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Titans OC Todd Downing Among Assistants Fired by Mike Vrabel after Missing Playoffs

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2023

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 29:  Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing of the Tennessee Titans on the sidelines during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Nissan Stadium on December 29, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Cowboys defeated the Titans 27-13. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans' 2022 season came to a disappointing end, and they are making some notable changes as a result.

The Titans announced Monday that they parted ways with offensive coordinator Todd Downing, offensive line coach Keith Carter, secondary coach Anthony Midget and offensive skill assistant Erik Frazier.

It certainly didn't seem like this is where the Titans would be the first day after the regular season ended when they had a 7-3 record and looked to be well on their way to a third consecutive AFC South crown.

However, they lost their final seven games as the offense in particular came under scrutiny.

While it didn't help that quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed some time with injury, Tennessee managed to reach the 20-point mark just one time in those final seven games. That is never going to be enough for consistent success in the NFL, and there were long stretches when the offense seemed like Derrick Henry or bust.

There was no shortage of criticism for Downing in particular, and this seemed like an inevitable move after the Titans dropped their Week 18 game for the division crown against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That it was the offense that cost the team the game because of a strip-sack the Jaguars returned for a touchdown in the final minutes only felt fitting.

Downing was the offensive coordinator in each of the last two seasons as the Titans went from fourth in the NFL in scoring in 2020 before he took over the unit to 15th in his first year to 28th in his second.

"Injuries were a major factor in Downing's tenure; the Titans lost running back Derrick Henry to a broken foot in 2021 and quarterback Ryan Tannehill to an ankle injury in 2022," Nick Suss of the Nashville Tennessean wrote. "But poor pass protection, lack of receiver production and predictable play-calling also mired Downing's tenure, leading to the Titans logging the most three-and-outs and tied for the fewest first downs in football in 2022."

The AFC South club will be going through some major changes ahead of the 2023 campaign.

It fired general manager Jon Robinson in December, moved on from a number of coaches Monday and could look to replace Tannehill as the franchise signal-caller with either Malik Willis or an external candidate.