I'm playing some of the best football of my career - Stafford wants Lions OC Cooter to stay


Matthew Stafford wants Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter to remain with the team despite head coach Jim Caldwell's dismissal.

Caldwell was fired by the Lions on Monday after they missed the playoffs, despite having led Detroit to a winning record in three of his four seasons at the helm.

Offensive line coach Ron Prince has also departed but Stafford wants to maintain continuity with a coordinator he believes has him playing the best football of his career.

"Jim Bob and I have a great relationship and ever since he's had the opportunity to take the reins, this offense has moved in the right direction in my opinion," Stafford said.

"I feel like I'm playing some of the best football of my career, so I would love to have the opportunity to keep working with him. He's been good for us and good for me."

Stafford has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 73 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 41 games since Cooter was promoted to offensive coordinator during the 2015 season after initially joining the staff in 2014.

Prior to Cooter taking over, Stafford had completed 60.1 percent of his passes.

"I think continuity is important in this league to a certain extent and I voiced my opinions earlier just a second ago on our guys on the offensive staff," Stafford explained.

"I think they do a good job, I think our offense is going in the right direction, I think our team is close so we'll see what happens."

Offering praise for the departed Caldwell, Stafford added: "He's been great. He's as level-headed a guy as I've ever been around, understands the position of quarterback really well and was great for me and great for a lot of guys on offense just to bounce ideas off of, so I have a ton of respect for him.

"Just the way he carried himself, he coached us, the way he treated everybody. He's a great guy and a great coach."