Todd Downing

Coaching Rumors: Evero, Bevell, Downing

Ejiro Evero profiles as one of the more unusual coaching candidates in recent memory. The first-year Broncos defensive coordinator has delivered in his first season up from the position-coaching level, with Denver overcoming a stream of injuries — and the Bradley Chubb trade — to stay on course as a top-three scoring defense. Evero has come up on multiple teams’ HC radars, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. The Broncos might even be interested in talking to him about their job, Fowler adds, with Nathaniel Hackett barreling toward becoming this century’s 14th one-and-done coach. But Denver’s 3-7 record could delay a potential Evero ascent.

Evero, 41, spent the previous five years on Sean McVay‘s Rams staff but has been a longtime Hackett friend. The two played together at UC-Davis. The Broncos attempting a Hackett-for-Evero swap might be difficult, especially since the organization’s new owners would presumably like to start fresh considering how poorly this season has gone. But teams are monitoring Denver’s up-and-coming DC, who will almost certainly not have to worry about the playoffs scuttling any interview plans.

Here is the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • Todd Downing‘s DUI arrest will undoubtedly have a significant effect on his near-future aspirations to become a head coach. Establishing some momentum during his two-year Titans OC stay — which has featured the 2021 team earning the AFC’s No. 1 seed without Derrick Henry available for the stretch run and this year’s squad move to 7-3, most recently after the team’s best offensive performance of the year — Downing should not expect to be on teams’ interview lists in 2023. A GM discussing this process told the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora the arrest will remove him from HC consideration during the upcoming cycle. Downing’s arrest has brought an NFL investigation and an internal probe, putting his status with the Titans on unsteady ground.
  • Darrell Bevell is a Super Bowl-winning offensive coordinator and a two-time interim head coach, and CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson notes the Dolphins quarterbacks coach/passing-game coordinator is gaining momentum for a possible run as a full-time HC gig (Twitter link). The Dolphins’ offensive success may earn both Bevell and OC Frank Smith looks. Bevell, 52, has not been on the HC interview radar in many years, bouncing around in assistant roles since the Seahawks fired him after the 2017 season. The Bills did interview Bevell in 2015, and the Lions gave him an interview after his 2020 interim stay. Aided by the arrivals of Mike McDaniel and Tyreek Hill, Tua Tagovailoa has taken a major step forward this season. The third-year southpaw still leads the league in QBR. It will be interesting to see if Bevell ends up receiving interview consideration soon as a result.
  • Cardinals DC Vance Joseph has rebuilt his stock to the point he should be expected to land more interviews in 2023, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano adds. Joseph’s name has come up recently, despite his defense’s production dipping this season. Although the Cardinals have shown flashes defensively, they rank 31st and are coming off a nationally televised 38-10 loss to the 49ers. Joseph, who coached in Denver for two seasons, booked a Dolphins HC interview last year. With Kliff Kingsbury‘s Arizona staff potentially set to splinter, Joseph would at worst be a coordinator candidate elsewhere in 2023.

Vrabel: Todd Downing Remains Titans OC

Todd Downing‘s Friday DUI arrest is the subject of an internal Titans investigation and an NFL probe. The Tennessee offensive coordinator could face league discipline, and depending on the results of the league’s inquiry, the Titans could as well.

For now, however, Downing remains in place as Tennessee’s OC. Though, Mike Vrabel was quick to caution that status depends on the findings of these investigations. A Downing suspension under the league’s personal conduct policy will likely commence at some point, but nothing will presumably come to pass until his criminal case concludes.

We’ll continue forward with how things work with Todd as our offensive coordinator, but those things can change,” Vrabel said, via The Nashville Tennesseean’s Nick Suss. “I want to make sure everybody understands that. At any point in time we can hear from the league. The legal process, those things can obviously change. I want to make sure everybody understands that.”

After their Thursday win at Lambeau Field, the Titans landed back in Tennessee at 2:11am CT. Downing was pulled over for DUI at 3:49am. This timeline has led to obvious speculation the 42-year-old assistant was drinking on the team plane. In light of the revelation that Britt Reid was drinking at the Chiefs’ facility before his car accident that led to a 4-year-old girl suffering severe injuries, the NFL figures to take this matter seriously. Players and coaches are prohibited from consuming alcohol in team settings. The NFL, however, has not disciplined the Chiefs in connection with that 2021 incident. It will be interesting to see how the league’s Titans investigation unfolds.

