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Joe Lombardi is in his 12th season as a member of the Saints coaching staff in his second stint in New Orleans.
Joe Lombardi returned to the New Orleans Saints organization as the quarterbacks coach in 2016 after spending two seasons with the Detroit Lions as offensive coordinator. Lombardi is recognized around the NFL as an outstanding teacher of quarterbacks, both working with experienced veterans and in developing younger players in nine seasons working with the position group in New Orleans and entering his 12th season on their offensive staff.
Lombardi's work has consistently centered around starter Drew Brees who has become the NFL's all-time completions, passing yardage and touchdown pass leader in the past two seasons. But his focus was shifted in 2019 when Brees was injured and Teddy Bridgewater assumed the role as the starter for five games. Bridgewater steered the ship of the Saints offense to wins in each of those five contests. He completed 133-of-196 passes for 1,384 yards (67.9%) for 1,384 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. In his 11 starts, Brees enjoyed another standout season, completing 281-of-378 passes (74.3%) for 2,979 yards with 27 touchdowns, four interceptions and a career-high 116.3 passer rating and was selected to his franchise-record 12th Pro Bowl as a Saint.
Under Lombardi's supervision in 2018, Brees enjoyed one of his most productive seasons under center. Brees finished the 2018 regular season surpassing his prior NFL record for completion percentage (74.4%), leading the league with a 115.7 passer rating to go along with 32 touchdowns and only five interceptions in a season when he became the league's all-time completions and passing yardage leader. Brees was selected as an AP second-team All-Pro and as the NFC's Pro Bowl starter.
In 2017, Brees set the NFL single-season record for completion percentage (72.0), completing 386-of-536 passes for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns, eight interceptions, his lowest total as a Saint to date and a 103.9 passer rating, earning a Pro Bowl berth. In addition to the NFL-record completion percentage, he ranked first in completions, second in passer rating, third in fourth quarter passer rating (117.6) and fourth in passing yardage.
Brees has thrived under Lombardi's presence in the meeting room, on the practice field and in games during the nine seasons he has served as the signal-caller's position coach, completing 3,649-of-5,225 passes (69.9%) for 41,336 yards with 312 touchdown throws and only 110 interceptions. He has been named to the Pro Bowl in eight of the nine seasons. Brees carried an NFL-record 54-game streak with at least one touchdown pass from 2009-12. He enjoyed another of his most prolific seasons in 2011 under Lombardi's supervision, when he completed 468-of-657 passes for what was then an NFL record 5,476 yards with 46 touchdown passes and a 110.6 rating. As an offensive assistant from 2007-08 when he first worked with the team, he was heavily involved in the preparation of the passing attack as well, having worked closely with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Lombardi also stepped in for a brief stint as the running backs coach near the end of 2008.
In serving as coordinator of the Lions in 2014, the Detroit offense gained 5,452 total net yards, which was then the eighth-highest total in franchise history. WRs Calvin Johnson (1,077) and Golden Tate (1,331) became only the sixth Lions receiving duo to reach 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. QB Matthew Stafford led the Lions to five victories when trialing or tied in the fourth quarter or overtime as Detroit finished 11-5 and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Lombardi first arrived in New Orleans in 2007 with extensive coaching experience on both sides of the ball, most recently serving as defensive assistant for the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. While in that role, Lombardi worked with a defensive line that combined for 25.5 sacks.
Bringing game-planning and play-calling experience to his position, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2002-05 at Mercyhurst College, while also serving as recruiting coordinator.
In 2001, Lombardi coached tight ends and running backs for the XFL's New York/New Jersey Hitmen. In 2000, he tutored the defensive line and served as strength & conditioning coordinator at Bucknell University.
He coached both the tight ends and tackles at the Virginia Military Institute in 1999 after opening his coaching career at the University of Dayton, where he was responsible for the defensive line from 1996-98. The Flyers won 20-straight games during his tenure.
Lombardi – the grandson of legendary coach Vince Lombardi – is a 1994 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned three letters as a tight end and one in lacrosse. Lombardi, who served a four-year tour on active duty as an Air Force officer following graduation, is a supporter and participant in many of the club's initiatives supporting military and was the 2018 team nominee for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.
PLAYING CAREER: Air Force, 1991-94.
COACHING CAREER: Dayton, 1996-98; Virginia Military Institute, 1999; Bucknell University, 2000; New York/New Jersey Hitmen (XFL), 2001; Mercyhurst College, 2002-05; Atlanta Falcons, 2006; New Orleans Saints, 2007-13; Detroit Lions, 2014-15; New Orleans Saints, 2016-.