Not only is Lombardi the grandson of the great Vince Lombardi, whose name appears on the Super Bowl trophy, but also Joe Lombardi has, like new head coach Jim Caldwell, coached a bona fide Hall of Famer at quarterback.
Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach and head coach for Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Joe Lombardi, on the other hand, was the quarterbacks coach for Drew Brees in New Orleans under Sean Payton. In Lombardi’s tenure with the Saints, New Orleans won Super Bowl 44 against Caldwell and the Colts while helping Brees become the first passer ever to have three 5,000 yard passing seasons.
For the Lions, the top priority for the offense this offseason, aside from player personnel moves, is to surround quarterback Matthew Stafford with good quarterback coaches in the hopes that he can learn to play the position correctly. In the past, Stafford was criticized for poor footwork and technique under Linehan in Detroit. Now with Caldwell and Lombardi around, Stafford will have no choice but to heed the words of his coaches and play like an efficient quarterback in the pocket like Manning and Brees.
With the coaching staff set in place, the concerns now are for the Lions to upgrade their offensive personnel. With Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson already cemented as playmakers, the Lions will most definitely look for a No. 2 receiver, a tight end in the case that Brandon Pettigrew does not stay in Detroit and a slot receiver who can be a go-to guy for Stafford when teams load up to stop Johnson.
Here’s to hoping that this staff, with a Lombardi under the helm, can bring the championship magic of Vince to Joe and the Lions in the near future.