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Shutdown Corner

New Detroit Lions OC Joe Lombardi on Matthew Stafford: ‘He’s not broken’

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

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Matthew Stafford (USA Today Sports Images)

MOBILE, Ala. — It has been a whirlwind 24 hours for new Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who just joined Jim Caldwell's staff and hasn't met all his fellow Lions coaches yet.

Lombardi hasn't had a chance to get full bore into breaking down the Lions' offensive personnel — that will occur next week, he said — but the former New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach did tell Shutdown Corner that he believes that his new team is chock full of offensive talent.

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Joe Lombardi (AP)

"You can see it, it's obvious," Lombardi said during the South team practice at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday. "Most of my scouting of them has been me breaking down whatever defense they were playing, but top to bottom they have exciting, talented players. Calvin [Johnson], Reggie [Bush], Matthew [Stafford], there's lots there."

(And yes, Lombardi said "they" when referring to his new team. Blame it on him being a bit distracted in his new position.)

Lombardi was asked specifically about Stafford, who has some impressive credentials in his young career but also some moments of extreme breakdowns, specifically turnovers. Stafford threw 19 interceptions last season, including 12 in the final seven games of the season (five of them losses) during which the Lions dropped from contention and head coach Jim Schwartz was fired. Stafford also had at least 16 interceptions in each of the past three seasons.

"The good news is that he's not broken, that much is clear" Lombardi said. "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."

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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