Detroit Lions Fire Joe Lombardi And His Assistants

When November is around the corner and your NFL team only has a single victory, then drastic changes are going to be made. According to, the Detroit Lions made that drastic change today by firing offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and two of his assistants.

Being the grandson of the legendary Vince Lombardi, who is viewed as one of the most brilliant minds in NFL history, opened a lot of doors for Joe Lombardi. The Detroit Lions hired him in 2014, even though Lombardi had no previous experience as an offensive coordinator on any level above NCAA Division II. Lombardi was an offensive coordinator for Mercyhurst University.

Joe Lombardi learned a lot during his six years under Sean Payton, one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL. The Detroit Lions were seemingly hoping that he could implement the dynamic offense utilized by the New Orleans Saints. It was an offense that allowed Drew Brees to put up top quarterback numbers in the NFL.

Matthew Stafford
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford [Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]
Detroit Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford regressed a bit under Joe Lombardi. The strong-armed Stafford is a better fit in a vertical offense. Lombardi prefers shorter passes. The Lions were hoping that Stafford and Lombardi could find a middle ground, but that never worked out. Lombardi now knows that Stafford is not Drew Brees.

Another problem for Matthew Stafford is that he doesn’t always get a lot of time to find wide receivers. The Detroit Lions offensive line is playing well below expectations. Often times, they struggle to figure out where the blitzes are coming. Stafford is being sacked, on average, twice a game.

The poor play of the Detroit Lions offensive line has cost two of their assistant coaches to be fired today, as well. Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan were informed that they would be following Joe Lombardi out the door. Slowly but surely, a modified blocking scheme will be implemented by the Lions.

Jim Caldwell
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell [Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images]
Head coach Jim Caldwell is expected to be more hands on with the Detroit Lions offense now. Caldwell has been a coach in the NFL since 2001. Much of that time has been spent on the offensive side of things. During his stint with the Indianapolis Colts, he did a lot of good things with Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Tom Moore, a legend in NFL coaching circles.

Jim Bob Cooter will be taking over the title of offensive coordinator. He was previously utilized as the quarterbacks coach. Cooter, a former quarterback himself, is already familiar with Matthew Stafford, so that will ease the transition a bit. Since he is only 31 years old, Cooter does not have a ton of experience in the NFL.

Ron Prince was coaching tight ends for the Detroit Lions prior to today. He will now be given the task of fixing the Lions offensive line. Devin Fitzsimmons has been promoted to tight ends coach for the Lions. He was originally hired by Detroit to work with the special teams.

The change in coaching came at a very interesting time. The Detroit Lions were preparing to board a plane to head to London, which is a rough trip for NFL players. They have a game against the Kansas City Chiefs before getting a bye week. Many speculated that the firings would have taken place during the bye week.

Jim Caldwell had initially told the media earlier in the day that he was not firing Joe Lombardi. He changed his mind and said that the Detroit Lions had to do something now. Otherwise, Caldwell and the Lions would not have the time to catch up to the other NFL teams.

[ Featured Photo Credit by Handout / Getty Images ]

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