When Matthew Stafford met the new Lions quarterback coach Jim Bob Cooter, team president Tom Lewand happened to be in the hallway.
Here is his recollection:
“Jim Bob says to Matthew: ‘How are you? Hi, nice to meet you. Do you like to be called Matt or Matthew?’’
“He said, ‘I like Matthew.’
“Matthew said, ‘Is it Jim? Bob?
“No, it’s Jim Bob,’’’ Cooter said.
“He owns it, I respect it,’’ Lewand said obviously referring to the name which sounds a little more Dukes of Hazard than NFL.
Cooter has flown under the radar a bit. He was hired after the big wave of new assistant hires by Jim Caldwell because he was an offensive assistant for the Denver Broncos who, you might remember, played in the Super Bowl.
“He’s a really good football coach, he was extremely well thought of in Denver,’’ Lewand said.
In fact, Broncos coach John Fox told Lewand at the NFL Combine that they tried to keep him, but they couldn’t promote him because they had a good quarterbacks coach.
Cooter, who played quarterback in college at Tennessee, had worked with Jim Caldwell with the Indianapolis Colts.
Along with Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, they will work to get the best out of Stafford.