The Oakland Raiders new offensive coordinator Todd Downing said he wants quarterback Derek Carr to become more vocal in the game plan, via a press conference with the media.
Downing, 36, was promoted to offensive coordinator on Jan. 22, after the team decided to not re-sign Bill Musgrave. Downing spent the last two seasons as the quarterbacks coach in Oakland, and Musgrave’s contract was up.
With Downing as his quarterbacks coach, Carr has made two consecutive Pro Bowls. Despite missing the final game of 2016 with a leg injury, Carr finished last season with a 63.8 completion percentage, 3937 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes. Downing and Carr also developed a relationship.
As for how Downing’s promotion impacts the quarterback, the Raiders offensive coordinator said he wants Carr to become more vocal in the game plan.
Downing said the relationship between he and Carr should allow the quarterback to voice his opinions and express his thoughts on the offense. The offensive coordinator wants Carr to vocalize his likes and dislikes as far as the offensive game plan.
Further, Downing wants Carr to improve his progression, and take more control at the line of scrimmage. Although, those changes are not expected to come until the team gets into camp.
Otherwise, Downing is eager to takeover an Oakland offense that ranked sixth in total yards, seventh in scoring and made the playoffs.
“I was looking forward to the opportunity to run an offense somewhere in the NFL in 2017,” Downing said on Wednesday via ESPN. “I just feel really fortunate that coach Del Rio has the trust in me moving forward to have that opportunity here.”
Downing said other teams had expressed interest in having him interview for coordinator jobs elsewhere.
However, the former quarterbacks coach said he is blessed to have his first opportunity to become a coordinator happen in Oakland. The first-time offensive coordinator said he knows how to communicate with the Raiders staff, which gives him a head start versus another NFL coordinator position.
Additionally, Downing said the changes to the Raiders’ offense would be subtle in 2017. He said the team will keep most of the same terminology that they used under Musgrave, because there is no reason to change it.
Further, Downing said he is committed to the run game and pass game equally.
The quarterbacks coach turned offensive coordinator has spent 15 years on NFL staffs. Downing started as a system analyst in Minnesota. He also served as a quarterbacks coach in Detroit and Buffalo, before ending up as the QB coach in Oakland. Jake Peetz takes over for Downing as the Raiders quarterbacks coach.
Nonetheless, It remains to be seen if the Raiders and Downing can repeat their 2016 offensive success.
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