and Im excited to watch him do it." Houston started 5-0 last season behind a defence that was dominant with both Cushing and eventual Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt leading the way. Though Houston finished 12-4 and won its second straight AFC South title, some thought the unit never played as well without Cushing, who also missed the first four games of 2010 for violating the NFLs policy on performance-enhancing substances. Cushing is close with Watt and cant wait to get back on the field with him. As tight as they are, he did admit that things get a bit competitive between them at times. "We definitely have a little bit of a rivalry," Cushing said. "But at the same time we look at ourselves as a duo, a two-headed monster, two guys who are going to have to be dealt with for a long time and kind of feed off of each other." Cushing was in the last year of the deal he signed as a rookie in 2009. The Texans were happy to get the contract done this week because they have a policy of not negotiating once the season begins, and the team is expected to contend for a Super Bowl a year after being eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs for the second straight season. Cushing has a lofty goal for what he hopes he can accomplish now that he knows hell spend most of this decade in Houston. "What I envision is being the clear-cut best middle linebacker in the NFL," he said. "Ive never hid that. Its something that I want. I think that I can get there. I know that I can get there. Obviously its going to require a lot of work and a couple more years of dominant play, but I feel like I have the tools to do that." Air Max 97 Silver Bullet Restock .com) - P.K. Subbans power-play goal 4:08 into overtime sent the Montreal Canadiens into the All-Star break with a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Nike Air Max Tn Womens .C. -- The shot that would have beaten No. http://www.fundfdr.org/cheap-nike-air-force-1-07-outlet/air-force-1-lv8-07.html . Bjoerndalen, who had failed to win any major race for two years before Sochi, writes in a Facebook entry that he is "full of energy and inspiration" after winning the 10-kilometre sprint and mixed relay at last months Olympics.HAMILTON - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed import linebacker/defensive back Rico Murray to a contract extension through the 2016 season. "Rico is an incredibly versatile player and a natural playmaker whose character makes him a valuable presence in our locker room," said General Manager and Head Coach Kent Austin. During his first season with the Ticats, Murray finished second on the team with 53 defensive tackles while also registering two quarterback sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and five pass knockdowns in 14 ggames. Nike Air Max 97 Mens Trainers. Murray joined the Tiger-Cats on June 5, 2013 after previous stints with the Edmonton Eskimos and Cincinnati Bengals. The Tiger-Cats also announced that import defensive lineman Craig Marshall and import running back Tavoy Moore have signed new deals. Marshall made six tackles and two quarterback sacks in five games during his rookie season. Moore recorded 17 rushing yards and 92 receiving yards while averaging 19.9 yards per kickoff return and 7.9 yards per punt return over the course of five games. ' ' '