Detroit Lions hire Vince Lombardi's grandson Joe as OC


The Lions hope that the grandson of a legend can make the most of Detroit's offense next season.

Tim Twentyman of the team's official site confirmed Tuesday that new coach Jim Caldwell plans to hire Joe Lombardi as his offensive coordinator. The team later on Tuesday announced the move. Two generations removed from legendary Vince Lombardi, Joe has worked with the New Orleans Saints since 2007, spending the past five seasons as their quarterbacks coach.

What Lombardi offers Detroit is a teacher who spent the past half decade in the same building with workaholic signal-caller Drew Brees under the direction of a premier play-caller in Sean Payton.

Caldwell understands that he'll be judged immediately by how this talent-laden offense performs out of the gate come September. Fixing Stafford's mysterious mechanical issues ranks as the first order of business, but Caldwell told NFL Media's Lindsay Rhodes last week: "He does want to do the little things right."

Three consecutive seasons with 4,500-plus passing yards speaks to Stafford's innate talent, but he barely completed more than 50 percent of his throws over his final eight starts in 2013. Asked last month if he'd be willing to work with a passing coach, Stafford told reporters: "Probably not."

Then, of course, there's Vince Lombardi, who once told a room, "Unless a man believes in himself and makes a total commitment to his career and puts everything he has into it -- his mind, his body, his heart -- what's life worth to him?"

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