It seems ages ago that we were calling for Jim Bob Cooter for President. The offensive coordinator was promoted to the position midway through the 2015 season, and the positive results were almost immediate. The 1-7 Lions nearly crawled their way to the playoffs by December, and Matthew Stafford had finally been “fixed” by his former quarterbacks coach and one of the brightest young minds of the league.
Three years later, Cooter seems to have worn out his welcome and all of that positivity has been washed away. Stafford is back to playing inconsistently week-to-week, and the Lions offense is nothing special despite an improved running game and a heap of offensive weapons.
As a result, I asked our FanPulse group of Lions fans if they were ready to see another change at offensive coordinator. The results were clear:
It’s certainly an understandable stance from fans given how the team has performed in the past two weeks against the Seahawks and Vikings—two admittedly good defenses. The Lions managed to score just 23 total points in those two games, with just a single touchdown in the past seven quarters.
Overall, the stats aren’t all that impressive, either. The Lions rank 20th in points per game, 18th in offensive DVOA, and just 19th in yards per play.
Considering they have a franchise quarterback, an offensive line filled with high draft picks and free agent priorities, a running back averaging 5.7 yards per carry and a duo of pretty solid receivers, the excuses are running low for Cooter and company.
But the Lions have gone through this before. Cooter is the Lions’ third offensive coordinator since the Lions drafted Matthew Stafford and nothing has seemed to work. Sure, it sounds easy to “go grab the next Sean McVay,” but what if there isn’t one waiting to be tapped?
Whether the Lions offense is playing well enough right now is a question not up for debate: It’s not. The ultimate question, though, is how to fix it, and Lions fans have made it clear they think firing Cooter is a good first step.