Lions Path to Rebound
Who replaces Jim Bob Cooter?
by 3PSMag Contributor & Host of “Overreaction Monday Podcast”, Tom Greene
If you’ve followed my podcasts and have watch any of the 16 Detroit Lions games this season, one thing is definitely apparent from this year’s team- the offense is anemic. It seemed as if, at least against New England and Dallas, the running game was finally finding its legs with Kerryon Johnson and the offensive line was protecting better by keeping Stafford away from pass rushers like Sean Lee, Demarcus Lawrence and Kyle Van Noy (Yes, Lions fans, I miss him too). But, the offense only took a grave turn for the worse after watching Mason Crosby miss Field Goal and Extra Point (Had he made all of them, Green Bay would’ve won that game!) and feeling seemingly confident. Hence, the firing of Jim Bob Cooter, as Lions fans were expecting.
One thing I commonly say to people about coaches (and on the podcast, when the time comes) is whenever you’re firing someone, you have to find someone better to replace who’s being let go. Otherwise, why let them go? In this case, I’ve found three candidates that the Lions should seriously interview… and who we’d have a serious chance at getting.
- CHARLIE WEIS
Yes, the big guy that’s being paid a king’s ransom to not coach. That guy.
Before you freak out about it, he’s being paid not to keep watch over all aspects of the team, not just one part of it. I remember when Jim Schwartz was fired in Detroit that Charlie Weis should’ve taken over as the Offensive Coordinator then (Yes, Chad Hughes, I remember this debate!) The times he’s kept watch over one part of a team, however, have been very successful. He, with Tom Brady, took the Patriots to three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX) and won them. He also took the seemingly-clueless Todd Haley-led Chiefs in 2010 to an AFC West division title with Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.
The problem with this, of course, is that he hasn’t led an offense since 2010. Offenses have changed from pocket passer to mobile, gun-slinging, spread games. Can Weis adjust? I think so, and I feel he’s got a good chance to lead Stafford and company to a division title. Bob Quinn also knows him from his time with the Patriots, when he had various roles with the team with Weis as OC. Weis is someone that will seriously be considered.
- JOSH MCDANIELS
If he interviews and takes this job, he won’t back out this time.
We all know what happened when he interviewed with the Colts. He took the job, then, like Spongebob did to Plankton at the Chum Bucket, said, “Nah, I don’t feel like it!” and left. For the Colts (and Pats) sake, things actually worked out as both teams are in the playoffs. However, one would assume that there’s probably a restraining order in the works for that man from that city. I haven’t asked Jim Irsay or contacted the Indy PD about that, but one would safely think that.
As for Josh, people are forgetting that he actually was a Head Coach at one time… and he didn’t back out of it. He led Kyle Orton’s Denver Broncos to 11-17 record under his watch in under 2 seasons and was fired. He then worked with St. Louis under Steve Spagnuolo, and came back to New England, where he’s led the offense ever since. Perhaps this track record could come back to haunt McDaniels in his head coaching search, and Quinn could interview him to take over the offense.
Also, before I move on, some of my friends (and Twitter people) have said that “We don’t want the Lions to become the Patriots!”. I say back, “Ok, Cool! You don’t want to win 17 out of 18 division titles and go to 8 Super Bowls? Fine, then you do you!”
Do I actually think the Lions can do that? Not now, one step before the next. But, you can’t argue with that success and say you don’t want to emulate that. C’mon, man!
- ADAM GASE
My last serious candidate is Adam Gase. This one, believe it or not, has more possibility than McDaniels, or even Weis. What you may not know- Gase is a Michigan made man. He’s from Ypsilanti, and (sadly, for me, still #GoBlue tho!) he went to Michigan State.
He also has worked for the Lions before. Yes, in the Matt Millen era, but remember that one “good” year they had in 2007 where Kitna looked like he was actually effective for this Lions team? Yeah, Gase was the QBs coach on that team. Oh, and the J.T. O’Sullivan-led Niners team that destroyed the Lions (and, consequently, Kitna) in 2008? Gase was the Offensive Assistant on that team. He’s also won a Super Bowl in Denver and made Jay Cutler the best QB in Chicago since Jim McMahon (believe it or not).
He’s even made the playoffs in Miami with Ryan Tannehill, which is very tough to do. Gase had his struggles in Miami, but they were mainly on Defense, which isn’t his specialty. With that being said, I’m still clueless as to why Vance Joseph was even hired by Denver in the first place. When he left Miami, the defensive total efficiency was 30th in the league. Did this not cross the desk of John Elway? Apparently!
Besides the point, the track record is there, and if he’s not taken as a head coach by Arizona, Cleveland, or another team in search of a head man, he’d fit comfortably in Detroit with Stafford and company.
With that, those are my three serious candidates. Yes, John DiFilippo and Freddie Kitchens are possible people to take the spot, too, but those two look to be safely in place (DiFilippo unemployed, Kitchens in Cleveland Baking up a lot of points with his Mayfield oven). Do you have any other candidates the Lions should consider? Are there any questions or doubts you have? Let me know by sending me a tweet, @TomTV23 or @TomGreenePod!