The Indianapolis Colts have their new head coach in Shane Steichen. Next, the team needs to find an offensive coordinator.
It appears as though Jacksonville Jaguars passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is the team’s top choice for the role.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on February 16 that the Colts have requested Cooter for the opening.
Cooter spent the 2021 season as a consultant on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff with Steichen. Cooter has four years of experience as an NFL offensive coordinator.
Cooter’s Connection to the Colts
Cooter began his coaching career in college as a graduate assistant in 2007 at 23 years old. He has 14 years of NFL coaching experience, beginning his NFL career in 2009.
His first coaching job in the league came with the Colts in 2009.
Cooter served as an offensive assistant for three years under then Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. During his first season, the Colts won the AFC Championship. Cooter also won the AFC Championship as an offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos in 2013.
In between Indianapolis and Denver, Cooter was the quality control coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs during 2012. He then became the Detroit Lions quarterbacks coach in 2014.
Cooter rose to offensive coordinator as an interim with the Lions in 2015. He held that role on a permanent basis from 2016-18.
In 2019, Cooter served as running backs coach for the New York Jets before then joining Steichen with the Eagles during 2021. He was the Jaguars passing game coordinator this past season.
How Cooter Fits as the Colts Offensive Coordinator
In four seasons as Lions offensive coordinator, Cooter led Detroit to one Top 10 finish in points scored. The offense was also Top 10 in passing yards and passing touchdowns twice.
But Cooter has excelled most in the league as a developer of quarterbacks. Most recently, he helped former No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence take a big step forward as a second-year quarterback last season.
Cooter also helped continue to develop Matthew Stafford and worked with Peyton Manning both in Indianapolis and Denver.
“To this date, no coach has gotten the efficiency out of Stafford that Cooter did as offensive coordinator during the 2016-2017 seasons, when his position coach was Brian Callahan, who was a finalist for the Colts’ job this year,” wrote Colts beat writer Nate Atkins of The Indianapolis Star.
“He got back to developing quarterbacks last year with the Jaguars as the passing game coordinator for Trevor Lawrence, who made immense strides from his rookie season to finish with 25 touchdowns, eight interceptions, a 95.2 quarterback rating and a 27-point comeback to win a playoff game.”
On February 16, Atkins included Cooter on a list of five coaches that Steichen shoulder consider for the Colts offensive coordinator role. In addition to Cooter, the other four were Kevin Patullo, Pep Hamilton, Anthony Lynn and Greg Roman.
Patullo and Hamilton have each previously worked with Steichen and were on the Colts coaching staff at one point. Patullo was in Indianapolis from 2018-20 as a wide receivers coach and pass game specialist. Hamilton was previously the Colts offensive coordinator from 2013-15.
Hamilton worked as quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Chargers while Steichen was the team’s offensive coordinator in 2020. Patullo was the Eagles pass game coordinator under Steichen the past two seasons.
Lynn also has a history with Steichen. Lynn was Chargers head coach from 2017-20 while Steichen was on his staff as the team’s quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator.