BOCA RATON, Fla. – The impact Jim Bob Cooter had on the Detroit Lions offense the second half of last season is seen by simply opening up a stat book.
Matthew Stafford was a better quarterback under his direction. The run game picked up. Most importantly, the Lions won five more games than they did the first half.
All that doesn't surprise new Miami head coach Adam Gase, who worked alongside Cooter for two years (2013-14) in Denver.
"He does a really good job as far as quickly figuring out what guys do well and implementing a plan around that," Gase said of Cooter Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL League Meetings.
"I think you saw last year when he took over play calling things changed for them. He figured out a way to get Matt's (Stafford) turnovers down. He got the ball to CJ (Calvin Johnson). I mean, he did a really good job as far as using the talent pool he had."
Good coordinators in this league tailor scheme to fit their talent pool. Not the other way around.
Stafford had 13 touchdowns vs. 11 interceptions and an 84.1 passer rating the first half of the season in Joe Lombardi's offense. After Cooter took over, he threw 19 touchdowns, only two interceptions and played to a 105.1 passer rating the rest of the season.
"Getting Matt to play at a high level," Gase said. "Unfortunately, we played them at the end of the year (Gase was OC in Chicago last season) here (Week 17) and I saw the end product of that thing. He did a great job and it was fun to watch him call plays."
What Gase saw during Detroit's 24-20 win in Chicago to end last season wasn't a finished product, however. Cooter changed things on the fly, and really wasn't able to implement all of his schemes and concepts during the course of the season.
That should happen in OTAs, minicamp and training camp as he tries to build an offense around Detroit's new and returning skill players.