NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- New Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has found the final three lead position coaches for his staff, hiring Keith Carter as offensive line coach, Terrell Williams as defensive line coach and Tony Dews as running backs coach. The team is also retaining longtime strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson.
These hires come one week after the Titans added nine assistants, including Matt LaFleur as offensive coordinator and Dean Pees as defensive coordinator.
Carter leaves the Atlanta Falcons where he spent 2017 as running backs coach. He was also the Falcons' assistant offensive line coach from 2015-16. He spent most of his collegiate career working with offensive linemen.
Williams spent the past three seasons as the Dolphins' defensive line coach, but he wasn't retained for 2018. He also spent three seasons as the Raiders' defensive line coach.
Dews, a longtime college assistant coach, left West Virginia, where he spent 2017 as running backs coach. He spent a decade before that working primarily as a receivers coach at Arizona, Pitt, Michigan and West Virginia.
Watterson has been on the Titans/Oilers staff since 1986. No other NFL assistant has worked for one team for as many consecutive years as Watterson.
There will be plenty of new faces on the Titans' 2018 coaching staff as no defensive assistants from the 2017 staff were retained. Only tight ends coach Arthur Smith has been retained among the offensive and defensive coaches from the 2017 staff thus far although there is still a chance for one or two others to come back as assistant offensive position coaches.
LaFleur, Pees and the rest of the Titans' assistants are scheduled to speak to the media late Wednesday morning.
Carter and Dews are charged with improving an offensive line and running game that used to be among the team's biggest strengths. In 2016, the Titans had over 100 yards rushing in 12 of 16 games. That number dropped to six regular-season games in 2017. The Titans went from ranking third in rushing in 2016 to 15th in 2017. The offensive line also gave up eight sacks in the team's season-ending divisional playoff loss to the New England Patriots this year.
There likely will be a few more minor additions to Vrabel's staff, but the core group is complete.