Was Todd Downing’s Hire More About Getting Bill Musgrave Out Of The Building?

If Jack Del Rio and Mike Tice really made up stories about the interest teams were showing in Todd Downing after last season, what exactly was their motivation?

If the Raiders could have kept both Musgrave and Downing, why wouldn’t they?

It seems like what it came down to were a couple of egos and a little too much desire for control.

If reports were accurate, Musgrave and Tice were at odds with each other enough that Tice apparently wanted him out.

Del Rio, you’ll remember, publicly criticized Musgrave’s play calling on several occasions and was obviously a proponent of letting Musgrave walk.

Looking back, the move to promote Downing now seems to have been less about Downing and more about getting Musgrave out of the building. Derek Carr had a great relationship with Downing so obviously he wasn’t going to jam up the process.

It was the perfect maneuver to give Del Rio and Tice the added authority over the offense they craved.

But there was a problem.

No one left in the building knew how to run an offense. Downing tried, but he proved to be in over his head.

For all the awful offense the Raiders showcased this season, Del Rio (to his credit) never once publicly shamed Downing the way he did Musgrave a year ago.

But so intent was Del Rio to make his plan work that had he not been fired, he was strongly considering bringing back Downing for another year.

The three-headed offensive braintrust of Del Rio, Downing, and Tice almost made it back for another season – or could have if Mark Davis hadn’t stepped in.

Talk about a bitter pill to swallow. Avoiding another offensive stink bomb in 2018 was worth $100 million alone.

Jon Gruden is just a cherry on top.

twitter: @raidersbeat


7 thoughts on “Was Todd Downing’s Hire More About Getting Bill Musgrave Out Of The Building?

  1. I think this article is exactly right. I know it’s probably an unpopular opinion, but I think Downing will eventually be a good coordinator somewhere. The real issue with the offense was Del Rio and his buddy Tice meddling and expecting Downing to keep half the previous offense while also instituting separate zone blocking scheme for Lynch. As with Norton, I don’t think Del Rio ever let Downing have full control of the game plan. It made for a team that never seemed to have a cohesive strategy through out the game.

  2. If this is true then good riddance Jack. Not that Musgrave was amazing. Too often the offense under Bill was too predictable and safe. But Downing was putrid, and that probably should have been typed in all caps.

    Had always had respect for Del Rio and Tice. Not so much anymore.

  3. My Dad is really good friends with an Ex NFL coach, one of the best OC’s ever, and won super bowls as an OC & HC.

    Story has it that Tice did this to him also, had the lineman change the blocking schemes at the line of scrimage without letting the QB or OC know….. Shady MF there.

  4. “Carr had a great relationship with Downing so obviously he wasn’t going to jam up the process.” …. Actually I read another report from (I think) Vic Tafur that said he and Downing didn’t get along well at all, which caused the offense to suffer and Carr to lose confidence. I’ll bet that Tice was pissed at Downing for changing to a zone blocking scheme which, as we know, was the dumbest use of our mauling linemen! What a wasted season with a bunch of garbage coaches. Gruden isn’t Vince Lombardi, but he’s bringing in some quality assistants……….although I’m still a little worried about Olson……maybe he’s learned a few things……….he did have a great turnaround season with Goff, so………………

  5. If this is true , then both Del Rio and Tice are exactly where they deserve to be AND if it’s true , good luck to either of them finding another coaching job . Duplicity doesn’t look good on anyone’s resume .

  6. Great way for Meathead to screw up the season…. Only positive is we have the Return of Chucky…
    -Pillaging just 4 fun

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