Offensive assistant Jim Bob Cooter, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs and most recently the Denver Broncos, is now the Detroit Lions‘ new quarterback coach and is the final addition to Jim Caldwell‘s staff. Prior to being a part of Denver’s staff, Cooter was a quality control assistant for the Chiefs for one season, and was also part of Caldwell’s first coaching staff in Indianapolis as an offensive assistant. Cooter joins Caldwell and new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi as the three main coaches who will be responsible for turning around star quarterback Matthew Stafford. In my opinion, the hiring of Cooter will not be the quarterback guru that Lions fans will hope for.
The former Tennessee Volunteer backup quarterback has had no prior position coaching or coordinating experience in the NFL in what will now be his sixth season. This hiring of Cooter is eerily similar to what the Dallas Cowboys have done this offseason, hiring too many coaches for their franchise quarterback. Both Lombardi and Caldwell have been QB coaches before, so adding another voice that Stafford will listen to will only make things worse. Sadly, Cooter has been known more for his off-field decision making rather than his coaching experience.
While playing for Tennessee, Cooter was suspended by the team for a DUI arrest and later was involved in an aggravated burglary charge in 2009. The last thing that the Lions need in a locker room already dealing with a bad culture is an assistant coach who has a history of acting out of control. Detroit has already dealt with this before from another former assistant — under Rod Marinelli‘s staff, defensive line coach Joe Cullen was arrested on a similar DUI charge and also was arrested for an indecent exposure incident at a Wendy’s.
After so many great coaching hires this offseason, such as defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and linebackers coach Bill Sheridan, the Lions unfortunately took a step backwards.