LIONS INSIDER

COORDINATOR CUT-UP: Almost all offensive weapons at Lombardi's disposal

Posted Nov 13, 2014

Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and a full complement of tight ends are expected to be on the field together for the first time since September.

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi hasn't had as many weapons on the field and at his disposal as he will Sunday in Arizona since Week 3 -- a 19-7 win over Green Bay.

Joe FauriaTE Joe Fauria (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and a full complement of tight ends are expected to be on the field together for the first time since September.

It looks like for first time in a long time, Lombardi could have the kind of skill-position talent he expected to have when the season began. It might not be the full spectrum, because running back Reggie Bush’s status is still unknown due to an ankle injury, but it's close.

Theo Riddick can certainly handle Bush’s role in the passing game, so from that standpoint, Lombardi can finally attack teams through the air on the outside, inside and from the backfield like he envisioned.

“I think the receiving abilities that Eric (Ebron) and Joe (Fauria) have getting them back opens up some things in the offense,” Lombardi said. “Those guys have looked healthy this week so (it’s) more players that can do some things.”

“We’re real proud of what Kellen Davis has done and what Brandon (Pettigrew) has done fighting through some nicks. Those guys have played well for us, but Joe obviously has the size that we’ve been missing and Eric has some speed. Those things should help us.” 

Lombardi also touched on a couple other topics:

On if QB Matthew Stafford is doing what he wants him to do: “I think it’s just being a smart quarterback. When your defense is as dominant as ours has been, it gives you some comfort to be a little bit more careful. ‘Hey, let’s not put us in a bad situation. Could I fit this throw in there? Maybe? But I’m going to be a little more careful on it.’ I think it’s just smart football. ‘When do I take chances and when don’t I.’ I think he’s been excellent."

On why Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson is so successful and how does he anticipate the matchup against WR Calvin Johnson: “I think you always trust Calvin. Certainly (Peterson) got certain traits that help him in that matchup. He’s big so he’s got a little bit more size than maybe some other corners. He’s one of the top athletes in the game so it’s really going to be a fun matchup to watch.

"The other guy (Antonio Cromartie) has got some of those same traits. It’s not like they’ve got a weak corner on the field. Both guys I think are top corners, probably one of the top corner tandems in the NFL.”

On why the Cardinals give up a lot of passing yards: “I think you made a good point, that they’re so good against the run that sometimes they force teams into passing. More attempts should be more yards and they put (Peterson and Cromartie) ... because they’re so good, they trust them, and so a lot of times they’re by themselves. There’s not a lot of safety over the top double team help. That’s probably the reason you why see that.”

On how concerned he is with how the offensive line will handle the Cardinal blitzes: “The fact that Travis (Swanson) had to go in so early last week and kind of got his first extended work and I thought he played really well. We got a lot of trust in what he’s going to be able to do. They do a lot of exotic things and regardless of the experience of your o-line it causes you some concerns. I think those guys are so well coached that I feel confident in their ability to handle it.”