NEWS

A Closer Look: Jim Bob Cooter

Posted Jan 2, 2018

Tim Twentyman and Mike O’Hara take a closer look at head coaching candidate Jim Bob Cooter.

Jim Bob Cooter

Current job: Offensive coordinator, Detroit Lions, promoted midseason 2015 to present.

NFL job log: Offensive assistant, Indianapolis Colts (2009-2011); offensive quality control, Kansas City Chiefs (2012); offensive assistant, Denver Broncos (2013); quarterbacks coach, Detroit Lions (2014 until promoted to coordinator in 2015 midseason).

Detroit connection: Like Teryl Austin, he had a connection to former head coach Jim Caldwell, who brought him aboard as QB coach in 2014 and promoted him the next year when Joe Lombardi was fired.

Specialty: Cooter inspires confidence in quarterbacks, which was the case before coming to Detroit in both Indianapolis and Denver, where he developed a strong relationship with Peyton Manning. In Detroit, Matthew Stafford has strongly endorsed Cooter twice -- after the 2015 season, when a GM change was pending, and again after the final game of the 2017 season when he said he has played his best ball under Cooter. 

Career highlight: Working with Cooter for the last nine games of the 2015 season, Stafford became the first QB in NFL history to complete 60 percent or more of his passes in all 16 regular-season games. Stafford has cut down interceptions and become more efficient under Cooter’s coaching.

Mike O’Hara’s take: The QB-coordinator relationship is unique in football. Because of that, one would think there would be strong consideration to keeping Cooter on the staff if he is bypassed for the head coach job. The Colts did that with a coaching change -- from Jim Mora to Tony Dungy -- by retaining Tom Moore as Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator. That worked out pretty well, didn’t it?

Tim Twentyman’s take: The Lions have begun their coaching search by interviewing two internal candidates in Austin and Cooter. Cooter has been very good for Stafford the last two and a half years. Stafford’s passer rating and completion percentage are both up significantly since he took over the offense. This is a good opportunity for Cooter to gain some experience in the interview process.