Jim Bob Cooter

Cardinals To Interview Jim Bob Cooter

Former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will interview for the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator vacancy on Tuesday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Cooter has been on the market since Jan. 1 when the Lions informed him that his contract would not be renewed

Cooter recently interviewed for the Browns’ offensive coordinator position, but that gig ultimately went to former Buccaneers OC Todd Monken. The Cardinals job, in some respects, would be similar. He wouldn’t have had much in the way of play-calling responsibility under Freddie Kitchens and the same goes in Arizona where the offensively-focused Kliff Kingsbury is in charge.

Of course, the jobs differ in terms of appeal. The Browns were viewed as one of the most intriguing OC destinations in this cycle thanks in large part to Baker Mayfield‘s upside. The Cardinals have a young quarterback of their own in Josh Rosen and the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, but there are also serious holes that need to be addressed.

Under Cooter, the Lions had the NFL’s No. 7 scoring offense in 2017. This past season, however, Matthew Stafford regressed.

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Browns To Interview Jim Bob Cooter

Former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is slated to interview for the Browns’ offensive coordinator job, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Cooter’s contract was not renewed by Detroit at the end of the season, making him a free agent. 

Cooter’s work with Matthew Stafford during the 2017 season should be a strong selling point for him, but he’ll have to answer for the Lions’ disappointing 2018 season. But, in theory, Cooter could be the creative and energetic offensive coordinator that Baker Mayfield needs to thrive.

Of course, Cooter can’t expect total freedom if he signs on in Cleveland. By all accounts, new head coach Freddie Kitchens is intent on continuing to call the plays.

The Lions promoted Cooter to offensive coordinator midway through the 2015 season, and the young coach helped elevate Stafford’s game. This topped out when Detroit finished as the NFL’s No. 7 scoring offense in 2017, doing so without much of a running game. But this season, Stafford’s numbers regressed, down by more than 600 passing yards and going from 7.9 yards per attempt in 207 to 6.8 this season, as did the Lions’ offense in a 6-10 season.

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Lions, Jim Bob Cooter Mutually Part Ways

Jim Bob Cooter‘s run with Matt Patricia in Detroit will be limited to one year. The Lions and their longtime offensive coordinator will mutually part ways, Albert Breer of SI.com reports (on Twitter). The team announced it will not renew Cooter’s contract.

Cooter, the youngest active NFL OC, had generated interest from other teams in recent days and will likely be a name to monitor as the OC carousel accelerates in the coming days. The 34-year-old coach has received interview requests, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Lions promoted Cooter to offensive coordinator midway through the 2015 season, and the young coach helped elevate Matthew Stafford‘s game. This topped out when Detroit finished as the NFL’s No. 7 scoring offense in 2017, doing so without much of a running game. But this season, Stafford’s numbers regressed, down by more than 600 passing yards and going from 7.9 yards per attempt in 207 to 6.8 this season, as did the Lions’ offense in a 6-10 season.

After letting Eric Ebron walk in the offseason, the Lions traded Golden Tate and saw Marvin Jones and Kerryon Johnson go down midseason. They plummeted to 25th in scoring in 2018.

Patricia overhauled Detroit’s defense staff upon taking the Lions’ reins but left Cooter in place. Patricia fired Lions special teams boss Joe Marciano during the season and now looks set to reshape the franchise’s offensive staff.

Cooter interviewed for the job Patricia ended up getting, and while a head coaching gig may not be in his immediate future, another OC opportunity probably will.

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North Coaching Rumors: Fitzgerald, Harbaugh, Bengals

We heard last night that the Packers are interested in Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, and now there is some fire for that smoke, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that Green Bay is expected to request an interview with Fitzgerald after Northwestern plays in tomorrow’s Holiday Bowl. It is unclear whether Fitzgerald will accept the interview request, but Packers CEO and president Mark Murphy was Northwestern’s athletic director when Fitzgerald was hired as the Wildcats’ head coach in 2006, and the two men have a great deal of respect for each other.

Now for more coaching rumors from the league’s north divisions:

