Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez preview the Lions-Packers sport.
Every week through the Lions season we’ll do a Twitter mailbag. Use the social media website to ship your inquiries to Lions beat author Dave Birkett at @davebirkett.
Q. How heat is the Jim Bob Cooter seat proper now? – @BigBitingPig
A. Everyone right here remembers 2015, when the Lions bought off to a dreadful 1-6 begin and Jim Caldwell fired Joe Lombardi as his offensive coordinator and promoted Jim Bob Cooter as his substitute to salvage a shipwreck of a season within the second half.
The Lions’ offense has been a disappointment this yr, however that is nothing like 2015 and Cooter — to the perfect of my data — isn’t below any strain just like the warmth Lombardi was feeling on the time.
People throughout the NFL will inform you that Cooter is a future head coach, a vibrant offensive thoughts who’s completed some good issues with Matthew Stafford. He gained’t be a head coach after this season, however at 33 years previous, that’s his future.
Second, it’s not just like the Lions are teeming with expertise on offense. They don’t have a working sport (and, sure, you possibly can argue pretty that it’s Cooter’s accountability to get extra out of it), they don’t have big-time playmaking huge receiver or tight finish, and the offensive line that they’ve invested a lot in has been a disappointment due to accidents (Taylor Decker; badorted others) and underperformance (Rick Wagner; most others).
Lastly, sure, Cooter calls performs and designs the offense, however he’s largely executing Caldwell’s imaginative and prescient of the offense. It wouldn’t be look to let a head coach hearth two offensive coordinators. If the primary two have been that unhealthy, what would give anybody confidence he may decide a 3rd?
[Monarrez: I’m quitting the Dodgers, and fans should quit the Lions]
Q. I believed I noticed Jim Bob and Stafford arguing on the sideline through the sport, is there friction – @WillNDowd
A. Will is true that cameras final week caught a really temporary snippet of an animated alternate between Matthew Stafford and Jim Bob Cooter on the sideline following the Lions’ opening drive of the fourth quarter. The incident occurred after Dwayne Washington was stopped for a 1-yard achieve on third-and-goal on the 2-yard line, and the Lions settled for a subject purpose.
It’s unclear precisely what the alternate was about, nevertheless it appeared extra like two individuals venting their frustrations a few robust day than it did any true friction (keep in mind the Tony Scheffler sideline alternate with Scott Linehan after Titus Young repeatedly torpedoed performs?). Cooter ended the incident with a slap on Stafford’s shoulder pads, and it must be famous that Jared Abbrederis didn’t get to his block in time on Washington’s failed run, and the Lions tried a subject purpose after going for it on fourth down on the earlier drive.
Stafford was requested concerning the incident after the sport and mentioned, “We were just talking over what we liked.” I requested Cooter about it on Friday, and he mentioned there’s no friction between him and his quarterback.
“I don’t remember,” Cooter mentioned. “Maybe talking about a play. Talking about, I don’t know. We’re always talking about something. I don’t remember specifically which one it was. I’m sure we were discussing the last drive and whatever happened on that drive.”
Q. With execution being an issue, are they gamers not ok or are the coaches not placing them in the perfect place to succeed? – @Cartinthewater
A. This is all the time a chicken-or-egg factor. The Lions have some deficiencies of their roster like each staff does. They don’t have an amazing move rusher up entrance, they don’t have a game-changing working again or a throw-it-up-and-get-it huge receiver. But the reality is, there aren’t loads of gamers like that within the NFL and it’s as much as the teaching employees to get probably the most out of the expertise the entrance workplace brings in.
It’s simple to cherry-pick performs and conditions and say, what was the teaching employees pondering? Certainly, there have been cases this yr the place it’s appeared unattainable for a lineman to make a block or a linebacker to reach protection.
I feel the Lions have underperformed their expertise in some locations on offense, and outperformed it in others on protection. But the reply to your query is each. The Lions may use one other blue-chip participant or two, however coaches need to do a greater job ensuring these execution errors don’t happen.
[Lions offensive lineman T.J. Lang expects boos when he returns to Lambeau Field]
Q. If u had an opportunity so as to add an impression all professional to this staff what place and why? What impact can this one man make on the entire staff – @CHEN313
A. I like this query, and it’s simple to dream on what the Lions may very well be if they’d Aaron Rodgers, Julio Jones or Aaron Donald on their staff. I thought of making a wholesome Rodgers the choice right here as a result of he’s the perfect quarterback within the NFL, and when you’ve got that, a lot else falls into place. But the Lions can win with Matthew Stafford at quarterback, so I’m going a unique route.
I’d add a dominant edge rusher, above all else, to the present mixture of expertise on this staff. Someone like Von Miller, Khalil Mack or Joey Bosa may have a transformative impression on a protection that hasn’t had a sack in two straight video games.
You may argue the protection already is a step forward of the offense, and thus a ability participant can be of extra worth. But placing a 22-year-old Bosa on this roster for the following few years, in a division the place you play Rodgers twice a season, adjustments the entire dynamic of what they’ll do.
Q. Do you’re feeling Caldwell is dropping this locker room after this dropping streak? Are gamers within the locker room dropping religion within the course of? – @chrisjlee
A. In a phrase, no. I don’t suppose Caldwell is dropping his grip on this staff or the locker room or something, and I don’t suppose you possibly can draw that conclusion from one (or extra) snippy information conferences or a three-game dropping streak, as unhealthy as it’s. There’s frustration throughout with how the staff has performed during the last month, however nobody seems to be going via the motions. I’ve seen locker rooms earlier than the place gamers begin to tune out coaches. There’s loads of whispering happening, loads of finger-pointing, and I haven’t seen any proof of that right here.
Contact Dave Birkett: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. Download our Lions Xtra app at no cost on Apple and Android!