Cushing grew up idolizing Lewis, the iconic linebacker now in his 16th season.
"Ray's the best that's ever played," Cushing said Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle. "He's the guy I grew up watching. He's the guy I wanted to model my game after."
Cushing's done a good job of it. A second team All-Pro and team MVP this season, Cushing finished 2011 with 114 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions. He was the motor of Houston's defense during a season in which the Texans qualified for the playoffs for the first time in their 10-year history.
"I just think he plays with a very, very, very high motor," Lewis said of Cushing. "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."