Jets Hire New Coach With Connections to Big Time QBs: Report

Todd Downing, Titans

Getty Former Tennessee Titans coach Todd Downing on the sideline of an NFL game.

The New York Jets have added some big-time experience to the coaching staff.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport announced that Gang Green is hiring former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing as their new “passing game coordinator.”

Some Fascinating Big-Name QB Connections

The 42-year-old who will be 43 ahead of the start of the 2023 season has been around the block.

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic revealed that Downing has some fascinating connections with a few potential quarterback options this offseason.

Downing had been with the Titans organization since 2019 so he has an obvious connection with veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Tannehill has one year left on his deal through 2023 for $27 million. The Titans are undecided on where they plan to go at the quarterback position in 2023.

There is a chance Tannehill plays out his contract and has one more year in Tennessee. However, there is also a chance the 34-year-old who will turn 35 ahead of the start of next season could be cut or traded to a new destination this offseason.

The other quarterback he has a direct connection to is Las Vegas Raiders passer, Derek Carr. Downing was his quarterback coach and offensive coordinator from 2015 through 2017.

These clear connections to a new coach being hired on the staff will make the rumor mill run wild with new possibilities about a potential team-QB pairing in 2023.

These could be something or they could mean nothing, we’ll have to wait to find out.

Coaching Hire for the Jets Is Quite Polarizing

Mike Herndon who covers the Titans said he was “genuinely shocked” that Downing landed this job.

He was equally stunned that he was reunited with new Jets offensive line coach Keith Carter in New York. Herndon called it a “head-scratcher for the Jets.”

Earlier this offseason the Jets also hired another former Titans coach in Keith Carter who is set to be the offensive line coach and run game coordinator.

Apparently, Gang Green is trying to be the Tennessee Jets or the New York Titans (I’ve heard that one somewhere before).

What you can’t deny is his experience. Downing has been coaching at the NFL level since 2005.

He started out as a quality control coach for the first five years of his career before jumping to bigger titles.

Downing has had three separate stints as a quarterback coach for the Detroit Lions (2010 through 2013), Buffalo Bills (2014), and the Oakland Raiders (2015 through 2016).

He also served as an offensive coordinator twice: Raiders (2017) and Titans (2021 through 2022).

Head coach Robert Saleh has gone out of his way to overhaul the offensive coaching staff this offseason. Quite frankly the Jets simply didn’t deliver in a results-oriented business often enough.

There are likely going to be more changes with coaches both exiting and being brought in as Nathaniel Hackett gets acclimated to his new gig as the team’s offensive coordinator.

The Jets still have a few openings on their staff and Hackett could decide to hit the eject button on a few holdovers from the Mike LaFleur regime and that should become clear in the next few weeks.

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