The Titans brought Downing back to the OC level last year, promoting him from tight ends coach to replace Arthur Smith, who had also climbed from tight ends coach to play-caller to Falcons head coach. Downing did not fare well as the Raiders’ OC in 2017, a one-and-done stint in that role, but has resurfaced calling plays for the AFC South-leading Titans. Downing has been an NFL assistant since 2005, but this arrest could certainly affect his career trajectory.

Titans OC Todd Downing Arrested On DUI Charge

1:32pm: The Titans have begun an internal investigation into this situation, and head coach Mike Vrabel has been in contact with Downing, as noted by team reporter Jim Wyatt (on Twitter). The NFL, meanwhile, has also opened an investigation into the matter, one which could produce a range of consequences. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the league has been in contact with Tennessee, no doubt to ascertain exactly when it is that Downing began drinking. Depending on the outcome of the probe, significant discipline could be coming.

8:25am: Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was arrested on a DUI charge early Friday morning, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com reports. Downing was speeding at the time of the arrest, Tony Garcia of WSMV adds.

This arrest occurred in Tennessee hours after the Titans’ 27-17 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field. Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over Downing at 3:49am; he was released from Williamson County Jail at 6:46am. Downing, 42, is in his second season as the Titans’ play-caller.

An Eden Prairie, Minn., native, Downing has been with the Titans since 2019. This is his second OC gig, coming after a one-and-done stay as the Raiders’ play-caller back in 2017. Downing has been an NFL assistant since 2005, when he broke into the league with the Vikings.

Downing’s stock will undoubtedly take a hit as a result of this development. Suspensions have followed other staff DUIs in the recent past, so it will be interesting to see how the Titans proceed here. The team’s plane landed at approximately 2:11am, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds, raising questions about where Downing began consuming alcohol Friday morning.

After hiring Downing as their tight ends coach in 2019, they promoted him to replace Arthur Smith in 2021. The Titans are coming off their best offensive performance of the season. They gained a season-high 408 yards in their road win, seeing their 29th-ranked passing attack produce 320 yards.

Titans To Promote Todd Downing To OC

The Titans are expected to promote tight ends coach Todd Downing to the role of offensive coordinator (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Downing takes over for Arthur Smith, who has left to serve as the Falcons’ head coach.

Smith also went from the Titans’ TE guru to the OC role, so the organization is hoping for similar success this time. Downing, 40, started out in the NFL as a football systems analyst with the Vikings in 2003. Since then, his NFL journey has included stops with the Rams, Lions, Bills, and Raiders.

This marks Downing’s second pro stint as an OC with his first coming in Oakland. Things didn’t go as planned for Downing as he lost quarterback Derek Carr to a serious back injury in the fall. Ultimately, his team placed near the middle of the pack in total yards and in the lower-third of the NFL for points scored.

Now, Downing will direct a Titans’ offense featuring QB Ryan Tannehill, running back Derrick Henry, and wide receiver A.J. Brown. Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, head coach Mike Vrabel may hire a coordinator to take some of the defensive responsibilities off of his plate.

Titans Add Todd Downing To Coaching Staff

The Titans have added a former offensive coordinator to their staff. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the team has hired Todd Downing as their new tight ends coach.

Downing, 38, had a brief stint as the Raiders offensive coordinator back in 2017. While his experience is limited, he’ll still be able to provide Arthur Smith with some guidance. Smith was promoted to the Titans’ offensive coordinator role earlier this week after having spent the past eight seasons with the organization (including the past three as the tight ends coach).

Downing was fired by the Raiders organization following the 2017 campaign, and he was subsequently hired as the Vikings tight ends coach. The coach played a significant role in Kyle Rudolph‘s productive campaign (64 receptions, 634 yards, four touchdowns), and he also helped play a role in David Morgan and Tyler Conklin‘s emergence. While the duo didn’t do much in the passing game, they rated out as above-average blocking tight ends in 2018 (per Pro Football Focus).

