Jim Bob Cooter

Assessing NFL’s OC Landscape

This offseason showed the turnover that can take place at the offensive coordinator position. As a result of several decisions in January and February, the NFL no longer has an OC who has been in his current role for more than two seasons. Various firings and defections now have the 2022 batch of hires stationed as the longest-tenured OCs.

One of the longest-tenured coordinators in NFL history, Pete Carmichael is no longer with the Saints. The team moved on after 15 seasons, a stay that featured part-time play-calling duties. The Browns canned their four-year non-play-calling OC, Alex Van Pelt, while three-year play-callers Arthur Smith and Shane Waldron are relocating this winter. Brian Callahan‘s five-year gig as the Bengals’ non-play-calling OC booked him a top job.

The recent lean toward offense-oriented HCs took a bit of a hit of a hit this offseason, with five of the eight jobs going to defense-oriented leaders. Callahan, Dave Canales and Jim Harbaugh were the only offense-geared candidates hired during this cycle. But half the NFL will go into this season with a new OC. Following the Seahawks’ decision to hire ex-Washington (and, briefly, Alabama) staffer Ryan Grubb, here is how the NFL’s OC landscape looks:

2022 OC hires

  • Ben Johnson, Detroit Lions*
  • Mike Kafka, New York Giants*
  • Wes Phillips, Minnesota Vikings
  • Frank Smith, Miami Dolphins
  • Adam Stenavich, Green Bay Packers
  • Press Taylor, Jacksonville Jaguars*

Although this sextet now comprises the senior wing of offensive coordinators, this still marks each’s first gig as an NFL OC. Three of the six received HC interest this offseason.

Johnson’s status back in Detroit has been one of the offseason’s top storylines and a development the Commanders have not taken especially well. The two-year Lions OC was viewed as the frontrunner for the Washington job for weeks this offseason, and when team brass did not receive word about Johnson’s intent to stay in Detroit (thus, waiting until at least 2025 to make his long-expected HC move) until a Commanders contingent was en route to Detroit for a second interview, a back-and-forth about what exactly broke down took place. Johnson should be expected to remain a high-end HC candidate next year, but Dan Campbell will still have his services for 2024.

Kafka interviewed for the Seahawks’ HC job, and the Giants then blocked him from meeting with the NFC West team about its OC position. Rumblings about Kafka and Brian Daboll no longer being on great terms surfaced this year, with the latter yanking away play-calling duties — given to Kafka ahead of the 2022 season — at points in 2023. Taylor may also be on the hot seat with his team. Doug Pederson gave Taylor the call sheet last season, and Trevor Lawrence did not make the leap many expected. After a collapse left the Jaguars out of the playoffs, the team had begun to look into its offensive situation.

2023 OC hires

  • Jim Bob Cooter, Indianapolis Colts
  • Nathaniel Hackett, New York Jets*
  • Mike LaFleur, Los Angeles Rams
  • Joe Lombardi, Denver Broncos
  • Todd Monken, Baltimore Ravens*
  • Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs
  • Drew Petzing, Arizona Cardinals*
  • Brian Schottenheimer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Bobby Slowik, Houston Texans*

Only nine of the 15 OCs hired in 2023 are still with their teams. One (Canales) moved up the ladder, while others were shown the door following that organization canning its head coach. The Eagles were the only team who hired an offensive coordinator last year to fire that staffer (Brian Johnson) after one season. Nick Sirianni fired both his coordinators following a wildly disappointing conclusion.

Hackett may also be drifting into deep water, given what transpired last year in New York. Rumblings of Robert Saleh — who is on the hottest seat among HCs — stripping some of his offensive play-caller’s responsibilities surfaced recently. This marks Hackett’s fourth chance to call plays in the NFL; the second-generation staffer did so for the Bills, Jaguars and Broncos prior to coming to New York. After the 2022 Broncos ranked last in scoring, the ’23 Jets ranked 31st in total offense. Hackett’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers has largely kept him in place, but 2024 may represent a last chance for the embattled coach.

Of this crop, Monken and Slowik were the only ones to receive HC interest. Neither emerged as a frontrunner for a position, though Slowik met with the Commanders twice. The Texans then gave their first-time play-caller a raise to stick around for C.J. Stroud‘s second season. Stroud’s remarkable progress figures to keep Slowik on the HC radar. Monken, who is in his third try as an NFL OC (after gigs in Tampa and Cleveland), just helped Lamar Jackson to his second MVP award. The former national championship-winning OC did not stick the landing — as Jackson struggled against the Chiefs — but he fared well on the whole last season.

