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Remembering the Todd Downing disaster

Former Raiders’ offensive coordinator gets another chance with the Titans’ offense

NFL: Oakland Raiders Training Camp
Jul 29, 2017; Napa, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing (left) talks with quarterback Derek Carr (4) during training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Raider Nation was reminded of one of the most despised names in recent history: Todd Downing.

I know, I know ...

The former Raiders’ coach is getting another chance to lead an NFL offense. He was promoted from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans on Friday. Downing replaces Arthur Smith, who is now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

I know what you’re thinking: “Good luck, Titans.”

There’s no doubt that pressure will be on Downing as he inherits another productive offense. Simply put, he did not fare well as the offensive coordinator of the Raiders in 2017.

A lot was expected of the young coordinator that season and the Raiders struggled on offense — and as a team as a whole — going 6-10. It was widely expected that coach Jack Del Rio would fire Downing after one season, but, instead, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis fired Del Rio and his staff ... then hired Jon Gruden after the 2017 season.

It was speculated that Davis was not happy with Del Rio for promoting Downing from quarterback coach and firing offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave after a strong 2016 season in which the Raiders went 12-4, and quarterback Derek Carr was an NFL MVP candidate.

Del Rio said he made the unexpected move of firing Musgrave because Downing was getting interest from around the NFL as an offensive coordinator and he didn’t want to lose him.

Now, Downing, 40, gets another chance. Here’s wishing a good guy who I’ve known for a long time better luck in his second go-round as an OC.