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Florham Park Becoming Nashville East as Jets Add Another Titan

Running backs coach set to be third former Tennessee staff landing with New York

It's a Tennessee Titans' reunion in Florham Park.

The New York Jets are reportedly filling their vacant running backs coaching position by hiring Tony Dews, who spent the last six seasons with the Titans. Last Friday evening, Jonathan Jones, an NFL insider for CBS, reported that "the Jets are hiring Tony Dews as their next running backs coach."

Former 10-year NFL running back Duce Staley had reportedly interviewed with the Jets for the position but passed up New York's offer in order to join the Cleveland Browns, according to multiple accounts. With Staley no longer available, Gang Green tabbed Dews to replace Taylor Embree, who will not return in 2024.

It may not be a coincidence that Dews landed with the Jets, considering his direct familiarity with two offensive staff members. New York passing game coordinator Todd Downing and offensive line coach/run game coordinator Keith Carter were both members of the 2022 Titans' staff along with Dews. 

After nearly two decades of collegiate coaching, Dews entered the NFL ranks as the Titans' running backs coach in 2018. He held that position through the 2022 campaign before switching to tight ends coach for 2023. 

Downing, Carter and Dews were all together in Tennessee for four full seasons (2019-22). After starting with the tight ends, Downing moved to the Titans' offensive coordinator role for the 2021 and 2022 campaigns. 

The 50-year-old Dews was part of a Tennessee organization that built a reputation for featuring an effective rushing attack led by superstar ball carrier Derrick Henry, who topped all NFL rushing leaders in 2019 and 2020.

Although physically different than Henry, the Jets boast a legitimate RB1 in Breece Hall. Despite suffering a mid-season dip in yards per carry, Hall accounted for a superb sophomore season that included 1,585 yards from scrimmage and 76 receptions. As a unit, the Jets' rushing offense (96.9 ypg) tied for 22nd on the league leaderboard in 2023. The Titans (108.6) were 17th but Henry led the AFC in total rush yards (1,167).

Jets' head coach Robert Saleh has said not to expect any major offseason changes to the coaching staff, presumably referring to coordinators Nathaniel Hackett (offense), Jeff Ulbrich (defense) and Brant Boyer (special teams).


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