It was fast becoming a mere formality, but the Detroit Lions are indeed set to promote Ben Johnson to offensive coordinator.
As Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell ramped up the search for a new offensive offensive coordinator last week at the Senior Bowl, it always seemed likely Ben Johnson would get the job. On Monday night, according to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Lions will indeed promote the tight ends coach to offensive coordinator.
Johnson was a holdover from the previous coaching staff when Campbell became Lions head coach a year ago. The two were on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff together from 2012-2015, so Campbell’s decision to keep Johnson around starts there.
After a reshuffling of responsibilities coming off the Lions’ Week 9 bye this season, which most notably included Campbell taking over play calling from offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, Johnson became more involved as the passing game coordinator. He was credited with some successful play designs down the stretch.
Ben Johnson earned the promotion to Lions offensive coordinator all the way around
During the season, Lions quarterback Jared Goff was quick to try to refute a report he and Lynn didn’t get along well. By contrast, he has had nothing but praise for Johnson.
“He’s had an incredible influence in the past month,” Jared Goff said Tuesday on the Karsch & Anderson Show. “In my eyes, he’s a stud. He does a lot of great things. Ever since I got here, he’s been a guy that I can lean on and rely on with any sort of questions.”
As he keeps rising, I think he will absolutely one day be calling plays for somebody,” said Goff. “I think he’s a hell of a coach who’s only going to get better.”
Goff invoking the name of Sean McVay in any light when speaking about Johnson is a nice bit of flattery. As Johnson takes the coordinator post, the Lions will be hoping their results offensively start to mirror what the Rams have done.