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Lions fire coordinator Lombardi, OL coaches

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The Detroit Lions fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn and assistant line coach Terry Heffernen on Monday, the first of many anticipated changes in the wake of a 1-6 start.

Quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter was elevated to offensive coordinator.

The Lions mustered just 19 points in a loss to the Vikings at Ford Field on Sunday when Minnesota battered quarterback Matt Stafford, a running theme of what is looking like a lost season in the Motor City.

“It’s going to be tough to tell you right now,” Stafford said Sunday night. “They did a good job of getting after me a little bit but that’s a team thing. It’s on everybody.”

Sunday’s loss was the fifth time in seven games the Lions failed to score 20 points.

Tight ends coach Ron Prince, formerly head coach at Kansas State, will handle the offensive line coaching duties.

Stafford has been sacked 16 times and has nine interceptions.

The Lions rank 32nd in the NFL in rushing with 68 yards per game and 29th in scoring (19.9).

Lombardi was hired by coach Jim Caldwell to forward Stafford’s progress, which appeared to be stunted under the Jim Schwartz regime. Yet Caldwell, whose top credentials were earned as Peyton Manning’s position coach and as offensive coordinator during Joe Flacco’s Super Bowl win with the Ravens, and Lombardi haven’t provided that bump. Lombardi was QB coach in New Orleans when Drew Brees won MVP and Super Bowl trophies.

Lombardi is the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi.


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