Midway (or so) through the 2021 season, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell announced that he was taking over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator, Anthony Lynn and the writing was on the wall that Lynn would not be back with the team in 2022.
On Monday, Campbell spoke to the media and he confirmed that Lynn and the Lions were parting ways. He added that he still had not decided if he wanted to continue calling plays in 2022 or if he would pass that job to whoever is hired to be the team’s new offensive coordinator.
Here are my top five candidates to be the Lions’ next offensive coordinator. (Note: These are not necessarily in order)
Ben Johnson (Lions Passing Game Coordinator)
Johnson started off the season as the Lions’ TEs coach but according to T.J. Hockenson, he was promoted to the team’s passing game coordinator midway through the season. Campbell has made it very clear how valuable he believes Johnson is and it seems like this would be the smoothest transition moving forward.
Joe Brady (former Panthers-LSU OC)
Of the candidates I am eyeing, Brady is the most qualified and I would LOVE to have him as the Lions OC. The question is, will he accept the position with the Lions knowing what Campbell just did to Anthony Lynn in the middle of the season?
James Urban (Ravens QBs coach)
The Lions interviewed Urban in 2021 before deciding to go with Lynn and he could be an option again for Dan Campbell. The Ravens dealt with an unthinkable number of injuries this season, including starting QB Lamar Jackson, yet Urban has gotten his QBs to play rather well.
Ken Dorsey (Bills QBs coach/passing game coordinator)
Dorsey is another coach who interviewed for the Lions OC position in 2021 and he could be another guy Campbell circles back to during this cycle. Dorsey has done an awesome time with Bills QB Josh Allen and is highly regarded around the league. Note: Dorsey is another former player and we all know Campbell loves to hire those types of coaches.
Shawn Jefferson (Cardinals WRs coach)
This is one that I am highly interested in. Cardinals WRs coach Shawn Jefferson played for the Lions and he also was an assistant coach (while Campbell was on the Lions team as a player). Jefferson has an amazing personality and he would fit in perfectly with what the Lions are trying to do.
Duce Staley (Lions RBs coach/assistant head coach)
I would LOVE to see Staley as the Lions OC but I believe his next stop will be as a head coach and I doubt he would take the OC position with the Lions. That being said, if he does not land an OC job, and Dan Campbell believes Staley would help the team best as the OC, I think Staley would do what is best for the Lions.