Colts HC Shane Steichen Reels in Former Lions OC to Join Staff

Jim Bob Cooter

Getty Jim Bob Cooter was the Lions offensive coordinator from 2015-2018.

New Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen has added to his staff by bringing in Jacksonville Jaguars passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter as the team’s new offensive coordinator, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

During Steichen’s first season as Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator (2021), Cooter was an offensive consultant.

Cooter’s began his NFL coaching career with the Colts as an assistant from 2009 to  2011, when he worked with Indianapolis legend Peyton Manning. Cooter also coached the Detroit Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2015-2018.

In addition to Manning and Stafford, Cooter has coached Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Steichen’s Priorities as HC

While Cooter is being added to a notable position on the coaching staff, Steichen revealed he will call plays while managing head coaching duties in 2023.

Steichen has been able to help quarterbacks with various traits develop through the years. One of the most notable was Philip Rivers, who was Los Angeles Chargers QB when Steichen was named the team’s interim offensive coordinator in 2019.

But before calling plays with a new team in 2023, Steichen must remain filling out the rest of his coaching staff. On February, Steichen hired Tom Manning as tight ends coach, according to The Athletic’s Zak Keefer.

It was reported by  on February 20 that Steichen is doing so, as the Colts hired Tom Manning as tight ends coach.

Manning was announced as Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator in January but is now reportedly returning to Indianapolis. He was the Colts tight ends coach in 2018 but transitioned to become Iowa State’s offensive coordinator the next four years.

With the announcement of Manning rejoining the Colts, ESPN’s Adam Schefter later tweeted that former Indianapolis tight ends coach Klayton Adams was hired as Arizona Cardinals offensive line coach.

Other Colts Coaching Moves

Colts game management assistant George Li has moved on from the team to join the Carolina Panthers, who are now led by former Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich.

Li has been touted as an “analytics expert” within the organization and isn’t the first Colts staffer to join Reich in Carolina. The Panthers hired former Colts interim play caller Parks Frazier on February 15.

ESPN’s Stephen Holder said that this move was “interesting” considering what Steichen said during his introductory presser.

“I’ll go with my gut feeling on a lot of things,” Steichen said. “I’m a gut feeling guy, especially on game day. I’ll have a gut feeling on when to do certain things as a play caller.”

Holder also reported on February 20 that Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and special teams coordinator Bubba Ventrone were expected to remain with the organization, but that could soon change.

The Cleveland Browns requested to interview Ventrone on February 21, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Ventrone was a candidate for the Colts’ vacant head coaching role earlier this offseason.

“Was under the impression he’d stay in Indy, but the [assistant] coach movement this offseason has been insane,” Holder said in reaction to Pelissero’s report. “Could be more to come. Wow.”

Shortly thereafter, Holder updated his report, tweeting that he was told that Ventrone accepted the Browns’ offer.

“Multiple people have already told me this morning that Bubba Ventrone is gone and will take the job in Cleveland,” Holder wrote. “That’s not a confirmation but sounding more like this will happen.”

If Ventrone officially ends up in Cleveland, the Colts could consider adding Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the same role. Like Ventrone, Bisaccia was a Colts head coaching candidate.

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