Detroit Lions: 7 options to replace Jim Bob Cooter as offensive coordinator
Here are seven candidates to replace Jim Bob Cooter as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator after the team announced Tuesday he would not be retained:
Los Angeles Rams pass game coordinator
Waldron is a bright, young offensive mind who has played a hand in shaping one of the NFL’s best offenses. One drawback: Waldron doesn’t have experience calling plays beyond the high school level. Quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor is the hot Rams assistant, but Waldron has ties to Patricia, having served two stints with the Patriots as quality control coach and tight ends coach.
Lions quarterbacks coach
Godsey is one of two Lions assistants with NFL offensive coordinator experience (offensive line coach Jeff Davidson is the other). He served as Bill O’Brien’s coordinator with the Houston Texans in 2015-16 – the Texans finished in the bottom half of the league in total and scoring offense both years – and joined the Lions as a defensive assistant in 2017 before taking over as quarterbacks coach last year. He also has prior ties to Patricia, working in New England from 2011-13.
Ex-Miami Dolphins coach
Gase was fired Monday after three seasons as Dolphins coach and a 23-25 record, but he’s widely regarded as one of the top offensive minds in the NFL. He broke into the league with the Lions, cut his teeth working under Mike Martz and with Peyton Manning, and would be a home-run hire. Of course, he could wind up a head coach again with the Cleveland Browns one reported suitor.
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Ex-Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator
Hackett became the fall guy for the Jaguars’ disappointing season when he was fired in November after seven straight losses. A former Syracuse assistant – Patricia has close ties to the school and Hackett’s former boss, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone – Hackett also has coached quarterbacks and tight ends. Remarkably, he made Jacksonville’s offense serviceable with Blake Bortles at quarterback in 2017.
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator
Kitchens still has a job for now, but he could end up on the street depending on who the Browns hire as head coach. If he’s available, the ex-Alabama quarterback is worth a call based on the work did with rookie Baker Mayfield this year. He does not have direct ties to Patricia, but he did work for Bill Parcells (who worked with Bill Belichick) and on the same staff with Paul Pasqualoni in Dallas.
Ex-Notre Dame coach
If you’re sensing a theme here of candidates with ties to Patricia, you’re right. Weis was on the Patriots staff when Patricia first got hired into New England, and he tried to take Patricia with him when he left for Notre Dame in 2005. Weis hasn’t coached since 2014, but he reportedly wants back in the game and would be a trusted face for Patricia.
New England Patriots tight ends coach
A dark horse candidate, Caley probably isn’t seasoned enough to be an NFL coordinator yet, but he’s a fast-rising Patriots assistant. He coached two years of tight ends and was an offensive assistant for two seasons in New England, but he’s never called plays at any level.
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