The Detroit Lions have never won a Lombardi Trophy, but they’re at least adding a Lombardi to their staff.
The Lions hired former New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi as their new offensive coordinator Tuesday, according to ESPN. Lombardi, the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, emerged as the favorite for the position late last week after the Lions interviewed a handful of candidates for the job.
Lombardi first coached in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. He joined the Saints in 2007, spending time as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach. Under Lombardi’s guidance, Drew Brees developed into one of the NFL’s premier passers, breaking numerous passing records over the last seven seasons. Lombardi also was part of the Saints’ Super Bowl-winning staff in 2009.
Lombardi’s experience with Brees was likely a key for new Lions coach Jim Caldwell, who was hired last week. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has struggled to develop into the same sort of top-tier quarterback during his five-year career, showing signs of promise but failing to establish any consistency as an elite passer.
Lombardi’s step up the career ladder might create a conflict for his family, though. Vince Lombardi was a five-time NFL champion (two-time Super Bowl champion) with the Green Bay Packers during his Hall of Fame career. Now, the younger Lombardi will have to stand on the opposite sidelines twice a year to face his grandfather’s former team.
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