Technically speaking, the NFL new year does not begin until March 15th, but the Detroit Lions may have already made their biggest off-season move. The move I am speaking of is the fact that Ben Johnson will be back as their offensive coordinator for the 2023 season. As Detroit's offense continued to roll throughout the 2022 regular season, the hype for Johnson continued to build, and when the season ended, he was mentioned as a candidate for multiple head coach openings around the league. Thankfully, Johnson took his hat out of the ring, telling teams that he was sticking around in the Motor City, at least for now.
T.J. Hockenson says keeping Ben Johnson was ‘Huge' for Lions
Last week during the Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas, Hockenson met up with Lions' quarterback Jared Goff, who was mic'd up during the event. The team posted a nearly 9-minute video on YouTube showing the former teammates hanging out, taking selfies, and warming up together. Included in the video is Hockenson speaking about his time in Detroit in an interaction that included his opinion on Ben Johnson sticking around in the Motor City. Here's the exact exchange, via SB Nation.
Hockenson: “I love Detroit.”
Goff: “Of course.”
Hockenson: “I got drafted there. That meant a lot to me.”
Hockenson: “Keeping [Lions OC] Ben [Johnson] was huge for you guys.
Hockenson: “He’s a great dude, man. I love him.”
Why it Matters
Not that we needed Hockenson's opinion to know that it is “huge” that Johnson is sticking around with the Lions, but it is nice to hear that he too realizes how big this is for Detroit moving forward. It will only be a matter of time before Johnson is hired as a head coach, but for now, he is all ours!