NY Jets eyeing another Titans assistant as new RBs coach

The Jets are going back to the Titans well again
NY Jets, Tony Dews
NY Jets, Tony Dews / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA

The NY Jets decided to make at least one change to their coaching staff this offseason, parting ways with now-former running backs coach Taylor Embree. The team is already eyeing a veteran coach from a familiar system as his replacement.

The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt reported on Wednesday that the Jets have interviewed Tennessee Titans tight ends coach Tony Dews for their vacant running backs coach position.

Dews previously worked with Todd Downing and Keith Carter, two members of the Jets' offensive coaching staff, in Tennessee, serving as the Titans' running backs coach from 2018-2022 before being shifted to his current role.

The Jets had interest in highly-regarded assistant Duce Staley, but the veteran coach ultimately joined the Cleveland Browns' staff earlier this week. Dews is the only known candidate for the Jets' running backs coach opening at the time of writing.

The NY Jets might hire another former Titans offensive coach

The Jets have shuffled their offensive coaching staff around over the last year or so, most notably bringing in Downing to be their passing game coordinator and Carter to be their new offensive line coach.

Despite the Titans notably having one of the worst offensive coaching staffs in football over the last couple of seasons, the Jets have made a habit out of hiring their scraps, for lack of a better term.

Downing was underwhelming in his multiple stints as an offensive coordinator, and the less said about Carter and his relationship with his player, the better. Dews at least has some track record to speak of, however.

The Virginia native spent two decades coaching at the collegiate level as an assistant, mostly on the offensive side of the ball, although he's also worked as a defensive line coach, linebackers coach, and special teams assistant.

Dews' greatest claim to fame is his work as Derrick Henry's running backs coach between 2018 and 2022. Henry's first 1,000-yard season — and first year as a true starter — came in Dews' initial season with the Titans in 2018.

Henry set multiple franchise records with Dews as his position coach, earning three Pro Bowl nods and developing into the best running back in football for a time. That's a positive mark on Dews' resume.

Embree deserves some credit for helping Breece Hall put together one of the best seasons by a Jets running back in years. The 2022 second-round pick finished fourth in the entire NFL in scrimmage yards, trailing only Tyreek Hill, Christian McCaffrey, and CeeDee Lamb.

That's why it came as somewhat of a surprise that Embree was the coach the Jets decided to let go, although perhaps one could point to the underwhelming seasons the likes of Dalvin Cook, Israel Abanikanda, and Michael Carter had as a reason to go in a different direction.

While it's usually not a great idea to continue adding pieces from another lackluster coaching staff, Dews at least has a stronger track record of success than Downing or Carter. He appears to be the favorite to be the Jets' next running backs coach.