Jim Bob Cooter Reportedly Named Jets RBs Coach on Adam Gase's Staff

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter seen during pregame of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rey Del Rio)
Rey Del Rio/Associated Press

The New York Jets put an emphasis on the offensive side of the ball Friday when they hired Jim Bob Cooter as their next running backs coach, according to The Athletic's Connor Hughes.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport shared a few of the other additions to Adam Gase's staff:

This move comes after the Detroit Lions mutually parted ways with him after a 2018 season that saw them go 6-10 and finish in last place in the NFC North with him as offensive coordinator.

It didn't take much time for him to draw interest, though, as Rapoport reported the Cleveland Browns interviewed him for their offensive coordinator position in January. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Arizona Cardinals interviewed him as a potential offensive coordinator in January as well.

Cooter was also a head coaching candidate in January 2018. Kyle Meinke of MLive reported the Lions interviewed him for their vacant position after they fired Jim Caldwell. While they ultimately chose Matt Patricia, they kept Cooter around as the offensive coordinator for one more season before heading in a different direction.

He became Detroit's offensive coordinator when he was promoted during the 2015 campaign after the in-season firing of Joe Lombardi.

The combination of Cooter and quarterback Matthew Stafford found nothing but success early on, as Meinke noted the Georgia product completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 73 touchdowns, 24 interceptions and a QB rating of 98.2 with Cooter from 2015 through 2017 compared to a completing 60.5 percent of his passes for 66 touchdowns, 42 interceptions and a QB rating of 85.3 the 41 games prior.

However, Stafford struggled in 2018, and his 3,777 passing yards snapped a streak of seven straight years of more than 4,000 yards through the air. His 21 touchdown passes was his lowest mark since Cooter was in charge as well.

Still, the Jets clearly saw enough with Cooter's early success with Stafford, and the 34-year-old will have a chance to establish a rapport with Sam Darnold following this hiring. Cooter won't be working directly with Darnold on a regular basis, but he'll obviously want to get Jets running backs involved in the passing game.

His age stands out, but Sean McVay was only 30 when the Los Angeles Rams hired him before the 2017 season. All McVay did was lead the Rams to two straight NFC West crowns, engineering a drastic turnaround for a team that went 4-12 in 2016.

Cooter is known for his ability to work with quarterbacks and scheme receivers open, even if 2018 was a disappointment. Now, he'll have an opportunity to show he can excel with running backs as well.

Cooter will have his work cut out for him as the Jets finished 26th in rushing yards (101.4 per game) and 29th in yards per carry (4.0).

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