Michael Lombardi (American football)
|Born:||June 19, 1959|
Ocean City, New Jersey
|High school:||Valley Forge Military Academy|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michael Lombardi (born June 19, 1959) is an American football executive and media analyst. Until 2016, he was an assistant to the coaching staff of the New England Patriots and is a former analyst for the NFL Network and sportswriter at NFL.com. Lombardi also previously served as an NFL executive with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders. He currently works for the subscription-based sports website The Athletic, hosts his own podcast "The GM Shuffle" with Adnan Virk, and co-hosts a Saturday morning sports betting program on Sirius XM for Vegas Stats & Information Network.
Life and career
Lombardi grew up in Ocean City, New Jersey and played both baseball and football at Valley Forge Military Academy. He attended Hofstra University in from 1977–1981, where he played defensive lineman and long snapper for the football team.
National Football League
Lombardi began his NFL career in 1984 as an area scout under Bill Walsh of the San Francisco 49ers, where he stayed until 1987. He is credited for the initial discovery and scouting of Hall of Famer Charles Haley, who was drafted by San Francisco 49ers in 1986 NFL Draft.
Lombardi joined the Cleveland Browns organization as Pro Personnel Director in 1987. Later, he became the Browns' Director of Player Personnel and worked under head coach Bill Belichick managing drafts, negotiating contracts and acquiring free agents.
Later that same year, Al Davis hired Lombardi to serve as Senior Personnel Executive of the Oakland Raiders, a position which he held until 2007. During his tenure with the Raiders, Oakland won three consecutive AFC West titles and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII.
In October 2012, sportswriter Jason La Canfora reported that the Cleveland Browns were considering Lombardi for their vacancy at General Manager. He was hired for that position five months later. On February 11, 2014, the Browns replaced Lombardi with Ray Farmer.
From 2014–2016, Lombardi worked under Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots as an assistant to the coaching staff. Speaking about Lombardi's time in New England, Belichick said, "Mike's...one of the smartest people I've worked with. He was huge asset to me for the two years he was here...he studies football and he knows it very well."
Lombardi has worked as an administrator in the NFL for over 30 years and has worked for Bill Walsh, Al Davis and Bill Belichick. Sports and pop culture essayist Chuck Klosterman described Lombardi as, "a detail freak and a polymath, or at least a person successfully attempting to impersonate one" after spending time with him at the Cleveland Browns facility in the hours leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft. Lombardi has also been described as, "one of the most quiet but influential executives in the NFL." He has been credited as one of the first NFL executives to study the science of scouting players for moral character.
As a broadcaster, Lombardi has worked for ESPN, CBS Sports, Showtime, the NFL Network and Fox Sports. He began his career as a member of the media in 1996 when he spent part of that year as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN. He also spent portions of 1998 and 1999 as an editorial consultant and studio analyst for CBS Sports as on-air talent for the NFL Today pre-game show.
In 2008, Lombardi joined NFL Films' Inside the NFL, a weekly Showtime series where he provided analysis alongside host James Brown and former NFL players Cris Collinsworth, Phil Simms and Warren Sapp. That same year, Lombardi began contributing to several NFL Network shows, including as an in-studio analyst and reporting live from individual games.
Lombardi was hired by Fox Sports in September 2016. When he joined Fox, national networks president Jamie Horowitz said in a statement, "Michael is a thought-provoking and insightful football analyst with an impressive résumé. We feel like his blunt approach and original perspective makes the FS1 shows more interesting, and the fans of those shows more informed."
In 2010, after working as on-air talent at the NFL Network for two years, Lombardi began writing columns for NFL.com, duties he performed until 2012. Lombardi has also contributed writing to Sports Illustrated and the National Football Post, the latter of which he founded and served as editor-in-chief for three years. In January 2017, Lombardi took a position with The Ringer. He announced via Twitter in March 2019 that he had left The Ringer to work on his own podcast, and he currently works for The Athletic and as a football analyst for the Vegas Stats & Information Network.
In September 2017, Mike Lombardi made headlines by criticizing Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson: "He might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I’ve ever seen in my 30-plus years in the NFL.".. Pederson would lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship later that season.
