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Multiple NFL Teams Have Already Requested To Interview Lions OC Ben Johnson But I Reeeeeeally Hope He Stays In Detroit

Some disappointing yet unsurprising news is coming out of Lions camp, as multiple teams have shown interest in offensive coordinator Ben Johnson as their head coach next season. Those teams include the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. The Lions took a massive step forward this year. Collectively, the fan base is as optimistic and as helpful as they've been in a long time. A huge reason for that is because of Ben Johnson. The offensive playcalling this year was as good as I've seen in Detroit. That's not to say that Detroit has had exclusively bad offenses my entire life. But this year was the first time in a long time in which they had an actual running game and an offensive strategy that went beyond "Fuck it, Calvin Johnson is down there somewhere." 

Jared Goff seemingly turned his career around overnight. The Lions' offense remained hot throughout the season, and the league took notice. Despite having only been a play caller for one full season, Johnson is looking to be interviewed by multiple teams for a head coaching position.

Having a great coaching staff is so important, especially in the NFL. With that said, the shelf life for a good coordinator is pretty short. If you hire good coordinators, you're likely to lose good coordinators. These guys want to be head coaches. That's the nature of the beast. At the same time, it would be a real bummer if Johnson took a head coaching job after just one season as the Lions OC. Obviously, it'd be a tremendous step up for him, but considering how the Lions' season ended in 2023, it feels like there's unfinished business here. Being a head coach of any NFL team is appealing, but with one more really good season with the Lions, Johnson could essentially be able to coach wherever he wanted come 2024. 

The Houston Texans were the first team to request to interview Johnson. Outside of the obvious salary increase, I need help understanding the appeal of going to Houston. The Texans are a mess, and their last two coaches got canned after one season. Outside of knowing you'll be coaching either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, there are more desirable destinations in the NFL. 

The Colts were the second team to show interest in Johnson. They aren't nearly the cluster fuck that the Houston Texans are, but they have a ton of issues in their own right. Look, I'm trying to make a pitch to Ben Johnson to tell him to stay in Detroit. The results will likely be futile. As I alluded to, being a head coach in the NFL is the dream of most coordinators, regardless of where they're coaching. And it's also no guarantee that Johnson would get the job if he interviewed. He did a marvelous job with the Lions' offense this year, but he's only 36 years old with one year of coordinator experience under his belt. If an NFL team were to hire him, he'd surpass Sean McVay as the youngest head coach in the National Football League.

Coordinators always move on to bigger and better jobs, but I hope Ben Johnson stays in Detroit for at least another season. I'm living in a bizarro world, because the Lions currently have the highest ceiling of any pro sports team in Detroit, and Johnson is a big reason for that. If they can retain the core (and the staff) that helped them go 8-2 in their last ten games, they could have something special as early as next season. It's a waiting game now. Lions fans just have to keep their fingers crossed.