The Los Angeles Chargers made waves on Monday afternoon, finalizing a deal for a new offensive coordinator.
Saints quarterbacks coach and former Lions OC Joe Lombardi will earn the promotion and join the Chargers staff
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 25, 2021
">according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Both parties have agreed to terms, making the move nearly official.
Lombardi will boast an impressive resume, due largely to his time in New Orleans over the better part of the last decade. The 49-year-old spent the past five years working alongside Saints legend Drew Brees at the quarterback position and earning the trust of head coach Sean Payton. He also worked for New Orleans from 2007 to 2013 and built a rapport with the organization and it's players. From there, Lombardi became heavily involved in the team's offense, allowing him to get an opportunity of his in own in Los Angeles.
In between his stints with the Saints, Lombardi worked as Detroit's offensive coordinator from 2014-2015. The Lions went 11-5 in his first season with the team, before a significant drop-off the following year. After a 1-6 start in 2015, Lombardi and many other members of the staff were fired.
After a few years righting his career with the Saints, the 49-year-old assistant on the rise will get to make a huge leap with the Chargers.
Lombardi will instantly get the chance to build something in Los Angeles, alongside new head coach Brandon Staley. The Chargers offensive showed flashes of potential during the 2020 season, due largely to the play of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. The former top-10 pick threw for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns last year, compared to just 10 interceptions.
The Chargers offense didn't end up being the main problem for the team, but shoddy coaching from Anthony Lynn ultimately sank the organization's chances to win. It'll be up to Staley and Lombardi to right the ship and maximize Herbert's window, starting in 2021.