Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing
Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing hasn't been at the helm for an extensive period of time, but he's seems to be settling in quite nicely to his new role. Part of what's helped with his transition from the former quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator is his familiarity with the players and coaching staff. In his first training camp as the commander of the offense, Downing has been an active voice in helping the team get to where it wants to be.
Sunday afternoon, he took the podium to recap what he's seen from his unit thus far.
Downing pinpointed the areas where fourth-year quarterback Derek Carr is striving to improve.
"With him, it's a matter of consistency. We talk about the offseason, him being able to rely on his physical gifts to go maybe eight out of 10 on a route, but his mind and his anticipation can get him nine out of 10, 10 out of 10, and better in ball placement, and ball accuracy, and all those type of things. So for him it's just going to be a matter of the things he's done the last few years, transition into being an expert in those, and not just good at them."
The first-year offensive coordinator shared his thoughts on the current backup quarterback battle between E.J. Manuel and Connor Cook.
"I think it is even, and I think there's a little bit of even flow to that situation. You know, some days one guy might have a better day than the other. We're not going to adjust the reps accordingly and try to play that back-and-forth game. I like guys to develop some consistency in their pattern, and that's why you see the rotation the way it was the last couple days. We'll switch it in the next couple days, it's going to be a very fluid situation for quite a while here in the preseason."
He talked about wide receiver Johnny Holton's progression from his rookie season to this year.
"Johnny's done a nice job, you know, he came in very, very raw. We joke about as a staff all the time, the first time we watched him run routes in phase two of his rookie season, we were sitting going, 'Geez this guy doesn't have much route training.' Where he's at now compared to where he was then is truly a testament to his hard work, and Rob Moore our Receivers Coach who's a great teacher of fundamentals."
Downing believes special teams speedster Cordarrelle Patterson can continue to push his limits as a receiver.
"I think his ceiling is going to be self-determined. However much work he wants to put in on developing his receiver habits, he'll be able to do anything he puts his mind to. The guy is just a freak of nature athletically, he certainly has great long speed, so we're definitely going to take the opportunity to showcase that a little bit in camp."
He discussed the addition of tight end Jared Cook, and how the tight end group as a whole is coming along nicely.
"That tight end group has done a great job, and we're really excited about adding Jared Cook. You guys have seen his length and vertical speed. Earlier we talked about being able to attack the field vertically, you have to be able to do that on the inside part of the field too, and a lot of the times that's where the tight ends line up."