Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing
Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing hasn't orchestrated the offense for a lengthy period of time, but he's been meshing well with his unit. In his first year as Raiders offensive play caller, Downing has been insistent about helping quarterback Derek Carr take the next step in his progression. Friday, Downing appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio to talk about Carr following the signal caller's five-year contract extension, as well as the offense.
Here are the quick hits from his time on the air:
While Carr's attributes on the field are noteworthy, Downing discussed what stands out to him outside of football.
"He's just a wonderful man, a great teammate, a wonderful leader, he's humble, he's hungry, he works harder than anybody in the building, and I mean that sincerely. I think that's something people throw out there to lightly sometimes, this kids racing me to get in the building, and he just wants to be great. He's hungry, as I said, to be great, and to win, and to bring home a championship. Those are all the attributes that shine through for us on a daily basis, everybody gets to see his Sunday performances, but he's definitely a kid that puts it in day-in and day-out, and pursues greatness."
Initially hired as the quarterbacks coach in 2015, Downing talked about his communication with the Raiders field general.
"I was hired on to be the quarterback coach here going into his sophomore season. Early in the process with him, and going through the previous year's tape I wasn't really talking scheme with him, because what we were watching was someone else's scheme. But just talking through technique and why he went with certain reads, and so on, I quickly got from him that he just sees the game so well. It comes to him so slowly when the ball is snapped, it's impressive."
He also took the time to break down Carr's work ethic and passion to be great.
"He's trying to perfect his craft, and I think he said something in a press conference a couple weeks ago that really jumped out to me. He said, 'I can hit this throw eight out of 10 times, or nine out of 10 times, but if I want to be elite, and if I want to win a championship I've got to hit 10 out of 10.' That's truly how he approaches the game."
**Downing shared who he draws inspiration from and who he credits as a major influencer in his coaching career.
"I've been very blessed to be around some great coaches along the way, and some very good influences in terms of how I approach thinking about the game, and the chess match of the game. Scott Linehan is certainly the major influence of that, so if people are looking for a main contributor to my personality as a play-caller it's definitely Scott."
The Raiders new offensive coordinator broke down what he's observed from working with veteran running back Marshawn Lynch.
"This is not the PR [public relations] answer, this is being as genuine as I can be, he has pleasantly surprised me at every turn. It's been really neat to be around him, he loves football, he's a football junkie, he loves talking football, he loves being on the field with his teammates, he loves toting that rock. Everything that we've seen of him this far, of course we've only been in pajamas out there practicing, but what we've seen is fantastic."