Todd Downing not feeling pressure taking over for Arthur Smith as Titans OC

In the last few years, being the Titans offensive coordinator has become a strong stepping stone.

Matt LaFleur spent one year in the position before becoming the Packers head coach in 2019. Arthur Smith took over, spending two years as Tennessee’s play-caller before Atlanta hired him as its head coach in January.

Now after succeeding Smith as the Titans’ tight ends coach, Todd Downing has followed Smith again as the Titans’ OC. This is Downing’s second time as a coordinator, having served as the Raiders’ offensive play-caller in 2017. But this time he’s inheriting an offense that finished second in total yards and fourth in scoring last season.

The stakes are high, but Downing isn’t letting that get to him.

“I think there would be pressure if I looked at it as: My job is to fill Arthur’s shoes,” Downing said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s website. “But I think each year is its own year. It has its own challenges, its own components. I look at this job more as what coach [Mike] Vrabel and [G.M.] Jon Robinson asked me to do to fill it this year, not to be Arthur Smith or to be anybody else.

“It’s my job to be the best version of me, and [be] the best coordinator for this offense that I can be. I’m really looking forward to stepping into moments and figuring out ways that I can improve and give this team my best each day.”

The Raiders finished 17th in total yards and 23rd in points scored in Downing’s one season as offensive coordinator. But that team didn’t have Derrick Henry at running back, who should make Downing’s job easier as a play-caller this time around.