TJ Yates and Akeem Dent join Brian Cushing as Houston Texans assistants

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After a season absence from the gridiron, Brian Cushing is making his way back to the team that drafted him as a first-round pick nearly a decade ago.

On Tuesday, the Houston Texans officially revealed their 2019 coaching staff under Bill O'Brien, who enters his sixth season for the team.

The former All-Pro Cushing headlined the coaching additions as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Cushing was released after the end of the 2017 season, as the casualty of a salary dump before the final year of a six-year, $52.5 million contract.

The University of Southern California alum was suspended twice during his nine-year pro career, both for testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. He drew a four-game ban in 2010 after testing positive for HCG, a fertility drug that is on the league's banned substance list.

Then in 2017, Cushing was suspended 10 games for his second violation of PEDs.

Cushing was Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2009, which was the same season he garnered his only Pro Bowl selection.

He remains the Texans' franchise all-time leader in tackles.

Cushing wasn't the only former Texan to be added to the staff. T.J. Yates, who memorably won the franchise's first ever playoff game in 2012 as the starting quarterback, returns as an offensive assistant. Former linebacker Akeem Dent, who coincidentally was traded from Atlanta to Houston in 2014 for Yates, was added as a defensive assistant.

The Texans also shifted their leadership on the offensive front, promoting tight ends coach Tim Kelly to offensive coordinator. Kelly has been a long-time assistant of O'Brien, dating back to their time at Penn State. O'Brien largely called the plays on offense in 2018.


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