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Maualuga Tries to Comfort Cushing

Houston Texan's linebacker Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga's college teammate and friend, won the NFL's defensive rookie of the year award last season but after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug and receiving a four-game suspension, the NFL is allowing voters for the award to recast their votes to possibly choose a new defensive rookie of the year.

Steve Wyche of says that Maualuga has his old pals back.

"I’m just thinking about what happened to me with the DUI (arrest in February), how I didn’t want anybody to talk to me," Maualuga said. "I’m not saying I know how he feels, but I’m just comparing it to how I felt, with people calling and texting and asking me, ‘What happened?’ All I did was say, ‘This, too, shall pass. You’ll be all right, bro.’ He said, ‘Thanks. I appreciate it.’ He knows I have his back.

"I know he’s going through a lot. A lot of people are going to say that he’s a cheater and all that. His success came from working hard. He’s one of hardest-working guys I know."

It's good that Maualuga seems to have grown since his arrest in February. I doubt that his words will have any effect on the new vote but I'm sure it's nice for Cushing to know he's got a friend to confide in. This is a great example of one of the many reasons that the Bengals locker room is so great right now.

Cushing will stay on the ballot and be joined by Bills safety Jairus Byrd, Packers lineback Clay Matthews and Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo.

Peter King tweeted:

There is no way--none--that as one of the 50 AP voters, I can vote for a performance-enhancer as Defensive Rookie of the Year. And I won't.

King obviously doesn't the same way about Cushing that Maualuga does.