Tennessee offensive coordinator Todd Downing said Wednesday he couldn’t think of anything he’s faced “much harder” in his career than the one he’s dealing with right now, and that the problem is all his own.
Downing is busy preparing for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati (6-4) in a rematch of the division playoff game the AFC No. 1 Titans lost in January while waiting to deal with the aftermath Coping with her November 18 arrest for speeding and driving under the influence hours after a big win in Green Bay.
“It is devastating that my actions or anything I am involved with could ever bring negative attention to this organization, to the owner Miss Amy (Adams Strunk) and to the front office and obviously to coach (Mike) Vrabel,” said Downing.
Speaking to reporters at his usual weekly availability, the coordinator initially spoke for almost three minutes about his arrest, though he avoided details about the incident, which saw him leave the Williamson County Jail on $2,500 bail.
“I understand what a sensitive and troubling subject this is and I am not naïve how much pain there can be for some people involved in similar situations,” Downing said.
He also apologized to his wife and son for causing them “things they don’t deserve.”
Downing said he knows there are a lot of questions and people want answers as to what prompted the Tennessee Highway Patrol to arrest him hours after the Titans’ 27-17 win over the Packers in Green Bay. The NFL does not permit alcohol on team flights, buses, or team facilities.
“Unfortunately, due to the situation, I am unable to discuss some of this (event) and at the appropriate time and where appropriate I will answer any questions that I can,” Downing said.
Downing has been a target of heavy criticism in both of his seasons, especially this year when the Titans went into the Green Bay game last in the NFL, averaging just 281.7 yards per game.
The Titans (7-3) put on their best offensive performance of the season, winning for the seventh time in eight games. The team could penalize the coordinator before the charges are settled or the NFL decides on a discipline.
Vrabel said Tuesday that the Titans are waiting for “everything to come out.” This includes both disciplinary action that may originate from the NFL and legal action.
Downing said he knew the Titans provided rides for everyone in the organization. The coordinator declined to answer why he didn’t take the opportunity, saying: “I can’t go into the specifics of that night.”
The coordinator also refused to respond if he had been drinking on the crew plane returning from Wisconsin or at the crew facility. One report mentioned that Downing told the soldiers his family had received death threats. When asked if he reported those threats to authorities, he said he couldn’t speak about them now.
“I understand that there are many questions and I wish I could just lay everything out, but I cannot comment on the events of that night at this time,” Downing said.