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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Does Todd Downing have only one game remaining as the Oakland Raiders’ offensive coordinator?

Coach Jack Del Rio on Wednesday came close to giving Downing, who was elevated from quarterbacks coach last offseason to replace the departed Bill Musgrave, a vote of confidence. Though, it could also be seen as a parting gift.
“Obviously, a lot of things have gone in a negative direction,” Del Rio said. “But I do know the guy is super bright. He’s going to be a real good coach in this league and I believe in him. So those are not things that people want to hear right now because the reality is we’ve underperformed offensively this year and so there’s going to be, naturally, there are going to be these kinds of questions and I think we all understand it. I understand it, he understands it.
“But it doesn’t change my belief. It’s what I know. But there have been a tough set of circumstances and things have not gone real smooth. And it’s not what we’re looking for. But this is really about the Chargers. … We can get into season-ending talk when it’s appropriate next week.”

Under Downing, the Raiders have regressed from the No. 6 total offense in the NFL in 2016 — they averaged 373.3 yards per game and scored 416 points, the seventh most in the league — to the No. 19 total offense, averaging 323.3 yards per game and scoring 291 points, 23rd most in the NFL.

Derek Carr's regression under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Downing has been a primary concern for the Raiders this season.

Derek Carr’s regression under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Downing has been a primary concern for the Raiders this season.

Perhaps most glaring has been the regression of quarterback Derek Carr, who signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension this past summer after finishing tied for third in NFL MVP voting.

But many observers have claimed Downing’s offense and route trees for receivers became too simplistic and the addition of running back Marshawn Lynch and stretch-zone runs negatively affected the once-dominant offensive line.

And the Raiders fell from a 12-4 record last season to a 6-9 mark heading into this Sunday’s finale at the Los Angeles Chargers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).

Turnover differential is a major reason as well. Oakland tied for the league lead last season at plus-16, but it enters Week 17 29th in the NFL at minus-12.

“Basic execution,” Del Rio said, “is the difference between being happy and not.”
Del Rio essentially chose the potential of Downing, 37, over the résumé of Musgrave, and Downing said after his hiring that any changes to the offense would be “subtle” going forward.

“We’re going to keep the same system terminology,” he said at the time. “There’s no reason to change any of that stuff. All we’re doing right now is finding the ways that we can all individually do our jobs better, prepare our positions better and how we can just quarter-turn a couple things to make the offense as efficient as possible.”

Downing was also asked if he considered himself an if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it type of coach.

“Yeah, I definitely think that that’s a phrase you can tag to me,” he said. “I believe … in efficiency. And if we’re efficient in a concept, I am not going to go changing it just for change sake. If we’re inefficient or we failed to live up to expectations in a certain concept, then I am going to figure out a way to tinker with it and make it work. If I can’t make it work, we simply won’t do it anymore.”

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Connor Barwin had surgery to repair a broken bone in his left forearm and will be out “a couple weeks,” coach Sean McVay announced late Monday afternoon.

Barwin, 31, had a plate inserted to stabilize the bone earlier in the day, and McVay said the procedure “went really well.” Samson Ebukam, a rookie fourth-round pick, will replace Barwin on the strong side.

“He’s a tough guy,” McVay said of Barwin. “He’ll be ready to go sooner than later, I’d be willing to bet.”
Barwin, in his ninth NFL season, was injured when he made a diving attempt to tackle New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara late in the first half of Sunday’s 26-20 win. He left Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with his arm in a sling.

Barwin’s streak of 107 consecutive NFL starts will be snapped when the Rams play the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. Barwin has four sacks and 25 total tackles this season.

Pro Football Focus has Barwin ranked 111th among 112 edge rushers with enough snaps to qualify, but McVay said the Rams will be losing “a lot” in his absence.

Connor Barwin's run of 107 consecutive NFL starts will end next Sunday when the Rams face the Cardinals.

Connor Barwin’s run of 107 consecutive NFL starts will end next Sunday when the Rams face the Cardinals.

“You not only lose a very productive player, but I think what he’s demonstrated as far as one of those guys in the locker room,” McVay added. “You look at a guy who’s been brought in here his first year, being voted a captain by his teammates — that says a lot about the type of person he is, the way he goes about his business.”

Slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman, who missed Sunday’s game because of a thigh injury, has a “90 to 95 percent” chance to play against the Cardinals, barring a setback, McVay said.

