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Ben Johnson Credits Dan Campbell Analogy For Inspiring Him To Stay In Detroit


Ben Johnson Credits Dan Campbell

On a return flight from a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson found himself contemplating his future. Fresh off a standout season, Johnson had garnered considerable attention for head coaching roles, with interviews lined up upon his return. It was during this introspective moment that a vivid analogy by head coach Dan Campbell came to mind, reshaping his perspective and ultimately influencing his decision to remain with the Lions.

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson credits Dan Campbell

The Caribbean Vision

During the early, challenging days of his tenure with the Lions, Campbell shared an analogy that resonated deeply with Johnson. He described the team’s journey as a ship navigating treacherous Arctic waters, facing icebergs and storms.

“We’re sailing down the ocean, and at that moment, we were in the Arctic,” Johnson recalled. Campbell’s vision extended beyond these hardships, foreseeing a sunnier destination. “He assured us, ‘Guys, I see it. I see where we’re going. The results haven’t been there yet, but the Caribbean is on the horizon, it’s coming up,’” Johnson shared. This message of enduring the tough times for a brighter future struck a chord with Johnson, especially after the season’s dramatic highs and lows.

Choosing to Stay in the Sunshine

This analogy became a cornerstone of Johnson’s decision to stay with the team. “I wanted the sunshine a little bit longer, you know?” he expressed. His commitment to Detroit was further solidified by the strong relationships and promising team dynamics fostered from the top down, from ownership to the players in the locker room. Johnson’s desire to “reap the rewards” with this group was a significant factor in his choice to forego immediate head coaching opportunities for the potential of continued success with the Lions.

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Ben Johnson’s Pragmatic Perspective on Coaching Opportunities

Ben Johnson also shared his pragmatic view on the volatility of NFL head coaching positions, noting the often brief tenures associated with such roles. “Something that really resonates with me is, okay, eight (head coach) openings this past year? What would you set the over-under, in three years, how many still have jobs? I’d put the over-under at 4.5, I would say there’s a good chance that five of them are out of jobs in three years,” Johnson explained. This awareness influences his cautious approach towards moving forward. “So when I look at it from that perspective, if I get the opportunity to go down that road, it’s about, how do I get to that second contract? How do I set myself up? The stars need to align. I’m not going to do it just to do it,” he elaborated.

TL;DR (too long didn’t read)

  1. Leadership Influence: Ben Johnson was inspired to stay with the Detroit Lions partly due to a powerful analogy made by head coach Dan Campbell, which depicted the team’s journey and potential for success.
  2. Valuing Team Culture: Johnson appreciates the positive team culture, strong relationships, and the promising future of the Lions, factors that played a significant role in his decision to remain with the team instead of pursuing head coaching opportunities elsewhere.
  3. Career Prudence: Emphasizing a cautious approach to career advancement, Johnson is focused on finding the right situation for long-term success, rather than rushing into a head coaching role that might not offer stability.
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Bottom Line

Johnson’s dedication to his current role with the Detroit Lions highlights a deep-seated belief in the team’s direction and his personal alignment with the organizational culture. “I love what I’m doing right now—love it. I love where I’m at, my family loves where we’re at, love the people that we’re doing it with. So I’m not willing to go down the other path yet, unless I feel really good about how it’s going to unfold,” he concluded, emphasizing the importance of the right fit over mere opportunity. His story is a testament to the power of a shared vision and the lure of potential fulfilled, anchoring him to Detroit for the foreseeable future.

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Written by W.G. Brady

W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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