Caldwell: No regrets for not firing Lombardi earlier

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Joe Lombardi

Allen Park — The Lions are 3-1 since coach Jim Caldwell fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.

But, when asked if he had any regrets about waiting until a 1-6 start to dismiss Lombardi, Caldwell sternly said, "No."

"It's not that easy," he said Monday. "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."

The Lions offense struggled in the first year under Lombardi, too, but the defense helped overshadow some of the issues.

The offensive production hasn't changed significantly since Jim Bob Cooter took over for Lombardi before Week 8, in part due to a pitiful performance in a 45-10 loss to the Chiefs in his debut.

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But the Lions have just one turnover in the past three games, which has helped the team be more competitive than in the first half of the season. And on Thanksgiving, Lions offense had its best game of the season, feasting on a terrible Eagles defense in a 45-14 win.

Caldwell said he hasn't spoken with Lombardi in recent weeks, but the two have exchanged text messages.

"From what I understand, he's doing well," Caldwell said.