Jim Bob Cooter has the "greatest name in the history of the Southeastern Conference" according to Denver quarterback and fellow Tennessee alum Peyton Manning. Manning is also a big fan of Cooter as a coach.
Cooter embraced his name and the cult hero status that's come along with it ever since he entered the NFL as an offensive assistant under Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis in 2009.
But now Cooter's also being recognized for his abilities to coach offensive football, something Manning knew would eventually happen.
"I used to see Jim Bob when I used to go back to Knoxville," he said.
"I went back to Knoxville every summer to work out with the team. So I knew Jim Bob then as a player when he was there and Coach (Bob) Fulmer always told me this guy is going to be a coach. Some guys you can just peg that way."
It was Fulmer who called Caldwell about Cooter back in 2009, and Manning said he seconded the notion of hiring him to Caldwell.
Cooter has worked his way up the professional coaching ranks and took over as the Lions' offensive coordinator midway through this past season. He helped lead the Lions to a 6-2 finish after a 1-7 start with Joe Lombardi running the offense.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw 19 touchdowns vs. only two interceptions the last eight games of the season under Cooter.
"He's been on a fast climb," Manning said of Cooter during Tuesday's Super Bowl media session. "He's earned it. He's a hard-working guy, he's very smart and he just sees football and knows football.
"I enjoyed the couple years we had together in Indy. He was really helpful to me in Denver in 2013."
Manning said Cooter did a lot of "grunt" and "grind" work in Denver that gave him special insight into what a defense might do and what a defense will do vs. a certain formation. Manning said those little details make all the difference.
Stafford would probably say the same thing. He'll get a full offseason and entire season to work under Cooter in 2016.