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Titans Excited About the Possibilities With Running Backs Tony Pollard, Tyjae Spears


NASHVILLE – The Titans will have a new look in the running game in 2024, with a new position coach leading the way.

Randy Jordan took over as running backs coach this offseason, when the team said goodbye to long-time workhorse Derrick Henry.

Jordan inherited a group that includes Henry's sidekick in 2023 – running back Tyjae Spears – and two other returning backs, along with some newcomers.

Among the newcomers: Former Cowboys running back Tony Pollard.

Now, the Titans have to figure out how to use them.

"I am really excited to work with them," said Jordan, who spent the last 10 seasons (2014-23) with the Washington Commanders. "I was in the NFC East, and I got to see Mr. T.P. quite a bit. So, when we had the opportunity to get him, I was really excited. I love his skill set, in fact, I love the skill set of both (Tony) and (Tyjae).

"Both guys, you don't have to worry about in terms of counting touches in terms of handoffs, running the ball. Because they can both catch the ball fairly well out of the backfield. So, in that respect, I am not counting touches in terms of rushes. I'm counting, "Hey, you got 10 rushes, but you also got six catches, and that's a total of 16." And I think they're getting a really good feel for each other on and off the field."

The 6-foot, 209-pound Pollard brings a new weapon after Spears made a splash as a rookie in Tennessee, running for 453 yards and amassing 385 receiving yards on 52 catches in 2023.

Pollard recorded 3,621 career rushing yards on 762 carries, an average of 4.8 yards a carry, in his first five NFL seasons, all in Dallas. Pollard has 176 career receptions for 1,319 yards and five touchdowns in his career.

Pollard and Spears have been working together in the team's offseason program.

"First of all, that boy has more energy, man," Jordan, with a smile, said of Spears. "He wears me out in terms of just his excitement for the game and the energy he brings. He's one you want to plug into each and every day, and you need guys like that on your team.

"But his specific skill set, he's extremely explosive with the ball in his hands. He can catch it, he can run it. And, he'll put his face in the fan in terms of blocking for the quarterback, too, and that's a thing I'm excited about because sometimes guys don't want to do that. But he's a willing participant."

A former running back himself, Jordan spent nine seasons in the league, appearing in 122 career games with the Jaguars and Raiders.

Jordan joined the Commanders as running backs coach in 2014 and added the title of Senior Offensive Assistant in 2023. Over the last two seasons, Jordan aided the development of running back Brian Robinson Jr., who surpassed 1,000 scrimmage yards (1,101) in 2023. Jordan also worked with Antonio Gibson since he entered the league in 2020. During the 2021 season, Gibson finished second in the NFC with 1,037 rushing yards.

Prior to his time at Washington, Jordan spent two seasons (2012-13) at his alma mater of North Carolina where he served as running backs coach in 2012 and added the title of special teams coordinator in 2013. In his first season with UNC in 2012, running back Giovani Bernard led the ACC in rushing yards (1,228).

In addition to Pollard and Spears, the running backs Hassan Haskins and Julius Chestnut also return for the Titans.

The team signed running backs Dillon Johnson (Washington) and Jabari Small (Tennessee) as undrafted free agents last week.

"I think the biggest thing for (Haskins and Chestnut)," Jordan said, "is I'm really surprised in both of those guys in terms of their skill set, just studying them. They have different sizes – Haskins a big guy, but his ability to bend and be able to run the ball and protect; he's a good special teams player. And if you're a good special teams player, you can play a long time in this league. I have experience from that because I did that at one point.

"And then you look at Julius, and Julius is that middleweight, can do a little bit of everything. So, I am really excited to see both of those guys and what they can do for our team."


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