Joe Lombardi brings 18 years of coaching experience to the Lions offensive coaching staff, including eight in the NFL and the last seven with the New Orleans Saints. After holding various positions in the college ranks, Lombardi made the leap to the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006 before joining the Saints in 2007. He spent his first two years in New Orleans as an offensive assistant before being promoted to quarterbacks coach in 2009, where he worked exclusively with eight-time Pro Bowl QB Drew Brees over the past five seasons.
While with the Saints, Lombardi helped guide the New Orleans offense to League-leading numbers. Since Lombardi joined the Saints staff in 2007, New Orleans ranks first in net passing yards (33,349), completions (3,022), passing touchdowns (257). In his first season as quarterbacks coach in 2009, the Saints finished 13-3 and defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in Super Bowl XLIV, securing the team’s first NFL championship in franchise history.
Lombardi’s molding of Brees into one of the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks is well-documented. From 2009-2013, Brees set the NFL individual record for most passing yards in a five-year span with 24,823. Under Lombardi’s coaching over the last five seasons, Brees is atop the League in passing yards (24,823), completions (2,147), passing touchdowns (195), and his passer rating of 102.1 ranks third during that span behind only Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (108.2) and Broncos QB Peyton Manning (103.1). During his 2009-2012 stretch, Brees also carried an NFL-record 54 game streak with at least one passing touchdown, shattering the previous mark of 47 set by Hall of Fame QB Johnny Unitas in 1960.
In 2011, Brees threw for 5,476 yards and 43 touchdowns to break Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino’s NFL single-season passing yardage record that stood for 27 seasons. Only Broncos QB Peyton Manning has thrown for more yards in a single season (5,477, 2013) since then. On the NFL’s all-time single-season passing yards list, Brees holds four of the Top-10 spots (2008, 7th; 2011, 2nd; 2012, 4th; 2013, 5th). With 5,162 yards in 2013, he also became the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in three-consecutive seasons. He is only the fifth player to reach 50,000 career passing yards (51,081) and did so faster than any other player in NFL history (183 games).
Lombardi earned his first stint in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. An experienced coach on both sides of the ball, he worked with a Falcons defensive line that recorded 25.5 sacks that season. Prior to his time in Atlanta, Lombardi was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Mercyhurst (Pa.) College from 2002-05, where he also served as recruiting coordinator.
The grandson of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, Lombardi graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1994, where he earned three letters as a tight end and one in lacrosse. He began his coaching career at the University of Dayton (1996-98) and has held previous assistant coach positions with the Virginia Military Institute (1999), Bucknell (2000) and New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the former XFL (2001).
A native of Seattle, Wash., Lombardi and his wife, Molly, have six children – sons Joseph, Thomas and Dominic and daughters Maria, Bernadette and Clare.
The Lions believe they have a one-two-three punch at running back and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi plans to use them all in his scheme.
Joe Lombardi spent the last seven years in New Orleans and his former head coach, Sean Payton, says he's ready to lead his own offense
Jim Bob Cooter worked with Lions head coach Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis and spent this past season as an offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos
Tori Petry reports on how Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Joe Lombardi are viewing Sunday's matchup against their former team, the New Orleans Saints.