What is a Jim Bob Cooter?

Jim Bob Cooter has had a lackluster impact on the offensive output of the Lions.

Jim Bob Cooter has had a lackluster impact on the offensive output of the Lions.

Jim Bob Cooter.

What a name.

What a legacy he’s building as well, as the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator.

Well, maybe the latter is going a little bit too far. I think it’s fairly easy to say that such a proclamation after the squad’s 21-14 defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Rams is just that.

The reason why: zero points in the first half against the Rams and a total of 20 points scored by Cooter’s offense dating back to the second half of the debacle on Thursday Night Football eleven days ago against the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers.

Detroit’s offensive woes on Sunday in St. Louis were magnified by the fact that in the Cooter-run offense, the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, Calvin Johnson, was limited to one catch for 16 yards on five targets from quarterback Matthew Stafford.

All this is far too indicative of the fact that Cooter is the furthest thing from an offensive play-calling genius.

No offense to T.J. Jones, but how did he, a 2014 sixth-round pick who had three career receptions on six targets prior to Sunday, finish with more throws directed at him — 8 — than the Lions’ star #1 wideout who is nicknamed “Megatron” for his “mega” 6-foot-5 frame and superiority as a pass catcher?

I know Johnson minimally practiced on Wednesday, sat out practice both Thursday and Friday and was subsequently listed as questionable going into Detroit’s contest with St. Louis.

However, if you’re going to have the man suit up on Sunday, then utilize him to the fullest of his abilities. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that doing so provides Detroit with its best chance of being victorious.

Yet, in typical Lions fashion, the best offensive weapon the organization has to go to war with didn’t receive the chance to truly don his “armor.”

In fact, Johnson’s one catch and 16 yards are the lowest totals he’s recorded in both statistical categories this season.

The totals are also the lowest he’s had in a game since October 5th of 2014 when he caught a lone pass for seven yards against the Buffalo Bills.

With that being said, it’s important to note that he left the aforementioned contest in the first minute of the third quarter after aggravating a right ankle injury.

It means you’d have to go all the way back to December 12th, 2010, to find the last time Johnson recorded only a single catch in a game. It came against the Pack with then-third stringer Drew Stanton under center for the Lions.

But even with Stanton starting, Johnson was able to show off his prowess as a deep target with 44 yards on the catch.

The 30-year-old Georgia Tech product encountered another one catch game in 2010. It came on November 7th of the aforementioned campaign against the then-Rex Ryan-coached New York Jets, who were led defensively by shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis.

With the help of Revis, the Jets limited Johnson to 13 yards, his lowest yardage amount in a single game since the advent of the 2010 campaign.

As for his five targets against the Rams, it’s the fewest he’s recorded in a single game since Week 1 when he caught two balls for 39 yards on four targets against the San Diego Chargers.

The Lions eventually came to their senses and got rid of the man responsible for not calling enough plays involving Johnson in San Diego, Joe Lombardi.

Lombardi, like Cooter, was a first-time NFL offensive coordinator who proved he didn’t have the play-calling acumen to call the shots for one of the league’s 32 teams.

Lombardi, the grandson of Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi, was sent packing after the Lions scored under 20 points in five of their first seven games and started 1-6.

With Lombardi being dismissed, head coach Jim Caldwell decided to promote Cooter to OC. It was a change that was viewed as necessary for waking up an offensive attack that had become stagnant.

Cooter got off to an uneventful start in his tenure, with his offense mustering a measly 10 points in his OC debut in London Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Things haven’t gotten much better offensively outside of Detroit’s thrashing of the then-reeling Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving, 45-14, and the squad’s 17-point first quarter performance two Thursdays ago (December 3rd) against Green Bay, who was coming off an embarrassing home loss on Thanksgiving to the divisional rival Chicago Bears.

But Cooter’s fate as the commander-in-chief of the Lions offense wasn’t firmly sealed until his misuse of the greatest receiver in franchise history, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, on Dec. 13th.

It’s likely the day on which the Ford family and the rest of the NFL decided that Caldwell and Cooter were unfit to continue in their present roles and to serve in such roles with the league’s 31 other teams.

At the end of this season Cooter and his Dukes of Hazzard name will almost certainly be sent scooting out of Detroit.