Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing
The Oakland Raiders made a few moves this offseason, but the promotion of former quarterbacks coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator was one of the bigger ones. In his first official media session as offensive coordinator, Downing shed some light on the acquisition of running back Marshawn Lynch, as well as the development of quarterback Derek Carr.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Downing expressed his gratitude towards Head Coach Jack Del Rio for the opportunity to be the team's offensive coordinator.
"It's been great. It's been a wonderful opportunity. I'm very appreciative of the Raiders having faith in me and [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] having faith in me to give me this chance. It's been a lot of fun to dive in with the guys and have a little bit broader scope and be able to stop in different rooms and see the offense evolve."
The first-year offensive coordinator discussed what Lynch brings to the offense.
"It's awesome. I wouldn't say that because of him we're changing anything. It's just nice to have another piece added to the puzzle. We really like the young backs that we have, and we feel like Marshawn added to that group is really going to solidify our running back situation and give us a chance to put our best foot forward in the run game and in protection in passing."
Downing talked about the line of communication between him and the players, and said that he's open to making things more suitable for them.
"We have a great group of veterans and some really hard working young guys. I like taking feedback from them on ways we can adjust things. Earlier we were talking about adjustments to the system or little tweaks, sometimes it's their idea. There's no pride in authorship from me on how we're going to do things. If there's something that's better suited to our players, I want to hear about it."
He discussed Carr's improvement over the years, and his desire to keep enhancing his game.
"I'll tell you the best thing about Derek, and I mean this sincerely, is that he wants to be great. He understands that to be great, it's always a learning process. It's always a growing process. For him, it could be something as a lead foot placement on an out-breaker to his left, and he wants to drill that and work it and work it because he happened to leave one ball inside a little bit in team period or something like that. For him, it's just consistency. It's taking those little details and refining them as much as he possibly can."
Downing expects to see big things from wide receiver Amari Cooper this season.
"I'll tell you what, he's coming to work with a purpose. He's really been impressive with the way he's attacked each day. He's working on the small things. Working on things that maybe hindered him as the season went on last year. I think that you're going to see an impressive version of Amari in 2017."