When we look back at 2021, it was quite obvious that the Detroit Lions‘ offense improved greatly after head coach Dan Campbell decided to take over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. That move came midway through the season and at that time, Ben Johnson was elevated from tight ends coach to the Lions’ pass-game coordinator.
Following the 2021 season, Lynn was officially let go and Campbell announced that Johnson was going to be the Lions’ offensive coordinator moving forward, though he did not reveal who would be calling plays.
But regardless of who is calling the plays for the Lions, the plan is for the offense to take another step forward with Johnson running the show.
During a recent press conference, Campbell said he is impressed with Johnson and he talked about how the Lions’ offense will look different in 2022, especially when it comes to controlling the tempo and putting stress on opposing defenses.
“I’ve been impressed with what he’s doing, what he’s implementing inside of what we’re trying to get done here,” Campbell said of Johnson. “I would say this, we’re going to be much more efficient just on how we get things in and out of the huddle. The ability to change our tempo will be big.
“Some of that just comes from verbiage alone, believe it or not. I just feel like everything is just going to be so much more streamlined.”
Campbell added that the goal is to have everybody on the same page and that Johnson is doing a great job of that, especially when it comes to using his creativity.
“Just getting our guys comfortable with that, so we’re getting our rookies some of that stuff right now,” Campbell said. “That’s what we’ve been doing with the vets as well. But (Johnson’s) been doing a great job. That’s the thing is that everybody’s on the same page. So much of this, as simple as it is, is just having the staff on the same page with what I want. Ben’s doing a great job of that and using his creativity.”
“We don’t want to feel like we’re ever limited by what we’re doing offensively, schematically, verbally, verbiage, communication, anything,” he said. “Our limitations should come from, ‘Well, this player doesn’t do this well.’ We don’t ever want to feel like we’re the ones holding our offense back as a staff, let’s put it that way. I feel like this is going to enable us to do the most that we can do.”