The Detroit Lions are moving on from offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. According to Albert Breer, the team will not renew Cooter’s contract, which expired at the end of the season.
Per sources, the Lions and OC Jim Bob Cooter have mutually agreed to part ways. Other teams have shown interest in Cooter the last few days.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 1, 2019
The move comes after the Lions offense had been completely ineffective over the past couple months. Though the Lions offense finished strong against the Green Bay Packers, it came off the heels of six straight games in which the Lions failed to score more than 20 points.
Cooter joined the team in 2014 as Matthew Stafford’s quarterback coach. He took over offensive coordinator duties midway through the 2015 season after the Lions fired Joe Lombardi. Cooter endeared himself to Detroit after Stafford’s career was immediately revitalized.
Stafford under Lombardi: 61.7 % completions, 7.1 Y/A, 34 TDs, 21 INTs, 86.0 passer rating
Stafford under Cooter (2015-16): 66.6% completions, 7.5 Y/A, 44 TDs, 14 INTs, 97.5 passer rating
But all that magic has worn off over the past few years. The Lions offense is the worst it has been in years, Stafford has regressed considerably, and despite an improved running game, Detroit is scoring fewer points than ever.
Cooter has had to deal with a severe decline in talent due to injuries and questionable roster moves—both things obviously out of his control—but in an age where offenses seem more innovative and complicated, Cooter’s gameplans failed to develop and evolve. Instead, Cooter appeared to grow more and more conservative as his tenure continued and tried to fit square peg players in his already establish round holes.
Cooter is now the second Lions coach from 2018 that won’t be with the team going forward. Earlier in the season, special teams coach Joe Marciano was relieved of his duties.
UPDATE: The Lions have made it official: