One of the standout performances from the Detroit Lions this season was by offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. After spending two seasons as the team’s tight ends coach, Ben Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator and the results were magnificent.
Detroit finished fifth in the NFL in points scored and fourth in yardage gained one season after finishing 25th in points and 22nd in yards. This was the first time since 2017 that the Lions were top-10 in either category and you have to go back to 2011 for the last time that they were top-10 in both.
To the surprise of no one, Detroit’s performance this season put Ben Johnson on the radar of multiple teams looking to fill a head coaching vacancy. Only 36 years old, Johnson looks to be one of the best great offensive minds to be given the opportunity to lead a team. Alas, that won’t be occurring this off-season.
Ben Johnson informed the Lions that he will be returning to the team for the 2023 season, which is excellent news for the franchise. This comes after he interviewed with the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts for their head coaching job and had a meeting lined up with the Carolina Panthers.
Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell has spoken highly of Ben Johnson previously. He wants to keep him on the staff but knows that he can one day take that next step and become a head coach himself.
“He would be worthy of that. I think a ton of Ben,” Campbell said earlier this month. “I’ve said it before: I just think he’s extremely bright. He’s creative, he’s organized, he’s a great communicator. I mean he’s got it, and I would do anything I can to help him. That’s the bottom line. Of course, I don’t want to lose him, but I’m not going to hold him back, either. I would help him any way I can help him.”
Ben Johnson deserves a lot of credit for helping turn the offense around in Detroit. Jared Goff looked as comfortable as he did during his most productive seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. Nagging injuries to De’Andre Swift didn’t slow the running game down and not a beat was missed after trading away starting tight end T.J. Hockenson.
According to sources, Ben Johnson opted to stay because he believes something special is being created in Detroit and he didn’t want to leave after being on the job for only one season. Another performance in 2023 that is similar to 2022 and teams will once again be knocking on his door for head coaching interviews.