The Indianapolis Colts have hired Jim Bob Cooter as their new offensive coordinator. According to sources, Cooter will join Shane Steichen’s coaching staff for the 2023 NFL season. This marks a return to the Colts for Cooter, who previously served on Jim Caldwell’s staff from 2009 to 2011.
From Indy to Detroit and Back
Caldwell later hired Cooter as the Lions quarterbacks coach in 2014. He then promoted him to offensive coordinator halfway through the 2015 season. Under Cooter’s leadership, the Lions built an effective passing game that caught the attention of many fans and analysts. Former Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford publicly lobbied for Cooter to stay on staff after Caldwell was fired following the 2017 season.
During his time with the Lions, Cooter proved to be an adept offensive coordinator. He he helped Stafford develop into a top-tier quarterback. Cooter’s work with the Lions undoubtedly contributed to his reputation as a talented coach, and his hiring by the Colts is a significant move for the team.
Innovative Offenses led by Jim Bob Cooter
Cooter’s experience with innovative offenses and coaches will help him fit in well with Steichen. In his last two stops in the NFL, Cooter was part of offenses that pushed the boundaries of innovation. The Eagles used creativity to take advantage of quarterback Jalen Hurts’ unique skill set. While in Jacksonville, Cooter worked alongside head coach Doug Pederson to bring the best out of Lawrence. Pederson has made great use of concepts such as pre-snap motion to become one of the more respected offensive coaches in the NFL.
Though Cooter will have the offensive coordinator title in Indianapolis, Steichen has already established that he plans to call offensive plays on game days. Under this arrangement, it’s likely the offensive coordinator will have an important role in the game-planning process. Cooter also could be charged with leading offensive meetings.
Its Clear the Colts will Draft a Quarterback
A former college quarterback at Tennessee, Cooter brings critical quarterback expertise to the Colts, who are widely expected to draft a quarterback this offseason. Indianapolis has the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft. Cooter has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, including Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts, and Trevor Lawrence. This experience will undoubtedly be a valuable asset for the Colts as they search for their next franchise quarterback.
Cooter was most recently the passing game coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has also served as an offensive consultant for Steichen with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2021. Steichen and Cooter have some recent history together, which bodes well for their working relationship in Indianapolis.
With his experience working with talented quarterbacks and innovative offenses, Cooter is a valuable addition to Steichen’s staff. As the Colts look to rebuild and find their next franchise quarterback, Cooter will be critical to their success. And for Cooter, returning to the place where his NFL coaching career began is a homecoming that he is likely to relish.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Mears, Detroit News
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