Feb. 10, 2014
Former Vols quarterback Jim Bob Cooter has been named the quarterback coach with the Detroit Lions. He has worked with the Broncos, Chiefs and Colts since graduating from Tennessee.
In his first press conference at the Detroit Lions' new offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi said he wanted a quarterbacks coach on his staff.
That's exactly what he got on Monday, as the hiring of Jim Bob Cooter to be the team's new quarterbacks coach became official.
"You know, clearly, Coach Caldwell has a ton of experience with that and I've been doing that the last seven years in New Orleans," Lombardi said of getting a quarterbacks coach. "But there is a lot of work that goes into a coaching staff and I think one of these Hall of Fame quarterbacks was talking about (how) there are a lot of different quarterback coaches and what they bring.
"So, if you can find a talented guy to come into that position, I think that's always helpful."
Cooter joins the staff after spending this past season with the Denver Broncos as an offensive assistant.
According to Jeff Legwold, who covers the Broncos for ESPN, there are those inside the Broncos suburban practice complex who believe Cooter will be difficult to replace.
Cooter was a key part of the offense's game-planning infrastructure given his work in preparing scouting reports on opposing defenses, his ability to spot trends and potential matchups on gameday and his day-to-day work with Peyton Manning, according to Legwold.
Before joining the Broncos staff, Cooter spent one season as a quality control coach in Kansas City and three years as an offensive assistant under new Lions coach Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis.
Cooter, 29, is a former backup quarterback at University of Tennessee.
Lombardi told reporters he's not worried that Cooter's arrival could mean Matthew Stafford has too many voices in the quarterback room.
"I think it's important that Jim (Caldwell) and I and the quarterback coach are all on the same page," Lombardi said. "I mean, we had something similar in New Orleans. You know, Sean (Payton) certainly knew a lot about coaching quarterbacks. Pete Carmichael had been the quarterback coach before I became the quarterback coach and he moved on to coordinator. So, there were three voices there, but I learned from Sean and Pete and Pete had learned from Sean, so we all spoke the same language. There wasn't any pull.
"We're going to have the same situation here and I'm sure those relationships will evolve a little bit. But, you know, there's a process to playing quarterback and that process is going to start day one of the offseason when Matthew gets in here. I guarantee you that Coach Caldwell, myself and the quarterback coach will be on the same page as how we want that process to go, the language that we're using with him. All those things will be consistent."