In 2020, Lombardi became a co-host on Hammer Dahn, a gambling podcast from Pat McAfee Inc.
Lombardi has written one book, Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL, published in September 2018.
Lombardi is not related to Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi. He is an avid reader with an interest in Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon B. Johnson. He and his wife, Millie, have two sons: Matt, who is a coach for the Carolina Panthers; and Mick, who has been a coach for the New England Patriots since the 2019 season. He is also a huge fan of the TV series The Sopranos.
- Mike Reiss (August 19, 2016). "Michael Lombardi explains his parting of ways with Patriots". ESPN. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Scott Davis (January 14, 2017). "Former Patriots assistant floated a rumor that the Browns will try 'hard' to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo". Business Insider. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "Breaking down Eagles-Giants with NFL insider Michael Lombardi". Fox Sports. November 15, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- The Ringer Hires Michael Lombardi As NFL Analyst in Exclusive Deal, January 25, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2017.
- "Lombardi named VP of Player Personnel" Archived January 6, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, Cleveland Browns, January 18, 2013. Accessed May 18, 2013. "A native of Ocean City, New Jersey, Lombardi lettered in both football and baseball at Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania."
- "Michael Lombardi, Fox Sports 1 Sportscaster, at Pasadena Quarterback Rose Bowl Luncheon, Friday". Pasadena Sports Now. October 31, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Peter King (April 23, 1990). "The Genius At Work". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Mary Kay Cabot (January 13, 2013). "Former Cleveland Browns personnel executive Mike Lombardi hired as Browns Vice President of Player Personnel". Cleveland.com. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Jason Patt (December 17, 2012). "Mike Lombardi remains top candidate for potential Browns GM opening, according to report". SB Nation. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Jason La Canfora (October 28, 2012). "The NFL Today: Panthers changes could extend to Ron Rivera". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Mike Florio (March 5, 2013). "Browns make Lombardi G.M., Farmer assistant G.M". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Mark Sessler (February 11, 2014). "Joe Banner, Michael Lombardi leaving Browns". NFL.com. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "Patriots make it official with Michael Lombardi", February 20, 2014. Accessed February 24, 2014.
- Gregg Rosenthal (February 18, 2014). "Michael Lombardi hired by New England Patriots". NFL.com. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Tom E. Curran (November 2, 2016). "Belichick: Lombardi 'one of the smartest people I know'". Comcast Sports Network. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Chuck Klosterman (May 10, 2013). "Black and Brown Blues". Grantland. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Seth Wickersham (August 10, 2016). "Man On A Mission". ESPN. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- Steve Ramirez (November 2, 2016). "NFL analyst Michael Lombardi to speak at Pasadena QBs Club". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "Report: Pats to Franchise Cassel". NBC Sports. January 2, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Gregg Rosenthal (December 29, 2010). "Lombardi: "The 49ers are going to hire Trent Baalke"". NBC Sports. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "Former National Football League Front Office Executive Michael Lombardi Joins FOX Sports". Fox Sports. September 12, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- "Big Names: Sage Steele, Michael Lombardi, Darren Pang". Sports Media Watch. September 12, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Ian Casselberry (January 25, 2017). "NFL analyst Michael Lombardi signs exclusive deal with The Ringer". Awful Announcing. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Neil Greenberg (February 2, 2017). "Here is the perfect Super Bowl LI game plan for the New England Patriots". Washington Post. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Lombardi, Michael (March 4, 2019). "No. I am with the Athletic". @mlombardiNFL. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
- Brandon Lee Gowton (September 3, 2017). "Former NFL GM says Doug Pederson "might be less qualified to coach a team than anyone I've ever seen"". SB Nation. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Lombardi, Michael (September 11, 2018). Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL. Crown Archetype. ISBN 9780525573814.
- Cleveland Browns: Could Michael Lombardi Become The New GM?, www.rantsports.com, 11-7-12, accessed 1-18-13
- Thomas Leary (November 18, 2016). "Weekend Plans With Fox Sports' Michael Lombardi: Diving Into The Next Chapter". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
- Ben Volin, Boston Globe Reporter 05-10-2019, accessed 05-10-2019