Joe Lombardi on Matthew Stafford: He’s not broken

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New Lions coach Jim Caldwell didn’t hesitate when talking about the first thing he plans to work on with quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Caldwell said that they’ll be focused on improving Stafford’s footwork this offseason in hopes of getting him back on track after a rough stretch of play in the second half of last season. Caldwell doesn’t think that’s an impossible task, nor does new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.

Lombardi hasn’t had any time to work directly with Stafford yet, but he said from the Senior Bowl that watching tape of the quarterback hasn’t led him to borrow a famous line from his grandfather and ask what the hell’s going on out here.

“The good news is that he’s not broken, that much is clear,” Lombardi said, via Yahoo! Sports. “There’s an awful amount of talent there. His arm is something to behold. We used to sit in the Saints quarterback room and just marvel at his passes — all the depths, the whole field in play. He really can sling it. That’s a great thing to have. I am not worried about Matthew. I am excited to be working with him, and we’ll get started soon. I can’t wait.”

We’ve seen Stafford’s talent at several points during his career. Caldwell and Lombardi will be charged with making sure it shows up every week or their tenure isn’t likely to be much more successful than their predecessors.

33 responses to “Joe Lombardi on Matthew Stafford: He’s not broken

  1. Matthew is relieved to hear that a long time NFL quarterback like Joe thinks he still has a chance to play in the league. I mean, Joe was winning MVPs at the position back in the day when his grandfather was still coaching, I think.

  2. What??? He’s not broken? Where does this come from? Who said he was broken and why is Lombardi posturing with that as a preface with his first introductory words to the public!?

    That doesn’t make any sense, and it’s insulting because it suggests like as if it’s a topic or a qualified understanding here in Detroit that we have a broken QB. First of all, you can’t be broken unless you were working in the past, so if Stafford isn’t good enough, which he isn’t, then it’s not even an issue of breaking, it’s an issue of not properly FORMING OR DEVELOPING as a QB in the first place!

    I don’t understand this attitude or perspective place that the OC is coming from. I hope he really knows what he is doing and is smarter than he sounds because it sure doesn’t sound like he is operating from a logical and confident place. It sounds like he’s skeptical of his own QB and he’s going through the motions by just tossing out generic compliments that a typical OC says of his mediocre QB before losing lots of games and then getting fired for coming up short.

    And what’s the bad news? You told us the good news, so surely you are thinking about bad news and just not sharing it with us? And why did we hire an OC that sees things as so bleak and sees all this bad news, whatever those secret feelings are of his?

  3. So we have Manning’s old QB coach/HC & Brees’ QB coach…these guys did not make the players who they are but they did have an effect & definitely have hands-on knowledge of what a successful QB looks/thinks like. If Stafford tanks next year, the Lions cant be blamed for doing all they could!

  4. The MEDIA alleged that Stafford needed fixed. Lombardi is simply squashing that notion. Lombardi will call the plays and this offense will ignite.

  5. The Lions can’t be blamed for doing all they could? Oh my, now I’ve heard everything! I’ll spare the 100 page rebuttal to that seeing as how nobody wants to hear the truth about legitimate concerns that I have.

    I disagree as much as I have disagreed about anything on this site, ever. If Stafford tanks, then I see MANY different reasons why the Lions should still be blamed for that. And that’s the problem with the team, they can’t figure out how to analyze the problems or the blame and they are wildly confused as to what’s going on, and every new person they talk to finds a way to get them to eat out of their hand en route to a new way of failing. It’s an insane cycle of futility.

  6. I am so tired of all the talk about his arm and stats. It’s wins and playoffs we want, you can keep the other crap.

  7. The media shouldn’t be given credibility as a QB guru, and Lombardi is giving it to them. I just don’t care for his choice of words and it doesn’t satisfy me. The media’s banter didn’t need to be squashed, and we haven’t even agreed as to what exactly is the media’s position anyhow. Then he doesn’t follow up with what the implied bad news is or why he feels there is bad news. What he says doesn’t make any logical sense and upon analysis it looks like a lot of red flags are there to follow up on with regard to what he thinks, and he should be challenged to satisfy us with regard to the red flags that he is presently creating with his own choices! If he can’t figure out how to talk about this stuff, then how is he going to talk to Stafford to make him better? I have serious concerns now and only because he spoke and said peculiar stuff. He didn’t have to do that, nobody forced him to say these things. Until he satisfies my concerns, I’m going to remain skeptical. I’m just not happy with where we are at right now with our QB position and direction of the franchise, and that’s the overriding issue that Lombardi isn’t helping with so far.

  8. The game is WAY overcoached at the NFL level. If teams got rid of about 2/3 of their coaching staff the players and the game would be much better off for it. Preferably by turfing all the hanger on relatives getting a free ride through life.

  9. The great thing about the hire is that Stafford is more likely to trust what Caldwell and Lombardi are telling him due to their previous work with Manning/Brees. If Stafford doesn’t put forth the effort to fix his mechanics at least the Lions will know he is not the answer.

  10. Ok I’ll stop, but just remember that I was the guy who was complaining for the last 10 years that we lost MISERABLY, and everybody kept saying I was wrong, but I was right ALL of those years. Maybe for once you should stop telling me to stop and actually listen for a change. You and almost everybody else over all these years have sided with the Lions and went against me. And look what happened. I keep proving my points time and time again, and the players I vouch for consistently outshine the players the Lions vouch for. When will you notice the pattern? I’m not the guy losing games for the Lions every year, I’m the guy trying to show them the opposite path!

