Detroit Lions: Could Matthew Stafford and Scott Linehan reunite?
By Matt Bosko
With the Detroit Lions‘ season in a downward spiral, offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is firmly on the hot seat. If the team chooses to part ways, a familiar face could be his replacement.
The Detroit Lions are in a tailspin, and although there is plenty of blame to go around, it seems as if Jim Bob Cooter’s days as offensive coordinator are numbered.
Head coach Matt Patricia has already made it clear that he is prepared to make changes to his coaching staff, as the team parted ways with special teams coordinator Joe Marciano a week ago.
Marciano was one of the few coaches that remained from the Jim Caldwell era. Patricia chose to retain Marciano after his unit performed well in 2017, but this season was an entirely different story.
That leaves Jim Bob Cooter, another inherited member of the coaching staff, whose unit has drastically under-performed for most of the season.
With the team sitting at 3-6 and in the middle of a daunting stretch of their schedule, it seems that unless Cooter can get the offense clicking soon, he will be the next staff member to go.
If the Lions relieve Cooter of his responsibilities during or after this season, an interesting candidate to replace him is none other than Scott Linehan.
Linehan, the current offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, has also been under fire recently. NFL.com recently reported that Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett nearly fired Linehan on two separate occasions this season.
That is not exactly a bode of confidence for the play-caller.
Linehan has familiarity with Matthew Stafford, as he was the Lions’ offensive coordinator from the quarterback’s rookie season in 2009 until 2013.
During those years, the Lions were in the middle of a rebuild from an 0-16 season, and Stafford thrived and struggled under Linehan’s system in the early years of his career.
Though the franchise quarterback threw 109 touchdowns to 73 interceptions during Linehan’s tenure, the coordinator embraced Stafford’s gunslinger mentality, and built an aggressive passing attack around him. Stafford may have been reckless in his early years, but averaged 4,885 yards per season in Linehan’s last three years with the team.
It’s exactly the type of attack that the Lions so desperately need and seem primed for given the talent on the offensive side of the ball.
Since Scott Linehan departed, Matthew Stafford has learned to take better care of the football under the tutelage of Cooter. With Stafford’s maturity as a quarterback and Linehan’s aggressive play-calling demeanor, a reunion between the two could be a perfect match going forward.