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Lions OC Ben Johnson Explains Personal Decision: Willing to Wait for Right NFL Head Coaching Opportunity

After the Detroit Lions had their most successful season in decades in 2023, it seemed inevitable that the franchise would lose one of its most valuable assets, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, this summer. The 38-year-old was one of the most sought-after head-coaching candidates in the league entering this current hiring cycle, owing to his performance with the Lions offense over the last four years, and it seemed like he’d have his choice of the litter.

Despite speaking with the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Commanders, Johnson chose to stay with the Lions as their offensive coordinator in 2024 rather than pursue other positions.

“When it came down to it, I wanted the sunshine for a little longer,” Johnson told reporters during Lions OTAs, referring to his desire to continue developing with Detroit. “That’s basically what it boils down to for me. I like the sunlight. I enjoy what we’ve established here, from ownership to the head coach and general manager on down. We have a terrific set of men in the locker room, and I want to relish the benefits for a little while longer.”

In addition to wanting to help push the Lions over the top, Johnson was open about the reality of being an NFL head coach and the limited shelf life that most have.

“Something that resonates with me is that there have been 8 opportunities in the last year. What would be the over/under for three years? “How many people still have jobs?” He inquired. “Shoot, I’d set the over/under at 4.5. I believe five of them are likely to lose their positions within three years.

“When I look at it that way, if I have the chance to go down that path, it’s about how I get to that second deal. How should I set myself up? The stars need to align. I’m not going to do anything just because. I like what I’m doing right now. Love it. I am happy where I am. My family is really happy where we are. I like working with the folks I do. So, I’m not prepared to go down the other route unless I’m certain about how it will play out.”

“It’s ownership, it’s staff, it’s my vision of how I can make it work with how I know I am,” he said. “Part of me enjoys play-calling. If I were to become a head coach, I would want to be a play-caller. Well, there is only so much time in a week, so what will Monday through Sunday look like? I just want to double-check that everything is secure. Listen; there is an adjustment period for everyone who accepts that position.

Johnson also said that the longer he remains as a coordinator, the more prepared he feels he will be when he makes the switch to head coach, which could happen as soon as next offseason if the perfect circumstance arises.

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.


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