Ben Johnson is ‘most coveted candidate’ in next NFL head coach hiring cycle

USA Today

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is once again anticipated to be a very hot commodity on the NFL head coaching carousel in the coming offseason. In fact, Johnson was listed in a recent feature by’s Tom Pelissero as the most coveted candidate by teams who are making coaching changes.

Here’s what Pelissero wrote about Johnson. Note the final line:

Johnson coached quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends before becoming Detroit’s offensive coordinator in 2022, giving him a good feel for the whole picture. And he should be even more prepared to run his own show after another year as OC. Many league sources consider Johnson the most coveted candidate in this hiring cycle.

Johnson backed away from chances to leave in the last offseason. He was a front-runner for the Carolina Panthers vacancy as well as an early top candidate for the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. Johnson pulled his name from consideration from Carolina, his hometown team and owners of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

After committing to another year in Detroit, Johnson explained why he came back,

“You know what, there are so many things going on here, so many good people, coaches, players. I love the offensive staff, everyone we have on board there. I love the players. I love coming in to work everyday. Coach Campbell is incredible. So, end of the day, talking with my family, it just made sense. It made sense, don’t ruin a good thing.”

The 37-year-old doesn’t have any head coaching experience, but get ready for the barrage of interest in some NFL team giving it to him — if Johnson chooses to leave. The factors that kept him in Detroit for 2023 have only blossomed even brighter this season.

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