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Lions heap praise on 'phenomenal' OC Jim Bob Cooter

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The progress of new Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has made any decision for the Lions' next general manager increasingly difficult.

Since Cooter took over, Detroit is 4-2, including a fluke loss to the Green Bay Packers on a Hail Mary that should have never reached open arms. In that time, Matt Stafford is hitting almost 70 percent of his passes, and has thrown just two picks to 14 touchdowns.

"The way he communicates with us -- he's a fun guy, a younger guy to be around," Calvin Johnson told The Detroit News on Monday following a Lions victory in New Orleans. "And he's getting better and better every game."

Added Golden Tate, whose touchdown numbers have dramatically spiked since Cooter took over: "Jim Bob Cooter has done a phenomenal job at finding out what guys do best and putting them in positions to succeed. When you have the athletes we have, it's just simplifying. And that's what we're doing."

Their fortunes under Cooter have been good enough to earn a scoff from head coach Jim Caldwell, who did not appreciate reporters asking him about what could have been.

"You know what, I'm on a positive note right now," Caldwell said, via The Free Press. "I'm only thinking about this game. These guys played well today. I'm going to give them credit for what they did today. I'm not looking back and all that kind of stuff. I'll let you (media) guys do that. For us, we're going to enjoy this one. We had a good performance out of all of our guys."

That's fair enough from Caldwell, but a new general manager could have a more pessimistic view of things. Stafford saw two years of his prime vanish in the old offense and Johnson saw two near the end of an excellent career get severely dented.

While the option for a new general manager is there to keep this staff in place for a season until they find a candidate they truly fall in love with, is this six-game stretch enough to really convince the new executive team that they deserve to stay? Or is it just enough to get Jim Bob Cooter another coordinator job this winter?

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