Schottenheimer is on his fourth go-round as an OC, while Lombardi is on team No. 3. The latter’s job figures to be more secure, being tied to Sean Payton, compared to what is transpiring in Dallas. With the Cowboys having Mike McCarthy as the rare lame-duck HC, his coordinators probably should not get too comfortable.

2024 OC hires

  • Joe Brady, Buffalo Bills*
  • Liam Coen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
  • Ken Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
  • Luke Getsy, Las Vegas Raiders*
  • Ryan Grubb, Seattle Seahawks*
  • Nick Holz, Tennessee Titans
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Washington Commanders*
  • Klint Kubiak, New Orleans Saints*
  • Brad Idzik, Carolina Panthers
  • Kellen Moore, Philadelphia Eagles*
  • Dan Pitcher, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Zac Robinson, Atlanta Falcons*
  • Greg Roman, Los Angeles Chargers*
  • Arthur Smith, Pittsburgh Steelers*
  • Alex Van Pelt, New England Patriots*
  • Shane Waldron, Chicago Bears*

The 49ers do not employ a traditional OC; 16 of the 31 teams that do recently made a change. Most of the teams to add OCs this year, however, did so without employing play-calling coaches. This naturally raises the stakes for this year’s batch of hires.

Retreads became rather popular. Dorsey, Getsy, Moore, Van Pelt and Waldron were all OCs elsewhere (Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle) last season. Smith will shift from calling the Falcons’ plays to running the show for the Steelers. Dorsey, Getsy and Van Pelt were fired; Moore and Waldron moved on after the Chargers and Seahawks respectively changed HCs. Moore and Smith will be calling plays for a third team; for Moore, this is three OC jobs in three years.

Coen, Kingsbury and Roman are back after a year away. Kingsbury became a popular name on the OC carousel, having coached Caleb Williams last season. This will be his second crack at an NFL play-calling gig, having been the Cardinals’ conductor throughout his HC tenure. This will be Coen’s first shot at calling plays in the pros; he was Sean McVay‘s non-play-calling assistant in 2022. Likely to become the Chargers’ play-caller, Roman will have a rare fourth chance to call plays in the NFL. He held that responsibility under Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco; following Harbaugh’s explosive 2015 49ers split, Roman moved to Buffalo and Baltimore to work under non-offense-oriented leaders.

Grubb, Holz, Idzik, Pitcher and Robinson represent this year’s first-timer contingent. Grubb has, however, called plays at the college level. Robinson is the latest McVay staffer to move into a play-calling post; he was a Rams assistant for five years. A host of teams had Robinson on their OC radar, but Raheem Morris brought his former L.A. coworker to Atlanta. Pitcher appeared in a few searches as well, but the Bengals made the expected move — after extending him last year — to give him Callahan’s old job.

* = denotes play-calling coordinator

Eagles To Fire OC Brian Johnson

The Eagles will have new offensive and defensive coordinators in 2024. Not long after Sean Desai was fired, OC Brian Johnson is out as well. The latter has been let go, as noted by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Derrick Gunn of JAKIB was first to report Johnson was unlikely to return.

Both changes have been expected for some time now. The Eagles struggled on both sides of the ball during their nosedive to close out the campaign, although the team’s offense still managed to post strong numbers in a number of offensive categories. Philadelphia ranked eighth in yards per game and seventh in scoring, but those figures are insufficient for Johnson to receive a second year at the helm.

The 36-year-old represented a logical internal replacement candidate for Shane Steichen once the latter departed last offseason to take the Colts’ head coaching job. Johnson had spent the past two years as Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach and developed a strong relationship with Jalen Hurts. As a result, it came as little surprise when Johnson was tapped as Steichen’s successor.

By the time Philadelphia’s wild-card matchup against the Buccaneers came around, however, a rift had emerged on offense amidst the Eagles’ overall struggles. Hurts regressed from his 2022 performance while playing through injury, and the team scored just nine points in a lopsided loss to Tampa Bay. Reports of signficant staffing changes quickly emerged, and it came as little surprise when Desai (who had already been stripped of play-calling duties) was dismissed on Sunday.

Head coach Nick Sirianni‘s job security was a talking point both before and after the wild-card loss, and his evaluation from ownership was dependent on a plan to replace both offensive and defensive coordinators for the second consecutive offseason. Sirianni appears to be safe, but the Eagles’ staff will be worth watching closely as the team likely prepares to look outside the organization to fill both the OC and DC positions.

