Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has vastly underperformed in his position. Might he soon be relieved of his responsibilities?
Is scoring the eighth most points per game in the NFL (26.8) a feather in the Detroit Lions‘ cap? Not entirely. Subtract the three defensive touchdowns and two punt return touchdowns and you are looking at a totally different narrative.
The Lions offense ranks 26th in both total yards and rushing yards averaging 298 and 84 per game. A NFL ranking of 19th overall and 219 yards per game is all they can manage in what is routinely one of the best units league wide.
Defense and special teams coming up very strongly have played a major part in the Lions winning their games. How else do you get the chance to make a comeback?
These luxuries will not last forever so the offense for Detroit needs to step up in a big way. Most responsible for these struggles most certainly is offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
Sure, Detroit has a +6 turnover differential, but that isn’t so surprising considering how conservative the play-calling is. Not to mention, it is a fairly predictable and inefficient offense.
Cooter, who finished the 2015 season strong once ex-offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was fired after a 1-6 start, has been mediocre since he has taken over full-time. Injuries haven’t helped, but the good coaches outsmart the competition and defy the odds.
So, if he isn’t the guy, than who is? Believe it or not, the Lions might have the answer on the team already. Head coach Jim Caldwell could be the key to unlocking Detroits’ stumbling offense.
Just like Cooter, Caldwell was a quarterback coach turned offensive coordinator during the season. This happened in 2012 for the Baltimore Ravens. Once Caldwell took over for the fired Cam Cameron, he helped orchestrate what was one of the best postseasons a quarterback (Joe Flacco: 11 TD, 0 INT) has ever had and a Super Bowl title.
Flacco can thank the current head coach for the Detroit Lions for the mega contract he signed in 2013. So far the Ravens haven’t exactly gotten the return they would have liked on the $120.6
million dollar investment.
Detroit certainly made the right investment by extending their head coach to a new multi-year contract. Winning two Super Bowls (the other with the 2006 Indianapolis Colts) as an offensive coordinator, and reaching another as the head coach for the 2009 Colts shouldn’t be so overlooked. Peyton Manning was a huge part of his success, hence why Caldwell was fired after the disastrous 2-14 in 2011, the year Manning missed.
Overall, if there’s any guy I want controlling the offense, it would be Caldwell. Now, does he need to take total control? Not necessarily.
It isn’t completely unrealistic for a head coach to assume the role of offensive coordinator, but I don’t see that happening. Caldwell needs to put more of his hand in the play selections to help get this Cooter Shooter offense firing away.
Hopefully this bye week was a good meeting of minds, because with the Pittsburgh Steelers coming to town, they will need a good collaborative effort to beat a better team. I expect to see more a more effective offense this week or Cooter could be moved to the hot seat.