Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will continue to coordinate the Lions’ offense, for at least one more year.
Johnson has informed teams potentially interested in his services as a head coach for 2023 that he’ll be staying put, according to NFL Media.
The Panthers, Colts, and Texans had been linked to Johnson.
That’s very good news for the Lions, since it means that coach Dan Campbell won’t need to find a replacement for Johnson.
The 36-year-old former North Carolina quarterback started coaching in 2009. He arrived in Detroit in 2019, as a member of Matt Patricia’s staff. He served as tight ends coach in 2020 and 2021 before becoming offensive coordinator this year, replacing Anthony Lynn.
It’s being assumed that Johnson will have chances to become a head coach in 2024. Of course, we thought that a year ago about Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich; he’s now in danger of being let go by the Bucs.
Johnson became a hot candidate because Detroit’s offensive performed better than expected in 2022, and because quarterback Jared Goff played well enough to secure his future with the team. The job of NFL head coach requires a much different skill set.
Some coordinators can perform in the much different job of head coach, and some can’t. There’s only one way to find out — the coordinator has to try the job.
And for every Sean Payton, there’s a Nathaniel Hackett. Where Ben Johnson falls on that spectrum won’t be determined for a year, at a minimum.