As his fate in Philadelphia remained unsettled, Johnson took head coaching interviews with the Falcons and Titans. A meeting with the Panthers was originally scheduled, but Carolina is set to move in a different direction. While it seems unlikely Johnson will land a HC gig this year, his outside interest could allow him to land a new coaching opportunity in some capacity relatively soon. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s search for his replacement will be worth monitoring.

On that note, Colts offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter had been named as a candidate to return to the Eagles as OC. However, McLane notes that Cooter is not expected to be a finalist to replace Johnson. In any case, Philadelphia’s 2024 staff is set to look much different than its 2023 iteration with Desai’s interim replacement (Matt Patricia) expected to depart. While that has left plenty of unanswered questions on the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles now have a signficant vacancy on offense as well.

Latest On Eagles’ Coaching Staff

JANUARY 20: While questions remain regarding whether or not Sirianni will be retained, a name to watch has emerged on the offensive side of the ball. Colts OC Jim Bob Cooter could return to Philadelphia in the same role in the event Johnson takes a head coaching gig or is replaced, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (video link). Cooter was a consultant with the Eagles in 2021 between his previous OC posting in Detroit and his current one in Indianapolis. Steichen operates as the Colts’ offensive play-caller, but Cooter would likely take on those duties if he made the lateral move to the Eagles.

JANUARY 18: Like all teams whose seasons are over, the Eagles will spend the coming days processing the way in which their campaign came to an end. That will include a meeting between owner Jeffrey Lurie and head coach Nick Sirianni in the near future.

That summit was initially set to take place yesterday, but it could not be arranged, per Dianna Russini of The Athletic. The meeting has been pushed to Friday, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.

At Sirianni’s upcoming exit interview, the three-year HC will be required to present a plan for 2024 including a number of new faces on the coaching staff, Russini and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport note (video link). Even before Philadelphia’s wild-card loss, it was expected changes would be taking place at the defensive coordinator spot at a minimum.

Matt Patricia took over for Sean Desai as the Eagles’ defensive play-caller in December, but that switch did not produce the intended results. Second-guessing over the decision to being in Desai last offseason (rather than promoting Dennard Wilson) has permeated through the front office, though Philadelphia’s regression on offense has not reflected well on OC Brian Johnson either. The latter has received head coaching interest, but a new face overseeing the offense would come as no surprise in the event Sirianni were to remain in place for 2024.

The latter has led the Eagles to the postseason in each of his three years in his current post. That stretch includes a trip to the Super Bowl last year, but a nosedive through the closing weeks of the 2023 campaign has led to questions about his job security. Recent signs pointed to him being safe for now, but nothing is assured at this point. As Russini notes, Sirianni’s meeting with Lurie has been preceded by feelers being sent out for outside coaching options capable of taking over the coordinator posts.

Part of the Eagles’ regression can be traced to the loss of both Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon to head coaching positions last year. The team’s defense also suffered a number of losses due to free agent departures as well as injuries over the course of the 2023 campaign. Still, Sirianni’s stock has seen a significant downturn relative to where it was one year ago. More clarity on his job status should emerge once he presents his plan to Lurie, the aftermath of which will no doubt involve staff changes of some kind taking place.

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spun for several weeks, many teams made coordinator changes as well. Teams seeking new head coaches are conducting OC and DC searches, and a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

This is a big year for offensive coordinator hires, with nearly half the league making changes. Here are the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 3-1-23 (3:31pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals 

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Ben McAdoo)

  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach, (Rams): Hired
  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Interviewed

Dallas Cowboys (Out: Kellen Moore)

  • Brian Angelichio, tight ends coach (Vikings): Interviewed 2/2
  • Thomas Brown, tight ends coach (Rams): Interviewed
  • Jeff Nixon, running backs coach (Panthers): Interviewed
  • Brian Schottenheimer, offensive consultant (Cowboys): Hired

Denver Broncos (Out: Justin Outten)

Houston Texans (Out: Pep Hamilton)

Indianapolis Colts (Out: Parks Frazier)

  • Jim Bob Cooter, passing-game coordinator (Jaguars): Hired
  • Tee Martin, wide receivers coach (Ravens): Interview requested

Kansas City Chiefs (Out: Eric Bieniemy)

  • Matt Nagy, quarterbacks coach (Chiefs): Hired

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Shane Steichen)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Arizona Cardinals (Out: Vance Joseph)

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Buffalo Bills (Out: Leslie Frazier)

