If Matt Patricia keeps his job in Detroit after a disappointing rookie season (and they should make him wait 45 minutes to tell him), there figures to be a significant degree of change around him.
And while Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been willing to lobby for offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter in the past, he was more circumspect this time through.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with Jim Bob,” Stafford said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I think he’s a smart coach. I’ve had a lot of success under him. We’ve scored a bunch of points and done a lot of really good things under him.”
He would not say what he’d tell Patricia if his boss asked his opinion, saying: “He hasn’t asked me.”
Stafford probably loves Cooter just as much as he always has, but he may just see the writing on the wall.
Unless he throws for 490 yards against the Packers, he’ll finish under 4,000 yards for the first time since 2010. He has 19 touchdowns, 10 off last year’s total, and is averaging 6.7 yards per pass attempt, his worst number in that category since 2012.
“We just haven’t made as many big plays,” Stafford said. “I think that’s a big part of it. Just haven’t done a good enough job executing in the passing game for me. I can always play better and can find ways to be better for sure.”
They didn’t do Stafford or Cooter any favors by trading wide receiver Golden Tate, and then most of the rest of the Lions playmakers got hurt. But faced with another offseason, Stafford isn’t pushing as hard for Cooter as he was a year ago.