Rumors have been swirling that while Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is unlikely to win the in-house head coaching job, he may stick around as the offensive coordinator. Considering Cooter’s relationship with Matthew Stafford and the fact that Detroit already fired offensive line coach Ron Prince, many have speculated that Cooter will stick around in 2018.
Add Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer to the list of those speculating. In a Periscope chat on Tuesday morning, Breer made a few predictions for the Lions’ coaching staff, starting with their head coaching position. (h/t to Twitter user @Ont_DetLionsfan for the head’s up)
“My feeling is that it’s going to be Matt Patricia,” Breer said. “I believe that they’re going to keep Jim Bob Cooter on staff as the offensive coordinator. I know they had those guys meet. So my feeling is that that is still Matt Patricia’s job to lose.”
Right in the middle of that prediction, Breer let loose a very important piece of information. According to Breer, Cooter and Patricia met each other at some point during the interviewing process. If that’s true, that’s a big sign that both Patricia may be the Lions’ guy, and that Cooter will be sticking around.
I asked Breer to clarify his statement on Twitter, and he downplayed the meeting a bit:
I heard they said hello. Not sure if it was a formal meeting or not.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 9, 2018
But here’s the key: Considering Patricia also interviewed with the Giants on the same day, it’s likely that the Lions met the Patriots defensive coordinator in (or around) New England. If Breer’s report is accurate, that means that the Lions brought Cooter with them to the interview—an almost certain indication that Detroit plans on keeping their offensive coordinator around.
It would be a bit of an odd thing for the Lions to do, especially considering Cooter also interviewed for the head coaching job. However, if Lions general manager Bob Quinn already had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to do, it would also make sense to make sure Cooter and Patricia could share the stage together.
But for now, we continue to wait. And if Patricia is indeed the Lions’ guy, we may have to wait for a considerable amount of time. The Lions cannot make an agreement—formally or even informally—with Patricia until the Patriots are out of the playoffs.