Lions’ Jim Caldwell doesn’t wish he fired Joe Lombardi sooner

Former Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was fired after a 1-6 start.
Tim Fuller

A week before the team’s president and general manager were fired, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell fired then-offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi in a last-ditch effort to save a lost season. The Lions were 1-6 at the time, heading to London to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8.

Since Lombardi’s firing, interim offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter has helped lift the Lions to wins in three of their past four games. After a 45-point offensive explosion against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving, Caldwell was asked if he regrets waiting to make the change.

"No," Caldwell said, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. "That’s probably the simplest way (to answer that). Like I said, it’s not that easy. It’s a difficult transition what we’re going through right now, even just in terms of our offensive system and how it’s functioning. It’s an unusual change."

Caldwell gave Lombardi plenty of chances to turn things around, but he never did. Although the Lions have shown some improvement under Cooter, there’s still work to be done. Week 12 marked only the third time that Detroit has eclipsed 20 points in a game this season.

In order to declare the switch from Lombardi to Cooter a success, the Lions must become more consistent scorers. They have an opportunity to prove that last week’s offensive production was no fluke when they take on the Green Bay Packers — a team Detroit beat, 18-16, just a few weeks ago — this Thursday. 

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