Carolina Panthers (Out: Al Holcomb)

  • Ejiro Evero, former defensive coordinator (Broncos): Hired
  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): Interviewed
  • Marquand Manuel, safeties coach (Jets): Interviewed
  • Kris Richard, co-defensive coordinator (Saints): Interviewed

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Renaldo Hill)

  • Derrick Ansley, defensive backs coach (Chargers): Promoted
  • Doug Belk, defensive coordinator (Houston): Interviewed
  • DeMarcus Covington, defensive line coach (Patriots): Interviewed

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

New Orleans Saints (Out: Ryan Nielsen, Kris Richard)

  • Joe Woods, former defensive coordinator (Browns): Hired

Philadelphia Eagles (Out: Jonathan Gannon)

San Francisco 49ers (Out: DeMeco Ryans)

  • Vic Fangio, former head coach (Broncos): On radar
  • Chris Harris, defensive backs coach (Commanders): Interviewed 1/31
  • Kris Kocurek, defensive line coach (49ers): On radar
  • Steve Wilks, former interim head coach (Panthers): Hired

Colts Expected To Hire Jim Bob Cooter As OC

The Colts’ interview process for their full-time head coach was a rather lengthy one. Their search for an offensive coordinator, by contrast, has reportedly come to an end quickly. Indianapolis is expected to hire Jim Bob Cooter as their new OC (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler).

The 38-year-old drew plenty of interest during this year’s hiring cycle. That included an interview request being made shortly after Shane Steichen had been installed as the Colts’ new head coach. Cooter will remain in the AFC South with this move, having spent the 2022 season as Jacksonville’s passing game coordinator.

Cooter began his NFL coaching career in Indianapolis, being hired in 2009 as an offensive assistant. He spent three seasons there, before taking on a few different positions around the NFL which led him to Detroit. A single campaign spent there as quarterbacks coach was followed by three-plus as the Lions’ offensive coordinator. His ascent to that role by his early 30s represented a notable rise through the NFL coaching ranks.

After his tenure in Detroit came to an end, Cooter moved on to the Jets for a pair of seasons as their running backs coach. That was followed by a year with the Eagles in a consulting role, during which time he and Steichen worked together. The 2021 season was the latter’s debut season as OC in Philadelphia, and helped lay the foundation for the success he had this past year which earned him the HC position with the Colts.

While the Eagles were putting together a highly impressive season in 2022, Cooter was working with Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville. Expectations were high for the 2021 first overall pick, after Doug Pederson had been brought in as head coach of the Jaguars. Lawrence took a major step forward across the board statistically, earning a Pro Bowl nod and helping lead the team to the AFC South title. A comeback win over the Chargers in the wild card round showcased his potential for further development down the road.

Cooter had a role in that progress, and now he will be tasked with overseeing the Colts’ offense while, in all likelihood, working a new signal-caller into the unit. Steichen’s work with quarterbacks in the past played a role in his hire, and Indianapolis has the opportunity this offseason to draft a new franchise QB. Regardless of how their efforts on that front turn out, Cooter will look to engineer a rebound on offense for a team which ranked 30th in the league in scoring (17 points per game) in 2022.

Cooter – who also interviewed with the Panthers and Buccaneers for their respective OC vacancies – was one of two candidates connected to the Colts posting. The otherTee Martin, has not been named as a candidate for any other position this offseason, so this news points to him remaining in place as the Ravens’ wide receivers coach. Despite Cooter’s coordinator experience, it has already been confirmed that Steichen will call plays for the Colts this season, one in which much of their offense will look considerably different.

Colts Request OC Interview With Jaguars’ Jim Bob Cooter

Four years after his Lions offensive coordinator stint, Jim Bob Cooter has received considerable interest about moving back up the ladder. The Jaguars assistant has now received three OC interview requests.

The Colts want to speak with the Jags’ pass-game coordinator about their OC job, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Since the hiring period began, Cooter has received meeting requests from the Buccaneers and Panthers as well. He has gone through with both interviews, with Joe Person of The Athletic noting (via Twitter) the Panthers meeting has taken place.

This would be a for a non-play-calling role, however. Shane Steichen has confirmed he will call plays in Indianapolis. Frank Reich has not yet done so in Carolina, though the ex-Colts coach operated as the team’s play-caller throughout his time in the AFC South. The Bucs have filled their OC post, hiring Dave Canales on Wednesday night. Cooter served as the Lions’ primary play-caller under Jim Caldwell and Matt Patricia, though it has been a bit since that stint concluded.

