The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton earlier this week, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that offensive coordinator Todd Downing is coaching for his job. Per La Canfora, the Raiders are unlikely to bring Downing back for 2018, and while head coach Jack Del Rio — who received a lucrative extension prior to the season — is probably not going anywhere, it appears as if his staff will look quite different next year.
Downing was a hot offensive coordinator candidate last offseason and drew interest from multiple clubs. The Raiders ultimately decided to promote him after allowing former OC Bill Musgrave‘s contract to lapse, but their offense has taken a significant downturn with Downing at the helm.
Downing, 37, has had success as a quarterbacks coach in the past, serving in that capacity with the Lions from 2011-13, the Bills in 2014, and the Raiders from 2015-16. Under his tutelage, Derek Carr became one of the better quarterbacks in the league, but Carr has regressed this season and the offense is missing the big plays that it enjoyed under Musgrave. The offense ranks just 18th in offensive points scored, 21st in yards per game, 22nd in plays of 10 yards or more, 27th in rushing yards, and 21st in overall passing.La Canfora adds that Downing has not endeared himself to other coaches and front office members, which could help trigger his ouster.
If the team does look for a new OC in 2018, La Canfora names Mike McCoy as a potential candidate. Per La Canfora, McCoy has been approached by several teams who want him to work as a consultant for the duration of 2017, but he is unlikely to entertain any such advances. Instead, he will simply wait for the winter hiring period, when he will be one of the more coveted coordinators on the market.
Even if Del Rio does not hire McCoy, he is likely to seek someone with more experience in light of Downing’s disappointing first season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.