It is assumed that New York Jets coach Todd Bowles will be fired at the end of the 2018 season. Here is a potential replacement nobody is talking about.
Names are starting to be bandied about. John Harbaugh is one, Mike McCarthy is another. A popular one is John DeFilippo from the Vikings. Eric Bienemy of the Chiefs is another one, especially with the play of Patrick Mahomes.
The consensus has been that the Jets need an offensive-minded coach. I agree.
Today, however, we have a different candidate for you. This is also an offensive coach, and one that hasn’t gotten any attention. He should, between his accomplishments and his genealogy.
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The candidate we are talking about is Joe Lombardi.
You may know the name because he gets a lot of air time on a TV commercial. However he is also a highly qualified football mind.
He has stops working with defense but 70% of his work has been on the offensive side of the football.
Most recently, Lombardi has spent two stints with the Saints, from 2007-2013 and from 2016-present.
From 2009-2013 and from 2016-now, he has been Drew Brees‘ quarterbacks coach. That includes a Super Bowl title and 2018 which has been his best year as a pro.
Lombardi has coordinator experience, running the Lions offense from 2014-2015.
The Lions passing offense was no lower than 12th in each of those years. Matthew Stafford‘s only Pro Bowl appearance came in 2014.
Stafford’s best completion percentage came in 2015.
Why is this important? Joe Lombardi knows what he is doing when it comes to quarterbacks. The Jets just happen to have a young quarterback they need treated properly.
Now, the lack of a running attack during those years might concern you about Lombardi. After all, they were near the bottom of the league in both seasons.
However, that can be mitigated by a couple of factors. The first is “Megatron”. You might not call a ton of running plays if Calvin Johnson was on the outside.
Secondly, the offensive line wasn’t good. Per Football Outsiders, the Lions’ offensive line was 21st in run blocking in 2014 and 22nd in 2015. That obviously isn’t great, but despite these numbers, Joique Bell still ran for over 800 yards in 2014.
Yes, Lombardi was fired by the Lions during the 2015 season. But he has more than resurrected his career with the work he has done with the Saints.
The other offensive experience for Lombardi has come at VMI, Mercyhurst, and the New Jersey Hitmen. Yes, the XFL franchise. It’s not his fault that the league only lasted one season and generally was kind of odd.
He’s not responsible for the craziness of Vince McMahon.
Now don’t forget his genealogy. If you don’t remember from the commercials, his grandfather is the late Vince Lombardi. Yes, that Vince Lombardi, the one the trophy is named after.
If anyone is going to be able to move from the responsibilities of a coordinator to the head spot, it’s a guy related to the most famous NFL coach to do it.
Now Sean Payton may not be willing to let him go. But the Jets should ask because he is very qualified.