Tennessee Titans nominate two members for the NFL’s diversity seminar

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Two longtime members of the Tennessee Titans are going to get a chance to network at an NFL seminar designed to encourage more diversity among the league’s head coaches and general managers.

On the coaching side of things, Tony Dews was nominated and that should be a name that Tennessee Titans fans are very familiar with.

Dews has been the Titans running back coach since 2018 and he deserves a lot of credit for helping guys like D’onta Foreman (twice), Dontrell Hilliard, and others ready to come in off the street when injuries have cropped up in the past.

Of course, you can’t talk about Titans running backs without mentioning Derrick Henry. Dews doesn’t get as much credit for his work with Henry because everyone remembers the Eddie George phone call, but Henry wasn’t chopped liver before that call either.

Sure, his best work came after that, but the reason why fans were so high on him was that he showed flashes of the elite player he would become one day. Dews deserves credit for finding ways to balance his role with DeMarco Murray and Dion Lewis before he was ready to be the bell cow running back for the Titans.

Tennessee Titans also nominate Brian Gardner

Unlike Dews, Gardner isn’t a name that fans are likely to know without doing a few searches on the internet. That doesn’t mean that he is less deserving, but it does go to show that assistant coaches are infinitely more visible than their front office counterparts.

Garnder has an incredible body of work and he has been in the NFL for 30 years working his way up from regional scout all the way to Director of Pro Personnel. He originally held that title with the Houston Texans, but he upgraded jobs when he became the Tennessee Titans’ director of Pro Personnel in 2014.

Something worth noting is that he was hired by Ruston Webster but retained by Jon Robinson. It is not easy to hold a position and keep it after ownership has decided to make a GM change. Robinson must have taken note of his work and decided that he wanted Gardner as his DoPP instead of bringing in another one of his guys.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this for both nominees. Gardner could have a legitimate chance to be the right-hand-man to either Monti Ossenfort or Ryan Cowden if they get a GM job soon, or he could be a GM outright if things go well at this event.

I would imagine that Dews would need a job as a coordinator first before being ready for a position as a head coach, but with pipelines in Atlanta and Green Bay and with teams like the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions signing a lot of former players from the Tennessee Titans’ offense, he may have a shot to get that position sooner rather than later.