Inside the Article:
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was interviewed on the team's official website podcast, and he talked about his experiences as a top head coaching candidate in the NFL this offseason. Johnson detailed the interview process for three head coaching jobs and why he chose to remain with the Lions for the 2023 season. He expressed his appreciation for the support and guidance he received from Lions coach Dan Campbell throughout the process. Johnson said the experience was critical to finding out what types of questions he could expect in those types of meetings, and he also got to know some GMs and owners. He said it was really a good informational time. Johnson also revealed the process that led to his decision to stay with the Lions, which included a Garth Brooks concert and his love for the Lions' positive culture, great players, and coaches, among other things.
Why it Matter for Ben Johnson and Detroit Lions
- Ben Johnson was a candidate for three head coaching jobs this offseason.
- He detailed his experiences in the interview process and why he chose to remain with the Lions for the 2023 season.
- Johnson expressed his appreciation for the support and guidance he received from Lions coach Dan Campbell throughout the process.
- The experience helped him understand the types of questions he could expect in head coaching interviews.
- Johnson revealed the process that led to his decision to stay with the Lions.
- He emphasized his love for the Lions' positive culture, great players, and coaches, among other things.
‘Don't ruin a good thing'
During a podcast on the Lions official website, Johnson talked about the support he received from Dan Campbell, about the experience he gained by going through some interviews, and why he ultimately decided to stick around in the Motor City.
Via Detroit News:
“Coach Campbell came in immediately when the requests started coming in and he was phenomenal through the whole thing,” Johnson said. “He very much encouraged me to start exploring it, and was a great, supportive character, really behind the scenes for me to lean on. He's gone through it a few times and was really a great resource.
“More than anything, the experience was critical with finding out what types of questions are going to be asked in those types of meetings, getting to know some GMs, some owners,” Johnson said. “It was really a good, informational time.”
Johnson shared that he couldn't help but reminisce about attending a Garth Brooks concert at Ford Field during his early years with the franchise when it was time to inform the Lions of his return. He was struck by the electric atmosphere and believed that it could be easily replicated during a home playoff game at the stadium.
“It starts at the top and I think it's trickled down,” Johnson said, discussing the positive culture that's been cultivated by team ownership and football leadership. “This is as encouraged as I've been in my four years, with the direction of the Lions and where we're headed.
…You know what, there are so many things going on here, so many good people, coaches, players,” Johnson continued. “I love the offensive staff, everyone we have on board there. I love the players. I love coming in to work everyday. Coach Campbell is incredible. So, end of the day, talking with my family, it just made sense. It made sense, don't ruin a good thing.”
Johnson thinks Lions offense can make huge strides in 2023
Johnson was as finalist for the NFL's assistant coach of the year, and though there was a decent chance that he would have landed a head coaching gig during this offseason, he decided to stick around for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is because he believes the Lions offense can be even better in 2023.
Via Detroit News:
“I think at the end of it, you're like, ‘Holy cow? How much better can we really become?'” Johnson said. “It's across the board. It's not just one position group. It's the running backs, if we just tweak this or we ask them to do this a little different. Or with the offensive line, if this technique is just a little bit different. It all adds up.
“I think the staff certainly sees it and the challenge will be getting the players back in and learning from what we put on tape last year and take the next step,” Johnson said. “I don't know if it's reinventing the wheel and coming up with all these brand new plays. That's not it. The secret sauce is really the teaching and the executing a little bit better than we did a year ago.
“…We have to pick up where we left off at the end of last season, at least offensively, that's what I can speak to,” Johnson said. “I really, truly believe we can make huge strides as an offense over the next season, as well.”
Bottom Line: Ben Johnson is sticking around in the Motor City
As the Detroit Lions prepare for the 2023 NFL season, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is staying put despite receiving interest from several teams for head coaching positions. In his interview on the team's official website podcast, Johnson provided insight into his experiences during the interview process and the factors that ultimately led to his decision to remain with the Lions. With the support of Lions coach Dan Campbell and a genuine love for the team's culture, players, and coaching staff, Johnson is poised to continue to make a positive impact in Detroit. As the Lions look to build upon their progress from last season, having Johnson's expertise and commitment is undoubtedly a big win for the team. The Lions are sure to land a couple of free agents, and some difference makers in the 2023 NFL Draft, but keeping Johnson around for the upcoming season may be their biggest offseason celebration.