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Mayhew confirms Lions denied Bears' request on Cooter

Josh Katzenstein, The Detroit News

Indianapolis — Lions general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed a January NFL Network report that the team denied a request from the Chicago Bears to interview quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter for their offensive coordinator vacancy.

Mayhew declined to provide specifics on why the Lions denied the particular request from their NFC North rival. Among the reasons the team would deny such a request are his role on the team, his contributions, the requesting team and how hard the coach is to replace, he said.

Cooter joined the Lions last season when they hired Jim Caldwell as head coach. Cooter's first coaching job in the NFL was in 2009 with the Colts when Caldwell was head coach, and the two worked together for three years in Indianapolis.

"He's a phenomenal quarterbacks coach," Mayhew said of Cooter. "He's been around great quarterbacks, he played the position himself (and) he's a great teacher. He has an understanding of what coach Caldwell wants taught. He's got a great relationship with those guys in that room, a very knowledgeable coach, great guy to be around. I really enjoy talking with him."

Cooter spent four years with Peyton Manning, three in Indianapolis and one with the Broncos in 2013. In Denver, he was an offensive assistant working under John Fox, who was fired and became the Bears coach in January.

"I think he's got a very bright future," Mayhew said of Cooter. "I think coach Caldwell put together an outstanding coaching staff."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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