Todd Downing was featured on Good Morning Football lending his opinion on everything that’s currently happening with the Oakland Raiders. Downing detailed his views on player relationships and some of his plans for his offense moving forward.
Since his promotion to offensive coordinator, a continued theme with Downing has been his relationships with players. Downing is seen as a “people person” and “player’s coach”. So when talking about people his face brightens up and it becomes easy to see why those close to him rave about him.
“You know that I invest in relationships with my players. We [Derek Carr and Downing] can talk to each other like brothers. He can tell me when I’m wrong and I can tell him when he’s wrong, [He’s] just starting to tap into what he can be.”
– Todd Downing on Good Morning Football
Communication between a starting quarterback and his offensive coordinator is a unique and important dynamic.
Tom Moore, for example, raised quarterback Peyton Manning football-wise. From 1998 to 2009, Tom Moore and Manning had a close knit relationship similar to what Carr and Downing now have. The respect, mutual admiration, and comfort that these two have will bode well for the Raiders.
Downing also had high praise for his newly acquired tight end Jared Cook.
“Jared Cook is a unique talent, a very special player. Something that we think fills a need on offense. He’s got great range, great size, very good speed and catches the ball very well. He can stretch the field vertically inside. We’re very excited to see what he can do in this offense.”
-Todd Downing on Jared Cook
The Raiders had high hopes for Clive Walford but he just hasn’t quite panned out for them; in fact, the assessment of Cook and his intended purpose sounds exactly like what Walford was supposed to be able to do for the offense.
Having a tight end capable of stretching the field and clearing space in coverage zones seems to be a staple of Downing’s offense.
Now don’t let the “nice guy” routine fool you, when it comes to offense the coach gets serious and hunkers down.
Downing’s eyes took on the glazed look of a battle-hardened Marine when it came to discussing his offense. He would offer on his early bird mentality, his longtime mentor, and his own expectations.
“I expect everybody to ratchet their game up a little bit and hopefully we can have some fun schemes and good gameplans put together. We need to be detailed and that starts with me and goes to the last guy on the offense roster. We have a great staff getting players in the best positions to make plays. It’s my job to get the ball distributed to those guys working thru Derek.”
-Todd Downing ellaborating on his expectations for this season
In his first 60 days on the job Downing has had to refine his approach to the job.
Being a grinder who attacks new roles and tasks until they are completed, Downing sought out advice from his mentor Scott Linehan.
Linehan having the utmost of faith in his pupil would provide him with this sage advice:
“Take a deep breath, don’t try to do everything at once. You’re not going to be able to get everything the way you want it before the players show.”
The relocation to Las Vegas has dominated headlines recently but that hasn’t changed Downing’s focus in the slightest.
“Coaches we’re in such a “here and now” kinda routine-based lifestyle that it hasn’t really crossed my mind too much. I still park in the same parking spot, I still have the same office going on. I’m just focused on how I can best help this team take the next step offensively and get us to a championship.”
-Todd Downing’s thoughts on Raiders’ relocating
You can catch Downing’s full video interview here. Stay tuned to RaiderRamble.com for your latest news and opinions.