The coach will be joining a talented tight ends corps in Tennessee. Delanie Walker missed the majority of the 2018 season with an ankle injury, but he had compiled at least 800 receiving yards in each of the previous four seasons. The team is also rostering former third-rounder Jonnu Smith, who finished this past season with 20 receptions for 258 yards and three touchdowns.

NFC North Rumors: Bears, Vikings, Packers

The Bears have agreed to hire former Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino as a defensive assistant, according to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times. Monachino served as Indy’s DC from 2016-17 when Chuck Pagano — who’s since been hired as Chicago’s defensive play-caller — was head coach, so the connection makes sense. A former linebackers and defensive line coach in Baltimore and Jacksonville, respectively, Monachino spent the 2018 season as a defensive analyst at the University of Missouri. He’d recently agreed to become the defensive coordinator at Kansas State, but he’ll back out of that commitment to join Pagano and the Bears. While there’s no official word as to what title Monachino will hold in Chicago, he’s likely coming aboard as linebackers coach.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Tight ends coach Todd Downing is not expected to return to the Vikings in 2019, reports Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Downing still has a year remaining on his contract and was offered two new roles on offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski‘s staff, but it sounds like Downing turned down both opportunities. He’s now looking for other jobs elsewhere, and while there is a small chance he could eventually come back to Minnesota, a reunion is not considered likely, per Cronin. Downing, 38, was a rising star as recently as 2017, when the Raiders pushed out Bill Musgrave in order to make Downing offensive coordinator.
  • The Packers are expected to interview former Bengals offensive line coach Frank Pollack for the same role, per Jim Owczarski of PackersNews.com. Pollack was let go by Cincinnati despite excellent 2018 results, as new Bengals head coach Zac Taylor is reportedly eyeing Bill Callahan for his club’s OL coach gig. Green Bay, meanwhile, is on the hunt for a new offensive line coach after James Campen departed for Cleveland. 49ers assistant OL coach Adam Stenavich is already on the Packers’ radar, as San Francisco granted Green Bay interview permission on Wednesday.
  • Defensive assistant Scott McCurley won’t be retained as part of new Packers head coach Matt LaFleur‘s staff, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. McCurley was Green Bay’s assistant linebackers coach from 2014-17, but moved into a generic defensive assistant role prior to last season. Per Demovsky, McCurely should be a popular name around the league given his experience under multiple defensive coordinators in Green Bay.
  • Luke Getsy — who served as the Packers‘ wide receivers coach from 2016-17 — is a candidate to return to that position in Green Bay, tweets Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gestsy, 34, spent the 2018 season as the offensive coordinator at Mississippi State. The Packers sound as though they are simply waiting on an answer from Getsy, per Silverstein, who notes Getsy’s addition would give quarterback Aaron Rodgers a coach with whom he’s familiar.

NFC Notes: Vikings, Panthers, Jones, Tate, Boston

Following the tragic and unexpected death of offensive line coach Tony Sparano this week, the Vikings have made some adjustments to their coaching staff. Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune reports (via Twitter) that the team will names Clancy Barone and Andrew Janocko co-coaches for the offensive line.

Barone, who’s been working in the NFL since 2004, was the Vikings tight ends coach last season. With the reorganization of the coaching staff, senior offensive assistant (and former Raiders offensive coordinator) Todd Downing will take on the tight ends gig. Meanwhile, Janocko had previously served as the team’s assistant offensive line coach.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that the team had also pursued former Vikings head coach Mike Tice for the offensive line job. We heard back in February that the 59-year-old was eyeing retirement.

