Could Jim Bob Cooter be of interest to the Chicago Bears this offseason?

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears will fire John Fox at the end of this year if there’s any justice in the world. Could Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator interest them as their next coach?

At this point, I don’t think Chicago Bears fans need any more convincing from me: John Fox’s time in Chicago has run its course.

Enough pretending that his grind-it-out, just-don’t-lose style actually works.

Enough acting like he and his staff actually prepare this team well for games—this post-bye week embarrassment should rid you of that notion.

And enough thinking that he somehow will become later on what he isn’t now: a guy you trust to develop Mitch Trubisky.

I’ve already discussed this: Fox is what he is at this point. He has no real incentive to change. And as talent-deficient as the Chicago Bears have been during his tenure, their sloppiness and his poor in-game management merely magnify this team’s flaws.

And his (in all likelihood) neutering of an already struggling Dowell Loggains has left the Bears offense a mess.

These will be the last seven weeks of Fox’s turn as head coach of the Chicago Bears. And when that time is up, it’s time to flip the script.

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I don’t really care about the usual retread names like Bill Cowher and John Gruden—guys people talk about because they won Super Bowls one time and not because they make sense.

I’m also not really that into Jim Harbaugh, either, despite his history as a Bears starting quarterback in the 1990s.

And if Pace’s old pal Sean Payton were to come here, he’d probably demand some of Pace’s administrative power. That’s probably not happening.

For myself, I’m looking at what the Los Angeles Rams have with Sean McVay and Jared Goff and hoping for something like that. There’s an instance in which a young coach took a young quarterback who struggled his first year and turned him into someone who resembles a first-overall pick.

That sounds interesting and strangely relevant…

Even better, the Bears will get a look this coming Sunday at a guy on the other sideline with the skillset to do just that. More than likely, they’ll get to make a pitch to him at the end of this season.

That would be Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

If you can get past the awkward-sounding name, Cooter should interest every Chicago Bears fan that wants to see Trubisky develop into a star.

Why he’d work in Chicago

Cooter has actually been heavily endorsed by Peyton Manning throughout his rise up the coaching ranks and caught the eye of current Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell back when he was coaching in Indianapolis.

After working with the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos, with Manning, Caldwell brought him into Detroit as his quarterbacks’ coach. Now, with Cooter as the offensive coordinator, Stafford has arguably played the best football of his career.

With Cooter as his offensive coordinator, Stafford has posted his two best QBRs (61.1, 70.5) and best completion percentages (67.2, 65.3, 62.6) outside of his record-setting 2011 campaign (64.4 QBR, 63.5 completion %).

That bodes well for a guy you may want to tab to develop your franchise quarterback.

The Lions have had some offensive struggles, especially in regards to rushing offense and the red zone, this year, no doubt. Then again, running the football, especially in the red zone, would be a lot easier with Jordan Howard than with Dwayne Washington and Ameer Abdullah.

Also, if his reputation and his resume in the NFL say anything else, it’s this: don’t be scared of the “Marc Trestman” effect here.

When you hear “offensive mind” in regards to a coaching candidate, it doesn’t mean he’ll be Trestman all over again. By all accounts, Cooter isn’t some squirrelly guy with limited NFL coaching experience.

He’s young, but he’s got experience. He has the recommendations. And, most importantly, he’s building a track record with an established NFL quarterback right now.

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If the Lions let him walk/he was willing to take a job within the division (that could be a big “if”), he should be going ballistic on Ryan Pace’s radar.

This could be a transformative moment for this Chicago Bears franchise and Trubisky in particular.

This could be your McVay/Goff pairing in the NFC North: the true first step in seeing how good your young quarterback really is.

And it could be a chance to see what a creative offensive mind can do to diversify an offense that has been embarrassingly predictable much of this year.

In any case, the Chicago Bears will get two close looks at him and his play calling this year. Maybe they’ll think him worth keeping an eye on if the Lions made him available.