Ebukam was drafted out of Eastern Washington, the same school as receiver Cooper Kupp, and has recorded two sacks and a forced fumble while ranking 19th on the Rams in defensive snaps. The Rams can also rotate Matt Longacre, who has four sacks while mostly filling in for Robert Quinn on the weak side.

McVay called Ebukam “a player with some great explosion. He plays with good length. He’s continuing to understand the nuances of the system and what he’s being asked to do, both in our base [3-4] package and our dime package.”

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RENTON, Wash. — The Seahawks have acquired Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown in a trade with the Texans, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Seattle is sending cornerback Jeremy Lane to Houston along with a 2018 fifth-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick, sources told Schefter.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider confirmed that the trade has been agreed upon but said it had not been fully finalized yet. The trade comes one day before the NFL’s Tuesday trade deadline and one day after the Texans lost to the Seahawks in Seattle.

Schneider said the Seahawks are inheriting Brown’s current deal from Houston, which runs through 2018, and that there is no new deal beyond that. Brown is owed about $5 million for the remainder of this season and is scheduled to make $9.75 million in 2018.

“Because we acquired Duane, we want him to finish his career here and have him be here for several more years,” Schneider said.

Brown, 32, has spent his entire 10-year career with Houston, which selected him in the first round in 2008 out of Virginia Tech. He returned last week from a holdout and played 68 out of 71 offensive snaps Sunday against Seattle.

Brown posted a goodbye message to the Texans and their fans via his Instagram account.
Asked earlier Monday about the possibility of the Texans trading Brown, coach Bill O’Brien said: “I don’t have any say in that. You know what I mean? I coach the team, that’s what I do. Duane played well yesterday. Obviously he’s played well for us for a number of years. I have a lot of respect for Duane, but that’s the business side of things, and I just concentrate on coaching the team.”

On Friday, Brown was a vocal critic of Texans team owner Bob McNair’s comment saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” during last week’s owners meeting in reference to ongoing player demonstrations during the national anthem.

The acquisition of Duane Brown should bring relief to the Seahawks' injury-depleted offensive line.

The acquisition of Duane Brown should bring relief to the Seahawks’ injury-depleted offensive line.

“I think it was ignorant,” Brown said. “I think it was embarrassing. I think it angered a lot of players, including myself. We put our bodies and minds on the line every time we step on that field, and to use an analogy of inmates in prison, that’s disrespectful. That’s how I feel about it.”

Schneider said the Seahawks had been talking with the Texans about Brown since Seattle lost starting left tackle George Fant to a torn ACL in the preseason. Rees Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick, has struggled while replacing Fant, as has Seattle’s offensive line as a whole this season.

The Seahawks previously met with free-agent left tackle Branden Albert, but nothing materialized.

The trade for Brown marks another bold move by Schneider, who had previously made deals for Marshawn Lynch in 2010, Percy Harvin in 2013 and Jimmy Graham in 2015.
Asked earlier Monday whether the Seahawks are hoping to make a trade before the deadline, coach Pete Carroll said: “You’re either competing or you’re not. You know John; he’s out there trying to figure out what’s going on. You never know.”

Adding Brown will require some salary-cap maneuvering by Seattle.

Brown’s contract with Houston includes a $9.4 million base salary for 2017, of which a little less than $5 million remains. The Seahawks had only about $1.4 million in cap space as of Monday, according to NFL Players Association records. So even with the remainder of Lane’s $4 million base salary for 2017 coming off the books, the Seahawks will have to clear room in some way to absorb Brown’s contract, unless they restructure it.

Seattle drafted Lane in the sixth round in 2012 and gave him a contract extension in March of 2016, after Lane came back from a broken wrist and torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots.

Lane began this season as the Seahawks’ starting right cornerback but recently lost that job to rookie Shaquill Griffin. Lane returned Sunday after missing the past two games and most of a third with a groin injury. He began the game as Seattle’s nickelback but was replaced in that role by Justin Coleman after hurting his thigh, Carroll said.

Lane tweeted a farewell to the Seahawks shortly after the trade news broke and appeared ready to move on to the next chapter of his NFL career.
“We’ll miss him around here,” Schneider said. “He did a great job for us. He overcame his injury and everything from the second Super Bowl, but he had to be part of the deal.”