NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) – Tennessee Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said Wednesday that he can’t think of anything he’s faced in his career that’s “much harder” than he’s dealing with now, and the whole issue is of his own making.
Downing is busy trying to prepare for Sunday’s game with Cincinnati (6-4) in a rematch of a divisional playoff game the Titans lost in January as the AFC’s #1 seed while waiting to deal with the consequences of his November 18 arrest for speeding and driving under the influence. Hours after hitting a big win in Green Bay.
“It is devastating that my actions or anything I am involved in could attract negative attention or cause a distraction to this organization, to Miss Amy’s (Adams Strunk) property and to the front office and obviously Coach (Mike) Vrabel,” Downing said.
The coordinator addressed reporters in his usual weekly presence and began speaking for nearly three minutes about his arrest, though he avoided details about the incident as he ended up leaving Williamson County Jail on $2,500 bail.
Downing said, “I understand what a sensitive and troubling topic it is, and I’m not naive as to how much pain there may be for some people involved in similar situations.”
He also apologized to his wife and son for subjecting them to “things they don’t deserve”.
Downing said he knows there are a lot of questions and people want answers as to why the Tennessee Highway Patrol arrested him hours after the Giants beat the Packers 27-17 in Green Bay. The NFL does not allow alcohol on team trips, buses, or team facilities.
Downing said: “Unfortunately, due to the situation, I cannot discuss much of this (the event) and at the appropriate time and when appropriate I will answer any questions that I can.”
Downing has been the target of heavy criticism over his two seasons, especially this year with the Titans coming into Green Bay’s final NFL game managing just 281.7 yards per game.
The Titans (7-3) had their best offensive performance of the season by winning for the seventh time in eight games. The team can sanction the coordinator before the charges are legally resolved or the NFL decides which system.
Vrabel said on Tuesday that the Titans are waiting for “anything to happen.” This includes both potential discipline from the NFL and the legal process.
Downing said he was aware of the Titans providing the rides to anyone in the organization. The coordinator declined to answer why he did not take advantage of the opportunity, saying, “I can’t go into the details of that night.”
The coordinator also declined to answer whether he drank on the team’s plane back from Wisconsin or at the team’s facility. According to one report, Downing told soldiers that his family had received death threats. When asked if he had reported these threats to the authorities, he said it was something he could not discuss now.
Downing said, “I understand there are a lot of questions, and I wish I was able to show it all, but I am unable to comment on the events that night at the moment.”
Notes: C. Ben Jones, who is still in concussion protocol, has been limited after missing a game last week. OLB Bud Dupree, who missed the last game and three overall with a groin injury, trained fully with S Amani Hooker (left shoulder), who missed the past two games. QB Ryan Tannehill (right ankle) is fully practiced.
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