Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing addressed the media on Wednesday, speaking for the first time since his arrest.
Downing was arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of drink driving after the Titans’ win over the Green Bay Packers. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said the team will “move on” with Downing as offensive coordinator pending review by the NFL, after which a punishment or suspension may be imposed.
“It is devastating that my actions, or anything I am involved with, could ever draw negative attention to or distract this organization,” Downing said. “To the owner Mrs Amy, to the organization and of course to the trainer of Vrabel. I believe in myself as a man and I believe in answering the bell to lead this offensive going forward. I thank coaches Vrabel and Jon Robinson and Mrs . Amy for giving me the opportunity to lead that offense this weekend, and those guys in the locker room deserve my best effort to do so.
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Downing said due to the nature of the league’s and team’s investigation into his indiscretion, he was unable to comment on events on the night of his alleged DUI. This included deciding not to answer questions about whether he was drinking on the team plane, why he chose not to take a ride when offered by the team and whether he knows if there is a timetable for when he will could be punished.
Downing said he was aware of the team’s partnership with a ridesharing service and said the partnership was well communicated to players and staff.
Asked if he had ever considered not training this week, Downing said the thought hadn’t crossed his mind.
“I love this team,” Downing said. “I love the men I get to work with. I love the role that has been entrusted to me. As long as they allow me to do that, I want to be great in this role.”
Vrabel didn’t respond when asked who the Titans’ successor for Downing would be if he were to be suspended. Downing responded to Vrabel’s comments when asked a similar question.
Downing began his press conference by acknowledging the gravity of his actions and how much pain “there can be for some people involved in similar situations”. He never directly apologized or used the words “drinking” or “alcohol.” He expressed regret at how his actions have caused pain to his wife and son.
When asked if he felt he’d lost confidence in the Titans dressing room, Downing said he was grateful for the reactions he’s received from his players.
“I feel like I’ve worked hard in this business for more than 20 years to create and maintain an identity,” Downing said. “I’ve tried to live strong in my faith and be a man of high character. I hope that the feeling these players and the guys I work with have was that their reaction was real and that track record speaks for itself. “
The Titans (7-3) host the Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) from Nissan Stadium on Sunday (noon, CBS).
Contact Nick Suss at [email protected] Follow Nick on Twitter @nicksuss.