Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing addressed the media Wednesday, speaking for the first time since being arrested.
Downing was charged with speeding and driving under the influence early Friday morning following the Titans' win over the Green Bay Packers. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said the team is "continuing forward" with Downing as offensive coordinator pending review from the NFL, after which a punishment or suspension may be handed out.
"It's devastating that my actions or anything that I'm involved with could ever bring negative attention to or bring distractions to this organization," Downing said. "To the ownership, Mrs. Amy (Adams Strunk), to the organization and obviously to coach Vrabel. I believe in myself as a man and I believe that I will answer the bell to lead this offense going forward. I thank coach Vrabel and Jon Robinson and Mrs. Amy for giving me the opportunity to lead this offense going into this weekend and these guys in the locker room deserve for me to give my best efforts forth in that."
Downing said due to the nature of an investigation by the league and the team, he is not able to comment on the events of the night of his arrest. That included choosing not to answer questions about whether he was drinking alcohol on the team plane, why he chose not to take a rideshare service when they are provided by the team and if he's aware of a timetable for when he might be punished.
Downing did say he was aware of the team's partnership with a rideshare service and said that partnership was well communicated to players and personnel.
When asked if he ever considered not coaching this week, Downing said that thought didn't cross his mind.
"I love this team," Downing said. "I love the men I get to work with. I love the role that I've been entrusted to be a part of. As long as they allow me to do that, I want to be great at that role."
Vrabel did not answer when asked who would replace Downing if he is suspended. Downing deferred to Vrabel's comments when asked similar questions.
Downing began his press conference by acknowledging the severity of his actions and how much pain "there may be for some people involved in similar situations." He never directly apologized or used the words "drinking" or "alcohol." He expressed remorse about how his actions have put his wife and son through pain.
When asked if he feels he's lost the trust of the Titans' locker room, Downing said he's been appreciative of the reactions he's received from his players.
"I feel as though for 20-plus years in this business I've worked hard to try to create and maintain an identity," Downing said. "I've tried to live strong in my faith and be a man of high character. My hope is that the feeling that these players and the guys that I work with is that their response has been genuine and that track record speaks for itself."
The Titans (7-3) host the Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) from Nissan Stadium on Sunday (noon, CBS).
Contact Nick Suss at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicksuss.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Tennessee Titans OC Todd Downing speaks for 1st time after arrest