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Joe Lombardi “always looking” for well-rounded tight ends

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While the Saints gear up for what coach Sean Payton thinks will be “tough decisions” regarding re-signing tight end Jimmy Graham, their former quarterbacks coach is in Detroit gearing up for his first year as an offensive coordinator.

Joe Lombardi isn’t expecting to find another Graham in Detroit. He doesn’t really need one, not with Calvin Johnson threatening defenses and drawing attention away from teammates the same way Graham does in New Orleans. Lombardi did reveal a bit about what he’s looking for from the tight end spot, however.

“I think it’s important to have a guy that can block at the point of attack. That’s important,”┬áLombardi said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “And then you want a guy that can be a pass receiver, so you’re always looking for those well-rounded guys. But again, I’ve never been in the mode of I wanted to find exactly what this player is and then you have to go find him for me. Go find the best player you can.”

One of the first orders of business this offseason is deciding whether Brandon Pettigrew fits that “best player” you can find description. With center Dominic Raiola re-signed, Pettigrew is one of the top Lions set for free agency next month and Detroit has to decide if they want to continue their relationship with a player who has been more effective as a blocker than a receiver over the last couple of seasons.

Assuming Graham doesn’t hit the market, Pettigrew joins Dennis Pitta and Jermichael Finley at the top of the tight end market. Birkett reports that there have been no substantive contract discussions between Pettigrew and the team to this point.

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12 Responses to “Joe Lombardi “always looking” for well-rounded tight ends”
  1. ziggystheansah says: Feb 9, 2014 11:47 AM

    Please don’t utilize pettigrew as anything more then a blocking TE. This is a glaring spot on our offense. Pettigrew would be a nice resign but NOT the answer.

  2. DaveKShape says: Feb 9, 2014 12:55 PM

    I don’t understand why having Megatron has anything to do with having a beast pass-catching TE. It would make their offense that much more devastating and create even more mismatches if they had a guy like Graham in there. If Lombardi really thinks, “Eh, we have Megatron… no need to keep my eyes open for a TE threat.”, he needs to be fired. Also, anything you can do to help Stafford get over that hump needs to be done ASAP.

  3. 4allintensivepurposes says: Feb 9, 2014 1:02 PM

    Me too.

  4. purpleguy says: Feb 9, 2014 1:05 PM

    That TE that does the goofy TD dances isn’t too bad.

  5. dabears2485 says: Feb 9, 2014 1:16 PM

    Megatron + Burlerson + Bush + Bell + Pitta would be a great combo. I hope they don’t sign Pitta.

  6. bender4700 says: Feb 9, 2014 2:53 PM

    Fauria is a big threat. He may not be as good as a blocker, but you can develop that. He’s too tall and talented not to.

  7. usmutts says: Feb 9, 2014 2:56 PM

    Always looking for “well-rounded tight ends”?

    Uhhh, what are you trying to say about Lombardi?

  8. lionzblue says: Feb 9, 2014 3:51 PM

    I know the 10th pick in the draft may be a little to high for him, but the TE from UNC Eric Ebron would be a really nice pick. He stretches the field and is a great route runner. Plus he’s 6’5″ and would be another big target.

  9. theneedforspeeed says: Feb 9, 2014 4:52 PM

    Pettigrew is a very good TE. He has had a few drops, but no more than anyone else. The fact that he was catching 60-75 passes per year naturally means that he would have a couple more drops than someone having 30 catches. He needs to stay healthy, and keep improving in both catching and blocking. If he does that, he is worth the re-sign.

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 9, 2014 4:59 PM

    Just don’t make him choose between well rounded and tight.

  11. lovethelions says: Feb 13, 2014 6:08 PM


  12. lovethelions says: Feb 13, 2014 6:09 PM


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