The Detroit Lions took a little longer to name their offensive coordinator than many would have thought, but the position has been filled.
Stepping in will be Joe Lombardi, grandson of legendary former Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. But the Lions are getting much more than a family tree – they’re getting a guy who worked his way up and has spent the last several years working for the New Orleans Saints under offensive mastermind Sean Payton.
Lombardi joined the Saints as an offensive assistant in 2007 and was promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2009 where he spent the last five seasons coaching Drew Brees.
The Saints represent something of a gold standard the Lions would like to replicate on offense and we can expect that influence to be evident in what Lombardi does in Detroit.
Saints TE coach Terry Malone said most of new Lions OC Joe Lombardi's influence comes from Sean Payton, so expect the Lions to attack.
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) January 21, 2014
While the impact of head coach Sean Payton can’t be discounted on the way the Saints perform offensively, the Lions are apparently getting a pretty sharp guy in his own right. Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan put it like only a Ryan can:
Asked Rob Ryan about new Lions OC Joe Lombardi: "We're not allowed to talk to the press, but he's a (bleeping) great one. You can use that"
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 21, 2014
The Lions have yet to name position coaches for the quarterbacks and wide receivers, although it is possible that Jim Caldwell will handle the quarterback duties.