Mike Vrabel is making significant changes to his coaching staff following his first losing season in Tennessee.
The Titans have fired offensive coordinator Todd Downing, the team announced Monday. Offensive line coach Keith Carter, secondary coach Anthony Midget and offensive skill assistant Erik Frazier were also let go by the club.
"I want to thank Todd, Keith, Anthony and Erik for their service and commitment to our team over their time here in Tennessee," Vrabel said in a statement. "Each of them made an impact on our organization, were dedicated to the process and loyal members of our coaching staff."
Downing was promoted to OC ahead of the 2021 season after Arthur Smith was hired to become the Atlanta Falcons head coach. Initially joining Vrabel's staff as a tight ends coach in 2019, Downing's offense regressed during his two seasons at the helm.
The Titans were the No. 2 offense in the NFL under Smith in 2020, but Downing's unit got progressively worse, ranking No. 17 in 2021 and slipping down to No. 30 in 2022. Tennessee eclipsed the 20-point mark just once during its seven-game losing streak to round out the 2022 season, which was the chief issue of a Titans team that boasted a playoff-ready defense.
Of course, several injuries to the Titans offense didn't help Downing's cause. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed five games, including Week 18's showdown versus the Jacksonville Jaguars for the AFC South title. Left tackle Taylor Lewan's season-ending knee injury in Week 2 caused a ripple effect along the O-line throughout the campaign, as well.
Tennessee's tumultuous season also saw the firing of general manager Jon Robinson after seven seasons with the club.
Downing's issues in 2022 were not limited to on-field results, either. The 42-year-old coach was arrested for driving under the influence on Nov. 18, just hours following a Week 11 win over Green Bay. The Titans chose to keep Downing as their OC following that arrest.
Tennessee didn't win a game the rest of the season after the Packers victory.
During his season-ending news conference on Monday morning, Vrabel insisted there would be changes made. Downing, including three other coaches, were dismissed hours later, and the Titans will go forward into this offseason with a search for a new OC and GM.
"The same thing I've always wanted it to be – smart, tough, and fast," Vrabel said of his team's identity, via the team's website. "(I want it to be) physical. I still think there is a degree of physicality that is required in this game at every level. Fundamentally sound, play with technique. But we have to get faster. We have to be a faster football team. Rarely are we the fastest team out there."