Although the Jags may not be thrilled about Cooter interviewing with a division rival, they cannot block the meeting from taking place. Since the job involves a promotion, Cooter is free to meet with the Colts. Cooter, 38, has been with the Jags for a year, coming over after Doug Pederson‘s hire. The Jags have built an extensive brain trust for Trevor Lawrence, with Pederson calling plays but Cooter, OC Press Taylor and quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy spearheading a turnaround this past season.

Steichen and Cooter have not overlapped during their careers thus far. Cooter has been with three teams since the Lions moved on following the 2018 season. He spent two years as the Jets’ running backs coach under Adam Gase and was an Eagles consultant in 2021. The Colts must interview at least one external minority candidate for their OC role, though based on how thorough the team was during its HC search, there will likely be a few interview requests sent out before this process wraps.

The Lions promoted Cooter to OC when he was just 31, and Matthew Stafford finished eighth in QBR in each of Cooter’s first two years as OC. The Jags are coming off a remarkable turnaround, going from picking first overall to advancing to the divisional round. Lawrence showed consistent promise down the stretch, culminating with his leading the third-biggest comeback in NFL playoff history — a 27-point rally past the Chargers in the wild-card round.

Panthers To Hire Duce Staley, Request OC Interview With Jim Bob Cooter

The Lions will lose a key assistant to Frank Reich‘s new Panthers staff. Detroit running backs coach Duce Staley will rejoin Reich in Carolina, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets.

Reich and Staley worked together with the Eagles from 2016-17, and while Staley was under contract with the Lions, they chose not to block the maneuver. The Lions will let Staley out of his contract, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reports, so he can move closer to his mother. Staley’s mother, whom Rogers adds is battling health issues, lives in South Carolina. Staley grew up in Columbia, S.C.

Staley, 47, had been on Dan Campbell‘s staff for the past two years, moving to Michigan after 10 seasons in Philly, his primary team during his playing career. The former Eagles running back worked as their running backs coach from 2013-20. Staley has interviewed for the Eagles and Giants’ OC positions during the late 2010s and took over as Philly’s HC temporarily in 2020, during a Doug Pederson COVID-19 spell, but it does not appear Staley is joining Reich’s staff in a coordinator role.

Staley’s role is uncertain, but he stands to be one of Reich’s top assistants. The Lions made a surprise playoff push during the season’s second half, and Jamaal Williams provided an equally stunning performance to help drive it. Williams finished with the league lead in rushing touchdowns (17) and smashed his previous career yardage high with 1,066.

The Panthers are moving forward on their OC search, requesting to interview Jaguars passing-game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. As he was with Tampa Bay, Cooter is believed to be Carolina’s first interview request for this job.

Reich has not committed to calling plays just yet. Despite David Tepper coming out against CEO-type coaches, Reich noted a recent trend of HCs not calling plays in indicating (via ESPN.com’s David Newton) he has not made that decision. The Cowboys, Eagles and Giants represent recent examples of offense-oriented HCs ceding play-calling duties to lieutenants, though Mike McCarthy will go the other way — intending to call plays after dismissing Kellen Moore — in 2023. It will be interesting if Reich, the Colts’ play-caller throughout his tenure, follows suit. That will make the OC position a more prominent role in Carolina.

Cooter, 38, also has experience in Detroit; his Lions stay doubles as his most relevant NFL work. The Lions promoted their then-31-year-old staffer to OC during the 2015 season. Cooter stayed in that role through the 2018 slate, keeping the gig for a year despite the Lions firing Jim Caldwell. Cooter and Reich were each on the Colts’ staff from 2009-11, with Reich coaching Indy’s QBs and wideouts and Cooter starting out as an offensive assistant. Cooter’s past with Pederson, who hired Reich as Eagles OC in 2016, also could check a box here.

Given Trevor Lawrence‘s second-year production, teams have wanted to speak with Cooter. The Buccaneers have not made a decision about their OC yet, so Cooter is now in play for two positions. He has not been a coordinator since the Lions let him go four years ago.

Bucs Begin Round Of OC Interview Requests

4:36pm: The Bucs are also set to meet with Broncos quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The team attempted to secure a meeting with Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but Hamilton declined the meeting.

The former Vikings OC, Kubiak became a key figure during Nathaniel Hackett‘s disastrous season. Hackett gave the second-generation coach the play-calling reins late in the season; this marked the second straight year Kubiak held that responsibility. Kubiak, 35, has less experience running an offense compared to Cooter and Hamilton, and more candidates will emerge soon. Hamilton returned to an OC role this season — after being the Chargers’ QBs coach in 2020 and Texans’ QBs instructor in 2021 — but Houston axing Lovie Smith will likely lead him elsewhere.

