Just one week after being named head coach of the Detroit Lions, Jim Caldwell has assembled his coaching staff rather quickly. Four days ago, Teryl Austin, former Baltimore Ravens secondary coach, was named defensive coordinator. This morning it was reported that Joe Lombardi will be named the next offensive coordinator of the Lions.
Lombardi spent the past five seasons as quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints where he helped Drew Brees break the NFL single season passing record in which he threw for 5,476 yards, shattering Dan Marino’s previous record of 5,084 yards. Before his time as quarterbacks coach, he was an offensive assistant for two years with the Saints. Lombardi was also a part of the Saints’ 2010 Super Bowl winning team that went 13-3 and was the No. 1 seed in the NFC. In his five years as quarterbacks coach, the Saints went 55-25 and reached the playoffs every year but one (2012).
This is a great hire for a Lions organization that is desperate for a winning culture. Bringing in a brilliant offensive mind that has a proven track record of success can help turn this team around. One of the main issues that must be addressed this offseason is fixing Matthew Stafford’s mechanics. There were one too many times last season where he altered his throwing motion which resulted in numerous bad throws and interceptions. Lombardi will be able to come in and help develop Stafford further to make this offense elite.
With Caldwell’s ten years of experience working with Peyton Manning and Lombardi’s seven years with Brees, Stafford has more than enough to learn from. With weapons like Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush at his disposal along with a vastly improved offensive line, there is no reason why the Lions shouldn’t have one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL next season.