Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson says NFL referee gave him a play to try

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson spoke to the media on Saturday, and he revealed that an NFL referee recently gave him a pretty cool play to try out this season.

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson says NFL referee gave him a play to try

Earlier this week, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, recounted an offbeat tale where he implemented a play suggested by a custodian at Green Bay. Mirroring this unpredictable approach, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson shared his own quirky anecdote. During a recent joint practice session against the Jacksonville Jaguars, an NFL official approached Johnson with a play.

Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson 2023 Detroit Lions Jared Goff Amon-Ra St. Brown Detroit Lions' starting offense

What did Ben Johnson say?

With a sketched diagram in hand, the official took a significant chunk of the special teams period explaining his innovative strategy. While Johnson hasn’t spilled the beans on the specifics or whether he plans to adopt this play, he hints at its novelty and assured he'd credit the source if it's ever put into action.

“I think we were practicing against Jacksonville a couple weeks ago, and it’s a special teams period,” Johnson said. “And one of the officials walked up to me, and I still have the diagram in my office. It’s a piece (of paper). He’s got 11 guys written up, and he literally took the entire special teams period—it was over five minutes—talking about how this play would work out.”

“It’s a good idea. It’s a little bit out of the box. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it happen before,” Johnson said.

“I’ll let you guys (know). I’ve got to give credit where it’s due.”

TL;DR (too long didn't read)

  1. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid used a custodian-suggested play leading to a touchdown.
  2. Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson was given a play by an NFL referee during practice.
  3. Johnson remains tight-lipped about utilizing the play but promises due credit if executed.

Bottom Line – Not All Offensive Geniuses Wear A Headset

As the adage goes, “Expect the unexpected.” While we're accustomed to intricate strategies stemming from seasoned professionals, it's these unexpected game-changing moments that add an element of surprise and delight. Will Ben Johnson's referee-inspired play find its way onto the field? Only time will tell. However, one thing's certain: The beautiful game of football remains ever-evolving, drawing inspiration from every corner of the stadium. And sometimes, the most unexpected sources might just have the game's next big idea.