The Jim Bob Cooter era is over in Motown after five seasons.
Cooter and the Detroit Lions mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced Tuesday. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport initially reported the move.
Cooter had been with the organization since 2014 and was promoted by then-coach Jim Caldwell to offensive coordinator in 2015.
Matthew Stafford experienced a mini-renaissance with Cooter calling the shots. From 2015 to 2018, the Lions quarterback completed 66 percent of his passes; he had never before averaged a 63.5 completion percentage. His passer rating hovered around the 90s, and despite a dropoff in passing yards production, Stafford also cut down on turnovers. He earned a lucrative contract extension in 2017 as a result, making the QB at the time the highest paid player in the league.
But Stafford’s success under Cooter didn’t translate in 2018. Lions coach Matt Patricia inherited Cooter after Caldwell was fired following the 2017 season, but the fit didn’t, well, fit.
Detroit’s total offense, ranked 13th in 2017, dropped to 24th in 2018. The Lions averaged 25.6 PPG in 2017, good for seventh in the league, but averaged just 20.3 in 2018 (26th).
“It’s not just coaching,” Patricia said Monday whether Cooter would remain with the staff. “It’s support staff, it’s players, it’s scheduling, it’s everything. So, we’ll definitely evaluate everybody.”
Cooter is now free to interview for other offensive coordinator or head coaching jobs around the league. Rapoport said he has already received requests to interview.
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