Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell is tasked with trying to turn Matthew Stafford into an elite quarterback, and Stafford certainly has an elite skill-set at his disposal with his natural leadership qualities and incredible arm talent. For Stafford, it’s all about finding consistency and cleaning up his technique, and Caldwell looks like exactly the guy who can help take the franchise QB to the next level. Helping him is offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who was hired earlier this week after previously serving as the New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach.
Lombardi has already received endorsements from some Saints coaches, but the most significant praise comes from Saints superstar QB Drew Brees, who knows a thing or two about making the jump from “franchise” QB to “elite” QB. Brees and Lombardi worked closely in New Orleans, and it’s clear that Brees has an immense amount of respect for the Lions new OC.
He said, via Lions official site beat writer Tim Twentyman, “I knew it was only a matter of time. He is a guy that is extremely intelligent, very innovative. He was a huge part of our game planning throughout the week and on game day.”
Brees said more kind things than just that quote, but I think this snippet of his statement is the most crucial. Caldwell stated before hiring Lombardi that he was looking for an “innovative” head coach, largely because that’s Caldwell’s weakness. Lombardi is viewed by most people as both intelligent and creative, so it’s great to hear that the man who worked closer with Lombardi than anyone else has a ringing endorsement for his former QBs coach on those two qualities.