To promote, maintain course or fire?
Tuesday night, I was trying to think of possible Questions of the Day. My mind immediately went to offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. Over the course of the past few days, many had suggested the Lions hold onto Cooter regardless of who they hire as the head coach. I was simply going to ask if Lions fans were in favor of that or not.
Then a few minutes later the Lions announced that Cooter had just completed his interview for the head coaching job himself. Not many expected Cooter to emerge as a candidate, despite the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel naming Cooter—not Teryl Austin—as a viable candidate this year.
But with this third option on the table, today’s Question of the Day is simply:
What should the Lions do with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter?
My answer: I have yet to warm up to the idea of keeping Jim Bob Cooter around at all. While Cooter was undoubtedly crucial in helping Matthew Stafford reach a whole new level, I’m having a hard time coming up with anything else he’s truly accomplished.
The Lions offense hasn’t felt particularly innovative under Cooter. His play calling leaves much to be desired. And worse yet, his offseason pledge to fixing the running game failed miserably.
I understand that Cooter is still very young to the job and he’ll likely improve as he gets more and more experience under his belt. I also get that Stafford really wants him back and that kind of chemistry between a quarterback and his offensive coordinator is important. But Stafford has come into his own now, and I think he can realize his potential with or without Cooter. In a way I feel that—must like Jim Caldwell—Cooter has done what was originally asked of him, but nothing more. It’s time to move on.