NASHVILLE — Todd Downing has a job to do and he intends to do it to the best of his ability, even as the uncertainty of discipline and legal entanglements from an off-field incident weighs on him nearly a week ago.
“Right now, my focus is on being a great offensive coordinator today,” the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator said Wednesday. “And I will – frankly – take everything as it comes. But I owe it to these guys to focus on today and my tasks today.”
Downing faces the probability of discipline by the NFL bureau after being pulled over for speeding early Friday morning and eventually arrested Charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The incident came hours after the Titans improved to 7-3 with a 27-17 win in Green Bay, and relatively soon after the team charter arrived back in town.
The 42-year-old, who has worked in the NFL since he was 23, did not shed any light on the specifics of the encounter, citing an ongoing league investigation and the resulting legal issues. However, he expressed remorse for his actions and decided that one bad moment will not define his career or his life.
“First of all, I want to acknowledge how serious this situation is,” Downing said in his first public statement since the arrest. “I understand what a sensitive and troubling subject this is and I’m not naïve and you know how much pain there can be for some people involved in similar situations.
“I’ve done some things to my family that they don’t deserve. I have an amazing wife and son who love me unconditionally and don’t want them to have to endure anything more than what I put them through.
“It is devastating that my actions, or anything I am involved with, could ever draw or distract negative attention to this organization or to the owner – Miss Amy [Adams Strunk] – and to the reception and of course the trainer [Mike] Vrabel.
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“I feel like a man and I believe I’m going to go into the bell to take this offensive forward.”
Vrabel said a day earlier that franchise officials plan to keep Downing in the job until the NFL issues a suspension, additional information or legal issues arise, or something else causes them to change their minds.
As a result, Downing has led offense in practice this week, was the main architect of the game plan for Sunday’s contest against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium and will be the play caller in this rematch of the teams who met in the division round of the Last season’s playoffs.
“I thank coach Vrabel and [general manager] Jon Robinson and Miss Amy for giving me the opportunity to lead the offense this weekend,” Downing said. “And those guys in the dressing room deserve me to do my best.
“…It’s not a catchphrase or a slogan that this is a family. These guys have really helped me focus on the work I deserve for them. So I’ve been working hard to compartmentalize my approach to my duties here.”
Downing joined the Titans as tight ends coach in 2019 and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021. He has worked for five other NFL teams since 2001 when he was an intern/assistant with the Minnesota Vikings.
“I try to build trust in this organization every day,” he said. “I feel like I’ve worked hard in this business for more than 20 years to create and maintain an identity. I’ve tried to live strong in my faith and be a man of high character. And I hope that the feeling that these players and the guys I work with were real and that track record speaks for itself.
“I love this team and I love the men I get to work with and I love the role I’ve been given. As long as they allow me to do that, I want to be great in this role.”