Detroit Lions announce that OC Jim Bob Cooter will not return

His contract will not be renewed

The Detroit Lions will move forward under coach Matt Patricia with a new offensive coordinator. The team announced on Tuesday that Jim Bob Cooter’s contract will not be renewed.

Cooter, who is 34, will likely get another opportunity in the NFL. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Cooter has received requests to interview.

He was originally hired by coach Jim Caldwell as the Lions quarterback coach to start the 2014 season.

In Week 8 of the 2015 season, Cooter was promoted to offensive coordinator following the firing of Joe Lombardi by Caldwell.

Cooter played a role in the Lions’ two playoff appearances during Caldwell’s four-year tenure.

The Lions offense finished 24th in the NFL averaging 327.2 yards per game in the 2018 season after ranking 13th (337.8) in the same category in 2017 when Matthew Stafford compiled a 99.3 passer rating for the season and established a new single-season franchise record.

Cooter and Stafford often said they saw the offense from the same point of view. But in this 2018 season, the tempo was slowed down and Stafford did not throw as many downfield passes as in previous years. It was his first season he didn’t reach the 4,000-yard passing mark since 2010 when he played in just three games due to injury.

In Cooter’s first full season as offensive coordinator in 2016, the Lions scored on 64 of the team’s 156 offensive possessions (41.0 percent), which ranked seventh in the NFL.

In 2015, Cooter helped lead Detroit to a 6-2 record over the final eight games. In that span, Stafford accumulated the highest passer rating (110.1) over eight games by a Lions quarterback as he surpassed the 106.7 rating registered by Greg Landry over an eight-game span in 1976.

Cooter was a backup quarterback at the University of Tennessee where he got his start in coach as a graduate assistant from 2007 to 2008. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Tennessee in 2006 and went on to receive a master’s degree in sports psychology in 2008.


Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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