While Joe Lombardi has never been an offensive coordinator in the league, he has experience as an NFL offensive and defensive assistant. He also served as offensive coordinator at Mercyhurst College. Lombardi's hiring continues an emphasis the Lions’ front office seems to be putting on the development of quarterback Matthew Stafford and ensuring a promising future for the young gunslinger.
Combine the experience of new head coach Jim Caldwell — a former quarterbacks coach with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis — and Lombardi’s work with Drew Brees in New Orleans, and the Lions now have some of the best quarterback-coaching experience in the game. It’ll just be a matter of whether these coaches can guide Stafford in a positive direction.
So is this the first time the Lions have hired a first-time coach for a relatively important position? No; see Jim Schwartz. But just like the glowing support that Caldwell is getting from some of the most respected voices in the NFL, it seems Lombardi is getting similarly strong recommendations, despite his lack of experience.
Plus he’s Vince’s grandson, right? That's gotta count for something.