NASHVILLE — Just two days after ending the season on a seven-game losing streak, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel fired four assistant coaches on Monday.
Offensive coordinator Todd Downing, offensive line coach Keith Carter, secondary coach Anthony Midget and offensive skills assistant Erik Frazier are all absent.
Downing had come under particularly harsh criticism this season after the Titans finished the season ranked 30th in overall offense (296.8 yards per game), 30th in passing offense (171.4 yards per game) and 28th in points (17.5 per game).
The Titans have been held to 20 points or less in 12 of their 17 games this season, including six of their last seven, and they’ve scored a grand total of 94 points in the third and fourth quarters combined this year, an average of just 5 .5 per Game.
Downing has been the offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, after coaching tight ends for two years. He also made negative headlines in December when He was stopped and charged with driving under the influence hours after a win in Green Bay.
“Our behavior and our actions away from here are critical, be it mine, the coaches or the players,” Vrabel said earlier on Monday. “It’s something extremely important and critical in the way we behave away from here. We’ll have those conversations and I’ll have meetings with the coaches, and we’ll go from there.”
Under Midget, the Titans’ cornerbacks have struggled this season and the defense finished dead last in passing yards allowed with an average of 274.8 yards per game. Tennessee has given up 29 touchdown passes in 2022, a number only surpassed by Kansas City (33). A number of recently drafted cornerbacks – Roger McCreary, Caleb Farley, Kristian Fulton and Elijah Molden – appeared to be making only gradual progress, although injuries played a huge role in the development of Farley and Molden in particular.
Midget coached defensive backs for three seasons.
Under Carter, an injury-riddled Titans offensive line turned in 49 sacks this season, the fifth-highest total in the NFL, a topic Vrabel addressed during his season-ending press conference on Monday.
“You have to protect your quarterback in the National Football League,” Vrabel said. “When you don’t, what happens? They hurt themselves and return the ball. We need to find guys who can protect the quarterback, just because that’s what happened.
The Titans have used several high picks on the offensive line in recent years, but haven’t seen much reward at this point.
Tackle Isaiah Wilson, the team’s 2020 first-round pick, has been a complete failure, playing just three offensive snaps in the NFL. But Carter could hardly be blamed for that, as Wilson seemed to have a mile-wide self-destruct streak.
Dillon Radunz, the Titans’ second-round pick last year, started just five games in two seasons before ending up on the disabled list with an ACL injury this year. Right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frère, a third-round pick last April, has started 16 games this year, but his rookie season has had its share of bumps.
Carter just completed his fifth season as the Titans’ offensive line coach.