Leading up to the 2022 NFL regular season, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell had not yet “officially” announced who would be calling plays for the Lions' Week 1 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. We quickly found out that offensive coordinator Ben Johnson had been selected to call the plays and to say he had an outstanding first season as an NFL play-caller would be a severe understatement. Because of that, Johnson is one of the hottest head coaching candidates, despite the fact that he has only been an NFL coordinator for one season. So, if Johnson ends up being hired as a head coach, who should the Lions hire to replace him?
Ben Johnson's replacement is a no-brainer for Detroit Lions
There is no shortage of solid candidates for the Lions to consider if they are forced to replace Johnson, but, in my opinion, his replacement is a no-brainer.
If Dan Campbell has to find a new offensive coordinator to replace Johnson, he should not look very far at all. In fact, if Johnson accepts an offer to become a head coach, I believe the Lions' next offensive coordinator is already part of their staff.
No, I am not talking about assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley. Instead, I am referring to the Lions' current tight ends coach, Tanner Engstrand.
There are a few reasons why Engstrand would be the no-brainer to replace Johnson, but No. 1 on my list would be consistency. Engstrand has worked closely with Campbell and Johnson over the past couple of seasons, and if he were to take over as head coach, there would be a lot more consistency than if Campbell decided to bring in somebody from the outside to come and take over.
In addition, Engstrand does have some experience as an offensive coordinator, just not any at the NFL level. He was previously a college OC at the University of San Diego and an OC with the D.C. Defenders in the XFL.
Nation, IF Ben Johnson leaves the Lions, who do you think Dan Campbell should hire to replace him?