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Titans promote TEs coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator; OLB coach Shane Bowen to defensive coordinator

The Tennessee Titans have found their replacement for Arthur Smith, and they didn't have to exit the building to do so.

Tennessee is expected to promote tight ends coach Todd Downing to offensive coordinator, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.

Tennessee later announced the promotion of Downing, along with officially naming outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen the team's defensive coordinator.

This wouldn't be Downing's first stint as an NFL OC. Downing also served as Jack Del Rio's head offensive man in Oakland in 2017 with the Raiders, directing an offense led by Derek Carr to a finish in the lower half of the league in yards (17th) and points scored (23rd). The unit's regression from an explosive 2016 season was a large reason for the firing of Del Rio and his staff, which included Downing.

However, those statistical rankings can't be mentioning without including the fact Carr suffered a transverse process fracture in his back in October of that season, and was already coming off a broken leg suffered near the end of the previous campaign.

That leaves Downing's evaluation incomplete as an offensive coordinator. The hope in Tennessee is that he can follow in the successful footsteps of his predecessor, who was also a tight ends coach before he was elevated to OC and led Tennessee to a tie for the second-best offense in the NFL in terms of yards per game and fourth-best in points per game.

Smith left the Titans after just two seasons as offensive coordinator (he'd been with the Titans in a variety of roles since 2011) to take the head coaching job in Atlanta. Downing will have most of the group back from Tennessee's offense in 2021, including its most important players -- Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown -- and will hope to pick up where Smith left off.

Previously, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel had stated Bowen was essentially the team's defensive coordinator in 2020 without the title, but he received the title on Friday. Along with the coordinator positions, the Titans announced they promoted Luke Steckel to tight ends coach, Ryan Crow to OLB coach and Matt Edwards to assistant special teams coach. The Titans also hired Kenechi Udeze as assistant defensive line coach.

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