It’s no secret that offensive coordinator Todd Downing and the Tennessee Titans play-calling has left something to be desired in 2022.

The Titans’ underperforming offense is dead last in yards per game so far this season (281.7), while averaging just 18.4 points per game. Sometimes, it feels as if the team’s 6-3 record covers up those facts.

Play calling and criticisms of Downing seem to be the most unanimous gripe among Titans fans. The fanbase has been campaigning for his departure from the play-calling role since the season began.

Even if you fall into the category of believing Downing is not completely to blame, which I do, one thing is undeniable: The Titans’ coaching staff needs to be held accountable for their poor play-calling, one-dimensional game plan, and lack of offensive production.

I’m not sure what passing game coordinator Tim Kelly does other than coordinate the NFL’s second-worst passing offense, and Mike Vrabel‘s responsibility as head coach is to hold his staff to a standard of excellence.

Unfortunately, Vrabel’s standards for his offensive coordinator don’t seem to measure up to that of the fans.

During Monday’s press conference, OutKick 360‘s Paul Kuharsky very bluntly asked Vrabel if he’s been satisfied with Downing’s play-calling this season. Vrabel’s response was concerning.

“I think as long as the play calls are given to the signal caller in a timely fashion and we have time to get out there, I think players are more important than plays,” Vrabel responded. “I think teammates are more important than players. Hopefully we’re getting these guys the call and they understand the details, but there’s no magic call.”

To back up his claim, Vrabel referred back to Sunday’s flea-flicker, saying that execution was the reason it resulted in a 63-yard touchdown pass.

Now, “players over plays” has long been a Vrabel philosophy. Nobody is bigger than the team, and it doesn’t matter what play you’re running if you don’t execute it with all 11. Vrabel’s ability to adjust to personnel and get the very most out of his players is what makes him such a special NFL head coach.

But to define his offensive coordinator’s main responsibility as relaying plays in a timely fashion? That feels like setting an awfully low bar for a coach as talented and highly regarded as Mike Vrabel.

You always need execution, but your play caller’s job is to put your players in the best possible position to succeed. That is, quite literally, the entire purpose of a game plan and play design.

As it would turn out, relying on players over plays doesn’t always work when your roster lacks the offensive talent of other NFL teams, specifically in the passing game.

If the expectation for Downing is just to relay plays to Ryan Tannehill on time, thus meaning his 2022 performance has been satisfactory, things likely won’t change.

Titans fans expect better, and Mike Vrabel should too.

Image via George Walker IV / Tennessean.com-USA TODAY NETWORK