4:06pm: Jim Bob Cooter is back on the offensive coordinator radar. Being out of the play-calling mix for the past four seasons, the former Lions OC received an interview request Tuesday.

The Buccaneers want to meet with the Jaguars’ passing-game coordinator about their OC role, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. The Jags made tremendous strides this season, with Trevor Lawrence showing signs of becoming the star talent he was pegged to be when he went No. 1 overall last year.

The Lions had promoted Cooter to OC when he was just 31, bumping him to their play-calling post during the 2015 season. Matt Patricia kept Cooter on following Jim Caldwell‘s firing but moved on after his first Detroit season. Cooter, 38, has bounced from Jets to the Eagles to the Jags in the years since. Todd Bowles was out of New York by the time Cooter arrived in 2019, but the ex-Jets coach has made him the first known candidate for the Bucs’ OC position.

Bowles fired Byron Leftwich last week, moving on after inheriting the Bruce Arians hire in 2022. The Bucs’ offense, which was a top-seven unit under Leftwich from 2019-21, nosedived this season. Tampa Bay fell from second to 25th in points and second to 15th in yardage. Leftwich’s successor may well not have Tom Brady to coach in 2023, either. Although the 45-year-old legend regressed in 2022, he still provided considerable value to the Bucs over the past three seasons. If Brady plays in 2023, various reports have pointed to that 24th season coming elsewhere.

Cooter coaxed some quality Matthew Stafford seasons in Detroit; the longtime Lions QB finished eighth in QBR in each of Cooter’s first two years as OC. This past season marked Cooter’s first chance to work with a quarterback since his Detroit days, and Lawrence — after a rocky start — rebounded to lead the Jaguars to the playoffs. Jacksonville’s Lawrence-led wild-card comeback — the third-largest deficit overcome in the postseason — points their long-term arrow up after a disastrous Urban Meyer experiment in 2021. Doug Pederson calls the Jags’ plays, and Press Taylor is the team’s OC. That opens the door for Cooter, with other OC openings likely coming soon as teams make their HC choices.

Jaguars Plan To Hire Jim Bob Cooter

Former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter will be one of the key voices in charge of getting Trevor Lawrence on track next season. The Jaguars are hiring the young assistant, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Cooter will serve as the passing-game coordinator under Doug Pederson in Jacksonville. This will be Cooter’s most notable role since his time as Detroit’s OC (2015-18). Previously, the 37-year-old staffer worked as a consultant with the Eagles.

The Lions hired Cooter to be Matthew Stafford‘s position coach in 2014 and quickly bumped him up to OC. The Jim Caldwell-era assistant stuck around for one season under Matt Patricia but was not retained for the 2019 campaign. Cooter spent the next two seasons as the Jets’ running backs coach.

Ex-Eagles coach Press Taylor was also in the mix for this job, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter). A former Pederson lieutenant, Taylor spent the 2021 season with the Colts.

Pederson called plays with the Eagles and said he will do so with the Jags as well. The Jags attempted to interview Texans assistant Pep Hamilton for their OC vacancy, but new Houston HC Lovie Smith promoted him. The Jags have hired ex-Chargers HC Mike McCoy as their quarterbacks coach but do not employ a nominal OC yet. For now, Pederson, McCoy and Cooter will be in charge of developing Lawrence.

Jets Hire Jim Bob Cooter

The Jets’ new coaching staff will feature former Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, according to a team press release. Cooter will serve as the Jets’ running backs coach in 2019. 

Cooter has been on the market since Jan. 1 when the Lions informed him that his contract would not be renewed. In recent weeks, he interviewed for the Browns’ offensive coordinator position and the Cardinals’ OC job.

Under Cooter, the Lions had the NFL’s No. 7 scoring offense in 2017. This past season, however, Matthew Stafford regressed. That might explain why Cooter was unable to make a lateral move in the latest cycle, but his new job with Gang Green could put him back in the OC mix.

The Jets’ running game has been lacking in recent years, but they’ll be armed with $100MM+ in cap room. It’s safe to say that some of that cash will go towards fortifying the run-blocking of the offensive line, as well as finding a new primary ballcarrier. Le’Veon Bell‘s name has come up frequently, but the Jets reportedly won’t break the bank to sign him.