  • Schefter reports that at least one team that is considering a head coaching change is also considering calling the Ravens about a potential trade for head coach John Harbaugh if Baltimore is eliminated from postseason contention today, and Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) says multiple teams are thinking about making a run at the 11th-year HC. The Ravens announced earlier this month, despite weeks of rumors to the contrary, that Harbaugh would remain in Baltimore in 2019, but his future with the club still does not feel like a slam dunk. Florio suggests that Baltimore would want at least two first-round picks in exchange for Harbaugh.
  • No one is sure what will happen with Marvin Lewis and the Bengals, and his assistant coaches are actively trying to find out, per Florio. Some believe Lewis will retire from coaching and begin a broadcasting career, while others believe he could become a candidate for the Cardinals‘ head coaching job. If Lewis moves on, Florio writes — as has been reported numerous times — that Hue Jackson would be a candidate to replace him, as would current Vikings head coach (and former Cincinnati DC) Mike Zimmer. Zimmer would perhaps be interested in the Bengals’ gig, per Florio, but much would depend on whether Minnesota would let him leave and if the Vikings would demand significant compensation in exchange.
  • The Vikings will likely attempt to promote interim OC Kevin Stefanski to the full-time job in 2019, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The problem is that Stefanski is only under contract through 2018, so Minnesota may have to fight to retain him.
  • We heard several weeks ago that Browns interim head coach Gregg Williams has a chance to get the “interim” tag removed, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Cleveland will indeed give Williams serious consideration (though the team will obviously interview other candidates and continue its full-blown search). Ownership remains high on Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, but if the team does not give Williams the full-time job, it will risk losing the bulk of the staff that has led the Browns’ promising turnaround this year.
  • Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter‘s contract is up at the end of the season, per Rapoport, who suggests that it would be a surprise if Cooter remained in Detroit in 2019. The 34-year-old is expected to be a highly-coveted OC candidate assuming he and the Lions part ways. Unsurprisingly, Rapoport says head coach Matt Patricia is safe [SOURCE LINK].

Lions Retain Jim Bob Cooter As OC

The Lions have a new head coach, but they’re not shaking up the entire staff. During his introductory press conference on Wednesday, Matt Patricia confirmed that offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will be staying on board (Twitter link via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News). Jim Bob Cooter (vertical)

Cooter missed out on becoming the Lions’ new head coach, but he’ll remain on board as the offensive play caller. Given Patricia’s defensive background, one has to imagine that Cooter will continue to have a high degree of control over his side of the ball.

The 33-year-old has long been viewed as a rising star in the coaching ranks, but the results have not been tremendous in his two full seasons as Detroit’s OC. Under his command, the Lions’ offense ranked 15th in DVOA in 2016 and 17th in 2017. On the plus side, he has a strong working relationship with Matthew Stafford and he offers consistency during a time of significant change.

On Wednesday, the Lions officially named Paul Pasqualoni as their new defensive coordinator.

 

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Lions Expected To Retain Jim Bob Cooter

This has been expected for awhile now, but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that the Lions are expected to retain offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. Detroit, of course, will hire current Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as its new head coach shortly after today’s Super Bowl.

Jim Bob Cooter

The Lions also interviewed Cooter for the HC job, though Patricia was long regarded as the favorite for the position. Cooter, just 33, is viewed as a rising star in the coaching ranks, and while the Lions’ offense has not set the world ablaze in his two full seasons as OC — the unit ranked 15th in DVOA in 2016 and 17th in 2017 — he does have the support of his quarterback. The day former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell was fired, Matthew Stafford lobbied for Cooter to be retained.

Plus, it can’t hurt for the team to have a little continuity. With Patricia taking over the team and defense, the offense will continue to operate under a familiar face and a familiar scheme.

As Schefter notes, Patricia and Cooter do not know each other personally, but they share a fan in Detroit GM Bob Quinn, who worked with Patricia in New England.

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North Notes: Browns, Bears, Mosley, Cooter

Having already been connected to Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Sam Darnold, the Browns are midway through an all-hands-on-deck offseason when it comes to their quarterback choice. However, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com reports the Browns may not be dismissing a Baker Mayfield pick. Multiple evaluators informed Robinson that the Browns are going to be down to Darnold or Mayfield.

A lot of what he is as a player fits with the mentality of John Dorsey,” one source told Robinson from the Senior Bowl. “Just his mental makeup as a player, John believes in building around those kinds of guys. … I think he’s a strong candidate [for the top pick] after this week.”

The 6-foot passer has been mentioned the least among the top quarterbacks as being a viable option at No. 1 at this point in the pre-draft process, but Dorsey said this week there could be “four or five” prospects the team could target atop the draft. While Mayfield’s character issues are still cropping up this week, it’s looking clear he will be picked in the top half of the first round. Robinson notes former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan serves as one of Dorsey’s top sounding boards, and McCloughan’s been pro-Mayfield for a while. Another source noted Dorsey’s past with the Packers during the Brett Favre era could apply here, given Mayfield’s gunslinger style and sometimes difficult off-field persona. Nevertheless, it would quite the leap for Mayfield to rise to the top of the draft over passers who have long been viewed as better prospects.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions:

