Ben Johnson stays where he is.
The ardent head coaching candidate turns down fans and returns to his position as offensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Johnson canceled interview plans with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday and told the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans Tuesday that he was staying in Detroit, according to the report. He has already been interviewed for both head coach positions.
According to the report, Johnson is excited about what the Lions are building and wants to see it next season.
Johnson, 36, has been promoted to offensive coordinator this season after two seasons as Detroit’s head coach. He managed one of the NFL’s most unexpected teams as the Lions went from a 1-6 start to a 9-8 finish to set the franchise’s first winning record since 2017. They were eliminated from the playoffs in week 18 despite beating Green Bay. The Packers who eliminated their NFC North rivals in the playoffs.
After finishing in the bottom third of the NFL in points and yards per game in 2021, the Lions became the fifth-highest-scoring football team in 2022 with 26.6 points per game.
After being widely written off from an NFL start, quarterback Jared Goff experienced a career resurgence in his second season with the Lions after arriving in 2021 thanks to the Matthew Stafford trade. Goff averaged 6.6 yards per try and 231.8 yards per game while throwing 19 touchdowns and 8 interceptions for the 3-13-1 Lions in 2021. interceptions. The dramatic turn was reminiscent of his early career success with the Los Angeles Rams when he played for Sean McVeigh.
Jamaal Williams broke Barry Sanders’ franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns, and Amon-Ra St. Brown scored in his second NFL season with 106 catches for 1,161 yards.
Success in the NFL is fleeting, and Johnson is betting on what looks like a legitimate shot at head coaching. But there’s a lot to like about Detroit’s future next season, and Johnson decided it was worth the risk.