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Panthers right tackle Daryl Williams appeared to suffer a serious knee injury during practice today, writes Bryan Strickland of the team’s website. The 25-year-old reportedly went down following a “non-contact injury,” and he was later carted off the field. “He’s being evaluated,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “They’ll send him up to Charlotte where he can be closely looked at, and we’ll go from there. I’m not sure. I just know they’re going to take him up and evaluate him later today…Daryl is a solid young man, and he’s a big part of what we do. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.” If the 2017 second-team All-Pro ends up missing time, Rivera said 2017 second-round pick Taylor Moton will be given the chance to earn the starting gig.
  • Julio Jones saw several adjustments to his contract before reporting to Falcons training camp, writes Michael Davis Smith of ProFootballTalk.com. The star wideout will now earn a $4.4MM signing bonus thanks to his revised deal, while his 2018 and 2019 base salaries were reduced to $1.5MM and $2.9MM, respectively.
  • Lions wideout Golden Tate is entering the final season of his five-year, $31MM deal that was signed back in 2014. While the 29-year-old shouldn’t anticipate a similar payday as Brandin Cooks or Sammy Watkins, he’s still hoping the organization has some leftover money to keep him around. “I hope there’s some (money) left,” Tate told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press“Congratulations to all those guys who’ve gotten big deals. They definitely deserve it. I mean, all those players like Cooks and Sammy, they’re all hell of players. Who else? The guy who used to be in Chicago? Alshon (Jeffery). He got a payday, too. So congratulations to all those guys. I hope everyone who plays this game has an opportunity to earn a big payday. I’m happy for them.” Tate had another productive season in 2017, hauling in 92 receptions for 1,003 yards and five touchdowns.
  • We heard earlier this week that Tre Boston‘s deal with the Cardinals was worth $1.5MM (although this could be increased to $3MM). However, Pro Football Talk reports that the safety’s deal only contains $800K in guaranteed money. The deal also includes a number of incentives, including per-game bonuses, playing time bonuses, and Pro Bowl/statistical bonuses. The 26-year-old had a productive season for the Chargers last season, compiling 79 tackles, eight passes defended, and five interceptions in 16 games (15 starts).

Vikings To Hire Ex-Raiders OC Todd Downing

Todd Downing looks set for a homecoming venture. The recently dismissed Raiders offensive coordinator has landed a job with the Vikings, with Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reporting (on Twitter) he will serve as a senior offensive assistant and passing-game specialist.

Not only did the Vikings give Downing his first NFL opportunity, as an intern in 2001 when the future OC was just 21, but Downing is an Eden Prairie, Minn., native. The Vikings’ facility being located in Eden Prairie makes this a logical move for the 37-year-old assistant to rebound from a one-and-done stint as the Raiders’ OC.

Downing served as Oakland’s quarterbacks coach prior to ascending to OC in 2017, but the Raiders underwhelmed last season and turned back to Jon Gruden. Downing will join new OC John DeFilippo and QBs coach Kevin Stefanski as key staffers involved with Minnesota’s aerial attack. With each of these coaches under 40, and Mike Zimmer being a defensive-minded HC, the Vikings will have young voices in charge of their offense.

The Bears interviewed Downing in January for their QBs job but went in another direction. Downing’s work helping Derek Carr ascend to the position of MVP candidate in 2016 led to him becoming the Raiders’ OC. The Raiders proceeded to plummet from the No. 6 offense, their finish in 2016 under Bill Musgrave, to No. 17 during Downing’s year overseeing the unit.

Bears Interviewing Todd Downing

Former Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing is interviewing to become the Bears’ next quarterbacks coach, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link) reports that while Downing is indeed meeting about a position on Chicago’s offensive staff, the interview isn’t necessarily for the QBs coach vacancy.Todd Downing (vertical)

Downing, Oakland’s quarterbacks coach from 2015-16, lasted only a single season as the Raiders’ offensive play-caller before being fired along with head coach Jack Del Rio and the rest of the Oakland staff. During Downing’s short stint atop the offense, the Raiders slipped in yards (from sixth in 2016 to 17th in 2017), points (seventh to 23rd), and DVOA (eighth to 13th).

However, the 37-year-old Downing drew rave reviews for his work as quarterback Derek Carr‘s position coach during the latter’s second and third NFL campaigns. Carr undoubtedly posted the two best seasons of his four-year career with Downing as his tutor, a sign that Bears signal-caller Mitch Trubisky — the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft — could thrive under Downing.

Downing isn’t the only candidate for Chicago’s quarterbacks coach vacancy, however, as Texans offensive assistant Pat O’Hara interviewed for the job today, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Mark Berman of FOX 26 first reported last week that Chicago could have interest in O’Hara, while Biggs added that an O’Hara addition wouldn’t necessarily mean that incumbent Bears QBs coach Dave Ragone moves on.

Raiders Expected To Fire Todd Downing After 2017

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.

Todd Downing (vertical)

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.