January 27, 2023

The Giants release four assistants, including OC Todd Downing

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The Giants fired four assistant coaches Monday, including offensive coordinator Todd Downing.

Downing has spent the past two seasons as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator. The Giants also fired offensive line coach Keith Carter, secondary coach Anthony Midgett, and offensive skills assistant Eric Frazier.

“I want to thank Todd, Keith, Anthony and Eric for their service and commitment to our team during their time here at Tennessee,” Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said in a statement. “Each of them has made an impact on our organisation, dedicated to the process and loyal members of our coaching staff.”

The Giants finished with a disappointing 7-10 record, capped by Saturday’s 20-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that eliminated them from the playoffs. The Titans lost their last seven games of the season.

“We didn’t do well enough – we lost a lot of games,” Vrabel said Monday. This self-reflection, no one will rate that they did a good enough job because we didn’t win. … The short answer is: it wasn’t good enough.”

While Downing is out, quarterback Ryan Tannehill He indicated Monday that he wants to return to the Titans next season.

“I definitely have some good years left. I feel really good,” said Tannehill, who was injured in Week 15 and miss the rest of the season. “Even after recovering from this injury, I feel really good and look forward to many bright years to come.”

The Titans could save about $18 million in cover space if they released Tannehill, who finished the season with 2,536 passing yards, 15 total touchdowns (including two rushing) and six interceptions in 12 games.

Vrabel said Monday that he wants Tannehill to have “the best possible health and go and be our quarterback and figure out the things that will help us win.”

The Giants are also looking for a new general manager after the firing of John Robinson last month. Amy Adams Strunk, controlling owner of the Titans, said whoever they hire to be their next general manager will have to work “alongside” Vrabel as they seek to put together their roster.

Under Downing, the Titans offense gained 296.8 yards per game this season, ranking 30th in the NFL. The Giants’ offense struggled to score as evidenced by his 17.5 points per game average (28th in the league). Most of the flaws came in the second half of the games as Tennessee’s 5.5 point average was the worst in the NFL.

In November, hours after a Thursday night game against the Green Bay Packers, he was charged with driving under the influence and speeding after he was pulled over by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Vrabel stood by Downing after his arrest, saying the team would wait everything to play out with the NFL and the legal system before taking action.

Downing took over as offensive coordinator when former Titans caller Arthur Smith left to coach the Atlanta Falcons prior to the 2021 season. In Downing’s first season as offensive coordinator, the Titans’ scoring offense dropped to No. 15 in the NFL after finishing fourth in 2020.

But the Titans ranked fifth in rushing (141.4 yards per game) despite losing the Pro Bowl Derek Henry Jones was suspended for nine games due to a broken right foot and earned the number one seed in the AFC that season. The 2021 offense also ranked fifth (63.9%) in red zone scoring efficiency.

Before being hired as the Titans’ offensive coordinator, Downing spent two seasons at Tennessee as a tight ends coach. Downing joined the Titans after spending 2018 with the Minnesota Vikings as tight ends coach. He also served as the Oakland Raiders’ offensive coordinator in 2017 after spending two years as the quarterbacks coach.