  11. Way to much sleep is being lost over a thirty second interview.
    Let’s assume for a min., as you are, staffords mechanics do not improve over the offseason. Just from watching the play calls and the decision making on the side line over the last seven games this season, I’m willing to bet Lombardi and the system he is going to run would have won 4 maybe 5 of those seven games that where needed to get to the playoffs. No doubt.

  12. Well that’s a strong boasting, but Lombardi didn’t say that about himself, that’s just you speaking for him. Why didn’t he tell us about those 4 or 5 wins he would have got us, maybe it’s because he doesn’t agree with you or he can’t explain how. All I know is what he did say and I didn’t like it. And your willingness to gamble is up to you, for the last decade we have been taking what seem to be poor gambles, and experiencing chronic losing. I’m just not very tolerant of failure and I have high expectations for those that are in charge of the team.

  13. Is Stafford even coachable?

    That’s the lingering question. Everyone knows he has mechanical issues and makes stupid decisions with the ball. Can he be coached out of those things?

    We’ll see.

  14. Not good. A lot of Staffords failure stems from the enablers from the Schwartz staff. Does this mean there will be no accountability again, or should i say still,

  15. Certainly he can be coached. He’s young with lots of tools and talent and he seems to have a competitive nature to him and a strong healthy mind. If he doesn’t improve, that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t be coached, it could mean he wasn’t paired with the right coaches, which I strongly feel has been the case for his entire time here.

    But it doesn’t matter if he can be coached or not, because this team still can trade him. There is no rule that says they cannot and anybody that says the salary cap makes it impossible is not understanding how the numbers work. So if he can’t be coached, then that’s the GM’s job to figure that out and get a QB who can deliver respectable play. Either way Stafford is NOT a valid excuse for why we don’t win the SB. Don’t leave it to be his decision if he isn’t going to decide to win. That’s not his job to figure that out, it’s his job to do the best he can and the coaches and mngmt’s job to figure out how do we win at football. If they choose to let him hold us back, that’s on them.

  16. There is no rule that says they cannot and anybody that says the salary cap makes it impossible is not understanding how the numbers work.

    explain how the numbers work oh cap guru.

  17. Trading Stafford results in $43M in dead money, and requires us to cut $27M of players to balance this year, or essentially every OL we have, every LB, every CB, every RB, Suh, Delmas, and every WR not named Calvin.

  18. Well there are sites that you can go to now that allow you to select a player to trade and cut and they show you the numbers. The cap hit to trade Stafford isn’t that big of a number to circumvent with other moves. I have tried doing links here before and they get banned. Just do a search and you will find the site that shows you the exact numbers to the dollar.

    And I understand you don’t like the idea of dead money, but that’s better than paying somebody ridiculous money every year, that’s not a good solution either! Bottom line is it’s about WINNING, and if you can win with an expensive QB or a cheap one, IT DOES NOT MATTER! But we need to figure out how to win, with or without Stafford. And I don’t believe the argument about experiencing some dead money is strong enough to justify paying him all this money and not winning Super Bowls. There’s BETTER ways to manage a football team through VALUE players, and if you are going to pay a guy like Stafford what you pay him, then it’s on you to coach him and not give him 20 years to not win and keep hauling in the money! Something has got to give, and I’m looking for Super Bowl titles, and we don’t have them, and Stafford has been a HUGE part of the reason.

    We need to make smarter choices, and we need to trade him if we can’t get more out of him, it’s that simple!

  19. That’s a great and well focused attitude dtown.

    Heck, I would have approved of your press conference if you were hired as the OC and that’s all you said. “I don’t care just win football games…
    we’ll figure out how and with who and it will all be self-explanatory. Who cares how we do it and with whom right now? We just win football games as of now and that’s all there is to say.”

    Lombardi made a complex statement about the “broken” concept, he talked good news which usually is paired with bad news and didn’t elaborate and left mystery, and then he went on with a rant about how part of his last job was to sit in awe of some Brees’ passes. The mindset is just peculiar to me. I’d rather have a guy remembering the times that Brees made mistakes and he was figuring it out, rather than it sounding like a visit to a country club. I don’t want to see an image of him kicking up his feet in a lounge and laughing about how easy this job is. I want to imagine a guy who is working hard and with Stafford directly and having a fascinating study session or brainstorming session etc. He said a lot that did nothing but open up a weird can of worms for me.

    What you said “just win football games”, I didn’t need to hear any more than that. That’s what I want, somebody who is locked in and focused about winning and nothing else matters they are just details and is confident that it will be done, and that works for me for right now, ok you have a handle on things it seems, I’ll go look for something that is out of order to inspect further then.

  20. There is also a lot of money saved from a few other things such as the Suh restructuring and Burleson has a big chunk to be saved. Those 2 things do a lot of trimming and there are also other moves to be made if you are redesigning the team to move on from Stafford. You can’t make that one change and do nothing else, that option is only possible if you are doing a more complicated assortment of maneuvers that I happen to think are good for several other positional groups. I see an efficiency to move some things around and take a different approach. It’s either this plan or get the coaches in place that can get Stafford to play up to his contract level. I have to consider and scrutinize all options and that’s all I’m doing and I think it’s necessary in order to determine what is best for the team.

  21. I have been a avid lion fan since the late 50s and realize that until the lions get new ownership who loves football and really wants to win they will never be a top team.

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