Grading Titans’ promotion of Todd Downing to offensive coordinator

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Mike Moraitis
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The Tennessee Titans announced the promotion of former tight ends coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator on Friday to take over for the recently-departed Arthur Smith.

Downing has worked his way up the ladder over his two decades of coaching experience and has held positions such as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with other teams.

In 2015, Pro Football Focus named him the Quarterbacks Coach of the Year for his work with the Raiders. However, in his one year as the offensive coordinator, the team took a step back from the year prior.

In 2016, the Raiders sported rankings of sixth in total offense, 13th in passing, sixth in rushing and seventh in scoring. In 2017, the Raiders ranked 18th in total offense, 16th in passing, 25th in rushing and 23rd in scoring.

Of course, that wasn’t all on Downing, as Derek Carr was coming back from a serious injury and seemed to lack confidence in what was a down year for him, but the 40-year-old’s play-calling did receive a lot of criticism at the time, also.

While that isn’t too promising to know, Downing will be in a much better situation in Nashville, as he walks into a ready-made, elite offense that already has a system in place.

And it’s a system in which head coach Mike Vrabel says will remain in place, with a few new ideas possibly being implemented. That’s great news for Tennessee, because if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

The regression the Raiders saw under Downing in 2017 will definitely be a concern from the get-go and this wasn’t a flashy hire by any stretch, but the move to keep continuity on offense leads to a respectable grade nonetheless.

Grade: C+

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