Downing's unique journey leads to job as Raiders offensive coordinator

Downing's unique journey leads to job as Raiders offensive coordinator

Todd Downing took a long, winding road to become the Raiders offensive coordinator.

He started work in the NFL as a public relations intern for Minnesota before moving into the football side of things under Mike Tice, the current Raiders offensive line coach who was then Vikings head coach. He worked as a systems analyst and quality control coach.

He spent time as a quality control coach on both sides of the ball before landing a job as Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach in 2011. He held that position in Detroit and Buffalo before manning that post in Oakland, where he fostered a great relationship with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. He’s well respected for his work in Oakland, with a wide base of knowledge from several different offensive schemes.

Downing will now take over as Raiders offensive coordinator, the next step in his rise up the coaching ranks. He talked about his coaching career on a Dec. 30 edition of the CSN Raiders Insider Podcast.

“It’s been an incredible experience, my journey thus far,” Downing said then. “Hopefully it continues to develop and last for a lot longer, because I love what I do. Going from an intern to bouncing around different departments and then finally cracking my way into coaching was interesting. Then going over to the defensive side of the ball and coming back to work with quarterbacks, which is where my passion is, it’s been incredible.

"I feel like I’ve developed a well-rounded sense of this game, the business of it and the scheme of it. It’s been a very unique journey, and it’s helped me get a full understanding of what it takes to be around a winning culture.”

Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere


Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere

The Raiders missed out on signing Ryan Grant. The former Washington receiver visited the team’s Alameda training complex, but left without a contract and ultimately chose to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with Indianapolis.

They lost that one, but are undeterred in their quest to upgrade the receiver corps.

They already signed Jordy Nelson and let Michael Crabtree walk, hoping for steady production and quality locker room leadership in the exchange.

Cordarrelle Patterson was traded to New England on Sunday, creating a spot in the position group.

The Raiders tried to fill it with Grant. No go, no matter.

They hosted veteran Eric Decker on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. They also declared interest in Allen Hurns, a player the Jaguars released Tuesday morning.

Hurns listed the Raiders among interested teams – he said there were 10 in total – in an interview with KFNZ radio in Charlotte, N.C.

Hurns has a 1,000-yard season to his credit – his biggest year came with now-Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson as Jacksonville's O.C. -- and two relative down years since. Injuries have also played a part in that.

Decker had a stellar four-year run with Denver and the New York Jets, but was less effective during two seasons in Tennessee. The 31-year old has experience in the slot, and could be a productive No. 3 option in Jon Gruden’s offense.

Gruden doesn't mind working with veteran receivers, something clear from his past and willingness to add Nelson as a major contributor. 

Even if the Raiders don't land a veteran receiver, they could also look for a receiver in the NFL draft.

Amari Cooper will remain the No. 1 option. Seth Roberts has $4.45 million guaranteed in 2018. Johnny Holton, Isaac Whitney and Keon Hatcher are also on the roster.

Report: Ndamukong Suh set to meet with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh set to meet with Raiders

After visiting the Titans, Saints and Rams, free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will make a stop in the East Bay.

Recently released by the Dolphins, Suh will visit with the Raiders on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

The former No. 2 overall pick made it through just three seasons of a six-year, $114 million deal he signed with Miami prior to the 2015 season.

The 31-year-old Portland, Oregon native last made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was last earned First-Team All Pro honors in 2014.

In 16 games with the Dolphins last season, Suh recorded 4.5 sacks and 48 combined tackles.