Joe Lombardi enters his fifth season with the Saints and third as quarterbacks coach after having served as an offensive assistant the first two years.
Last season under Lombardi’s guidance, Drew Brees was selected to his fifth Pro Bowl and became only the second NFL passer to have five straight seasons with 4,000 yards after finishing with 4,620 passing yards, second only to his 5,069 yard total in 2008. Brees also finished with 33 touchdowns passes for his fourth consecutive season of 30 or more touchdowns.
In Lombardi’s first season as quarterbacks coach in 2009, Brees enjoyed a banner campaign, completing 363-of-514 passes for 4,388 yards with 34 touchdowns, setting new career-highs with an NFL record 70.6 completion percentage and a league-leading 109.6 passer rating.
In his previous position, he was heavily involved in the preparation of the quarterbacks and passing attack as well, having worked closely with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. Lombardi also stepped in for a brief stint as the running backs coach near the end of 2008.
He arrived in New Orleans 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, also serving as recruiting coordinator.
Lombardi coached tight ends and running backs for the New York/New Jersey Hitmen of the XFL. 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, and Lombardi opened 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 and his wife, Molly, have five children: sons Joseph, Thomas and Dominic and daughters Maria and Bernadette.
•Joined Packers Jan. 29, 2006.
•Possesses 19 years of coaching experience, including two seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator.
•Prior to Green Bay, spent 10 seasons coaching quarterbacks under some of the game’s most successful coaches, including Bill Cowher, Mike Ditka and Lou Holtz.
•Played 12 years in the Canadian Football League at quarterback and was a seven-time divisional all-star and two-time Grey Cup champion; was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1994.
•An All-American at Notre Dame in 1974, he finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting that year.
•Practiced law for five years before beginning coaching career.
Tom Clements, entering his 19th season in the coaching profession, is in his sixth year as Green Bay’s quarterbacks coach.
Now in his 15th overall NFL season, Clements was named to his position Jan. 29, 2006, by Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Familiar with the role, Clements also served as quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2001-03), Kansas City Chiefs (2000) and New Orleans Saints (1997-99).
In Green Bay, Clements’ extensive tutelage of Aaron Rodgers has paid dividends, as Rodgers became the first QB in league history to throw for at least 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter, and he narrowly missed a third straight 4,000-yard season in 2010 with 3,933 yards despite missing 1½ games due to a concussion. In 47 career regular-season starts, Rodgers has topped the 100 mark in passer rating 25 times, thrown for 300 yards or three touchdowns 14 times each, and posted 10 games with three TDs and no interceptions, the most in NFL history by a quarterback within three seasons of his first start.
Rodgers became the first quarterback in franchise history to record a 100-plus passer rating in consecutive seasons, with a 101.2 passer rating in 2010. He had a career-best 65.7 completion percentage last season, finished third in the league in passer rating (101.2) and second in average gain (8.26), and added a trio of three-touchdown outings in the postseason, including one against Pittsburgh that earned him Super Bowl XLV MVP honors.
Clements has also tutored backup QB Matt Flynn, a seventh-round choice of the Packers in 2008. Flynn started his first career game in 2010, opening in place of an injured Rodgers at New England in Week 15, and became the first Green Bay QB to throw three TD passes in his first career start since Anthony Dilweg posted the same number vs. the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 9, 1990.
In 2009, Rodgers’ 4,434 passing yards fell just 25 yards short of topping Lynn Dickey’s 1983 franchise record and ranked fourth in the league. He also ranked fourth in the NFL in TD passes (30) and passer rating (103.2), and first in interception percentage (1.29) in earning his first Pro Bowl bid. The passer rating sits second in franchise history to Bart Starr’s 105.0 mark in 1966.
Rodgers’ first 4,000-yard season in 2008 gave the Packers 4,000-yard passers in consecutive seasons for just the second time in team history, and for the first time in league history those back-to-back 4,000-yard passers were different QBs.
The previous two seasons, in addition to tutoring Rodgers as the backup and heir apparent, Clements oversaw a mini-renaissance of Brett Favre’s career. In 2006, Favre reduced his interceptions from a career-high 29 the year before to just 18, setting the stage for a near-MVP season in 2007, when he surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the fifth time. He also posted a then career-best completion percentage of 66.5 and a QB rating of 95.7 that was his third best at that point in leading the Packers back to the playoffs.
Before coming to Green Bay, Clements spent two seasons (2004-05) as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills. In 2004, the Bills’ offense increased its scoring output by 152 and reduced its number of sacks allowed from 51 to 38, fewest by a Bills team since 1999. The unit was highlighted by RB Willis McGahee, who became the fifth running back in Bills history to register back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, covering each year of Clements’ tenure. In addition, QB Kelly Holcomb set a club record in 2005 with a 67.39 completion percentage, surpassing Jim Kelly’s 1991 mark, 64.14 percent.
Prior to joining the Bills, Clements served as Pittsburgh’s quarterbacks coach for three seasons (2001-03) under Bill Cowher. In 2002, he helped Tommy Maddox earn the Comeback Player of the Year award from The Associated Press, as Pittsburgh’s passing offense ranked seventh in the NFL, its highest finish since 1980 with Terry Bradshaw under center.
Clements also worked with Pittsburgh’s Kordell Stewart (2001) and Kansas City’s Elvis Grbac (2000) during each quarterback’s best season, both culminating in Pro Bowl berths. Mike Ditka gave Clements his first NFL coaching job, hiring him to coach the Saints’ quarterbacks (1997-99), a group that included Jake Delhomme and Kerry Collins.
Prior to his post with the Saints, Clements served under Lou Holtz as quarterbacks coach (1992-94) and wide receivers/assistant head coach (1995) at his alma mater, Notre Dame. While with the Fighting Irish, Clements coached eventual 1993 NFL Rookie of the Year QB Rick Mirer, and WR Derrick Mayes, the Packers’ second-round draft pick in 1996. In addition, he tutored QB Ron Powlus, Notre Dame’s career passing leader in attempts, completions, yardage and touchdowns at the time of his graduation.
Inducted into the Canadian Football League’s Hall of Fame in 1994, Clements played quarterback for Ottawa (1975-7, Saskatchewan/Hamilton (1979), Hamilton (1981-82) and Winnipeg (1983-87) during a 12-year career in the CFL. Selected seven times as a divisional All-Star, Clements guided two teams, Ottawa (1976) and Winnipeg (1984), to Grey Cup Championships, earning the Outstanding Offensive Player award in each game. The league’s Rookie of the Year in 1975 and Most Valuable Player in 1987, Clements completed 2,807 of 4,657 passes (60.3 percent) for 39,041 yards and 252 touchdowns during his CFL career.
Clements also spent one season, 1980, as a quarterback for Marv Levy’s Kansas City Chiefs.
A three-year starter at Notre Dame (1972-74) under Ara Parseghian, Clements led the Irish to a 29-5 record, including an unblemished national championship season in 1973. An All-American in 1974, he finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting when Archie Griffin earned the award. Clements received his degree in economics from Notre Dame in 1975.
A licensed attorney, Clements worked from 1988-92 for Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, a Chicago-based law firm. He pursued his law degree during his CFL playing career, graduating magna cum laude from Notre Dame’s School of Law in 1986. In 1994, while on the Notre Dame coaching staff, Clements was an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at the university’s law school, where he taught “Sports and the Law.”
Clements was born in McKees Rocks, Pa. He and his wife, Kathe, live in Green Bay. The couple has two grown children: daughter, Stevie, and son, Tom.