When the Detroit Lions decided to wisely cut ties with Jim Schwartz, it was no secret that the team was looking to hire a head coach and offensive coordinator who could help take Matthew Stafford to the next level. There’s no doubt that Stafford has elite arm talent, and he was incredible in the first half of the regular season. However, his slump coincided with the Lions collapse, and he showed poor technique and inconsistent decision-making. Stafford can be a great quarterback in this league, but the key for the Lions franchise QB is consistency.
The Lions are well on their way to making Stafford a more consistent quarterback by hiring coaches who can work well with him. While they surprisingly struck out on top candidate Ken Whisenhunt, they were able to pull former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell as their head man. Caldwell isn’t a creative offensive play-caller, but he is excellent at working with QBs with an endorsement from Peyton Manning to boot. He’s also incredibly committed to the job, improving Stafford, and making the Lions a more disciplined team. In fact, when he interviewed for the job he outlined his plan for making Stafford a better quarterback.
But how about the Lions hire at offensive coordinator? Caldwell stated recently that he wanted to hire a creative offensive coordinator to help him out, as Caldwell was criticized in Indianapolis for running an offense that lacked innovation. Per league sources close to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Lions have decided to hire New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi, who is the grandson of legend Vince Lombardi.
Joe Lombardi has been an excellent QBs coach under Sean Payton and Pete Carmichael in New Orleans, and he comes off as a very creative play-caller who is a very nice hire on paper for the Lions. Of course, only time will tell, but this looks like a quality hire.