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Name Hurting Former UT Player In Coaching World?

Photo Credit: Detroit Lions

What’s in a name? Perhaps a lot for a former UT player who is trying to work his way up the NFL coaching ladder.

Many who follow Tennessee football know that former quarterback, now turned offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, Jim Bob Cooter has one of the most interesting names in the world of sports.

It might be good for a quick laugh for those who haven’t heard it before, but, amazingly, it could be an actual obstacle in his quest to get a head coaching job in the NFL, according to a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS.

“Lions offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter could be held back by his name, believe it or not, in this crazy corporate league as I talk to more execs about him,” La Canfora wrote in a report about potential candidates that NFL teams might be too afraid to hire to a head coaching gig.

Cooter, who was a reserve walk-on quarterback for the Vols from 2002-05, has helped the Lions put up respectable numbers despite the retirement of star receiver Calvin Johnson before the season. They’ve averaged 21.5 points per game and 335.3 yards per game of total offense this year. More importantly, the Lions sit atop the NFC North (9-5) with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

La Canfora also noted that another potential candidate, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, “still has a wild and wooly look that isn’t the CEO image most owners want.”

Perhaps it’s time for NFL teams to stop worrying about what coaches look like, and what their name is, when making some of these decisions.

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