  • C.J. Mosley has no designs on leaving Baltimore. One of numerous 2014 first-round picks to be stuck in fifth-year option limbo, Mosley is eyeing a career that ends with him being ranked as the second-best linebacker in Ravens history, he said (via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). The Pro Bowl inside ‘backer expects something to get done regarding an extension. Mosley is set to make $8.718MM next season.
  • The Lions are going to have an entirely new defensive staff under Matt Patricia and already parted ways with quarterbacks coach Brian Callahan, who became a coveted commodity this week. But the expectation remains Patricia will retain OC Jim Bob Cooter, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com notes. While the Lions have struggled on the ground under Cooter, finishing 32nd twice during his two-plus-year tenure running the offense, Matthew Stafford‘s had his best run of seasons during Cooter’s time in Detroit.
  • An internal debate’s being waged at Bears headquarters as to whether Cody Whitehair will function better as a center or guard, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes, adding this process will impact whether the team picks up Josh Sitton‘s 2018 option. Whitehair has played both spots, receiving most of his work at center, while Sitton is a pure guard. The soon-to-be 32-year-old blocker is due to count $8.57MM against the Bears’ 2018 cap if the team picks up his option.
  • Another possible factor working in Sitton’s favor for a third Bears year is the Kyle Long‘s suddenly injury-prone status. Biggs reports Long will undergo multiple surgeries this offseason. Long played in 10 games this past season after an extensive rehab process didn’t end until after the 2017 campaign began.

Matt Patricia Expected To Become Lions’ HC

This sounds familiar. Although Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was said to prefer the Giants’ head coaching job to the Lions’, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets that Patricia is expected to become the Lions’ next head coach, as we heard last week.

Matt Patricia

Patricia, whose defense was quite impressive in New England’s win over the Titans last night, has been a hot head coaching candidate for several years now thanks to his overall body of work with the Pats. Even before the Lions parted ways with former head coach Jim Caldwell, there were plenty of reports linking Patricia to Detroit, as he has a preexisting relationship with Lions GM Bob Quinn stemming from Quinn’s tenure with the Patriots.

And on January 6, it was reported that the Lions would indeed hire Patricia. Just several days later, however, Peter King of TheMMQB.com indicated that Patricia preferred the Giants to the Lions, which threw something of a wrench into this season’s coaching carousel. But Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that his understanding all along has been that Patricia would accept the Lions’ job. Indeed, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes, Detroit would have moved on to other candidates if it did not believe Patricia was coming to the Motor City.

Of course, as New England’s season is not yet over, the Lions and Patricia will have to wait to make things official. Birkett adds (via Twitter) that Patricia is likely to retain Detroit’s incumbent offensive coordinator, Jim Bob Cooter.

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Lions Interview OC Jim Bob Cooter For Head Coach

The Lions have interviewed incumbent offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for their head coaching vacancy, the club announced today.Jim Bob Cooter

Now that Detroit has met with Cooter, general manager Bob Quinn has now interviewed both of his coordinators as he seeks to replace fired head coach Jim Caldwell. Defensive play-caller Teryl Austin was also interviewed on Tuesday, but no reports had indicated the Lions were also considering Cooter for the top job.

That’s not to say that Cooter hasn’t done an excellent job coordinating Detroit’s offense, but he does lack in experience. The 33-year-old Cooter has only led a unit for two-plus seasons, and was an offensive assistant as recently as 2013. But in his two full years as the Lions’ OC, Cooter’s scheme and his players’ execution finished 17th and 15th in DVOA.

By default, the remainder of the Lions’ head coaching candidates will be external. At present, Detroit has been linked to Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Packers assistant head coach Winston Moss, and Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel.

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NFL Recommends Coaching Candidates

Each year, the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel releases a list of candidates for head coaching jobs. According to Mike Lombardi of The Ringer (Twitter link), that list includes: Josh McDaniels (Vertical)

  • Dan Campbell (Assistant Head Coach/TE coach, Saints)
  • Jim Bob Cooter (Offensive Coordinator, Lions)
  • John DeFilippo (Quarterbacks Coach, Eagles)
  • George Edwards (Defensive Coordinator, Vikings)
  • Josh McDaniels (Offensive Coordinator, Patriots)
  • Matt Nagy (Offensive Coordinator, Chiefs)
  • Matt Patricia (Defensive Coordinator, Patriots)
  • Jim Schwartz (Defensive Coordinator, Eagles)
  • Pat Shurmur (Offensive Coordinator, Vikings)
  • Dave Toub (Special Teams Coach, Chiefs)
  • Steve Wilks (Defensive Coordinator, Panthers)
  • Mike Vrabel (Defensive Coordinator, Texans)

McDaniels, of course, comes with previous head coaching experience. He was probably too young to handle those responsibilities in Denver, but he has reasserted himself as an offensive wunderkind. Both McDaniels and Patricia will be hot candidates for head coaching jobs this year, so the Patriots may have to make serious changes on the coaching staff.

There is some overlap with the list of minority candidates recommended by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, though Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie did not make the cut on this list. Austin received head coaching interviews in each of the last two offseasons, so he seems likely to garner some consideration this time around.

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