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If fans would have been told the Titans 2018 offense would be without Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews http://www.tennesseetitansteamonline.com/corey-davis-jersey , what would the reaction have been?Some may have balked. Some might have rolled their eyes and scoffed. Some may have curled up in the fetal position and looked onward towards the 2019 season.But not this Titans team. HC Mike Vrabel, OC Matt LaFleur and DC Dean Pees have gained the trust of the fan base after earning back to back division wins against the Texans and Jaguars. The coaching staff adjusted to the personnel available and secured an early lead in the race for the AFC South Crown.How can this team continue to improve if players - injury or otherwise - continue to have an impact on what the roster looks like week to week? What they’ve already done - adapt and react.Building TrustMarcus Mariota entered the game following the Malik Jackson K.O. of Blaine Gabbert and performed better than many expected. Maybe the better answer is he performed better than we were led on to believe he would.Mariota’s leaned on his legs and savvy to pick up yards and keep the Jaguars defense off balance. He also made a few plays with his arm. Taking the reins of a new offense with second year weapons at his disposal, Mariota made it work. He didn’t set the world on fire - but he did make plays when he needed to and was efficient in establishing clock-chewing drives that helped win a football game on the road against a tough division opponent.Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY SportsThe Titans host Philly Sunday, and Mariota no longer has Matthews on the roster. However, Matthews was essentially a non-factor outside of filling in as a returner up until this point of the season.Mariota has already praised and given respect to his receiving group. He has also expressed confidence in the young pass catchers to get the job done. The trust building will really be set into motion Sunday.Davis the Leader of the PackCorey Davis has shown flashes of what he can do in this offense. His counterpart, Taywan Taylor has also shown what he is capable of doing if he can get on the field in some capacity. Davis and Taylor have combined for 20 receptions and 213 yards with the only touchdown belonging to the latter. That figure is something one would expect one receiver to have three games into the season - not two.However, it’s important to understand the context. The quarterback situation has been streaky over the first three weeks. Factor in the difference in personnel across the offensive line and you have some offensive hiccups that are difficult to work through. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsThe receivers will head into the game against the Eagles hungrier than ever before because they now know with Matthews gone, their time is now.Both Davis and Taylor should benefit from the offensive line stabilizing with the likely return of Jack Conklin. It should provide Mariota with a little more time in the pocket to feed the receivers the targets they need to advance their game.Catching the ball is critical. Taylor could already be at two touchdowns for the season as he dropped a dime from Mariota. Davis could’ve had a touchdown in the opener had Mariota seen him in time. But that’s the past, this team is zeroed in on the future.With laser focus in knocking off the defending Super Bowl Champions, the future is now.The future is Davis and Taylor.Coaching Snapshot: Running Backs Coach Tony Dews A look into OC Matt LaFleur’s offensive staffName: Tony DewsRole: Running Backs CoachNFL Coaching Experience: NonePositions Coached: NoneCollegiate Coaching Experience:Defensive Line (Millersville University, 1998) http://www.tennesseetitansteamonline.com/kamalei-correa-jersey , Graduate Assistant (West Virginia, 1999-2001), Offensive Line Coach (California University, Pa., 2002) Defensive Line (Holy Cross, 2003), Tight Ends/Special Teams (Central Michigan, 2004-2005), Linebackers/Special Teams (UNLV, 2006), Wide Receivers (West Virginia http://www.tennesseetitansteamonline.com/ryan-succop-jersey , 2007) Wide Receivers (University of Michigan, 2008-2010), Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator (Pittsburgh, 2011), Wide Receivers (Arizona, 2012-2016) and Running Backs (West Virginia, 2017).Coaching Track RecordTennessee TitansTitans Running Backs Coach Tony Dews gets his first opportunity coaching on the NFL sidelines in Nashville. Dews was added to OC Matt LaFleur’s offensive staff. As evidenced in the third episode of “Igniting the Fire”, Dews and LaFleur worked together at Central Michigan. The two never lost touch and when LaFleur was ready to bring in his RB Coach, he knew Dews could perform was the right guy for the job.Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesDespite not having any experience at the professional level, Dews paid his dues in the collegiate ranks. He coached various positions on both sides of the ball. The bulk of his career was spent coaching receivers, but now he must shift his focus to preparing the Titans running backs.Developing the Tandem of Henry and LewisDews is fortunate to have two solid backs in his stable. RB Derrick Henry is primed to have a major role with increased snaps. Free agent addition Authentic Jonnu Smith Jersey , RB Dion Lewis, is eager to prove his value to the team both as a runner and as a receiving threat out of the backfield.Although it’s unclear who the clear-cut feature back will be in LaFleur’s offensive system, it is certain that the Titans have to two viable feature back options - both with unique skill sets.Photo by Elsa/Getty ImagesDews is tasked with building a firm grasp of what each back does best and how it fits into the offensive attack. He must be aware of the situation football opportunities that will arise throughout the season - and LaFleur will rely on Dews to have the right guy on the field in the right moments.Other backs like RB David Fluellen and UDFA RB Akrum Wadley will look to Dews for guidance on how to build their game and earn a roster spot on the final 53. In terms of LaFleur’s offense - which is expected to be a zone-heavy scheme - Dews must learn where Henry is better suited than Lewis, and vice versa. Both backs can be effective in the right scenario, and it will be up to Dews to influence decisions during crucial in-game moments.What will Dews’ style involve? It will focus on isolating the weaknesses of both Henry and Lewis, and helping each correct and improve on those weaknesses. Dews will have a solid foundation in understanding the physical tools of both Henry and Lewis. Enhancing their mental approach will help tremendously.LaFleur knows what Dews’ work-ethic looks like up close, and fans saw a glimpse on “Igniting the Fire”.
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