Well, well, well, maybe some good did come out of losing the NFC championship game. Ben Johnson has been one of the hottest names in football over the last few years. While Brad Holmes deserves all the credit in the world for giving him plenty of weapons, Johnson has earned a lot of praise for seemingly turning around the Detroit Lions offense around overnight. He's a young guy with a sharp mind. I was surprised he didn't take a head coaching job last year. I only suspected he didn't because the Carolina Panthers were such a dumpster fire. He probably figured he was better off staying one more year in Detroit. But after Sunday's loss to the 49ers, I made peace with the fact that Detroit was going to have a new offensive player caller next season. I guess I was wrong.
Am I stunned by this? Yes. Stunned, shocked, and flabbergasted, I had to double-check the tweet to make sure that it was from a legitimate source. It seemed like both the Seahawks and the Commanders were in on Ben Johnson. There's no such thing as a perfect fit in the NFL (when becoming a new head coach, you are more than likely going to take over a team that's in kind of a tough spot); a place like Seattle seemed like it would've been a great fit for him. There are rumors about them potentially targeting a quarterback in the draft (maybe even J.J. McCarthy,) and they do have a fair amount of talent on that roster to work with. I figured it was a foregone conclusion, but he's chosen to stay in Detroit. Whatever stress Detroit fans may have had about Jared Goff reverting back to his old self has been alleviated, at least in the short term.
We have yet to hear a reason why Johnson decided to stay in Detroit. He is only 37 years old. He's betting on himself here. He thinks that his stock will continue to rise and he'll fall into a better situation after next season. But at the same time, I think it speaks to the culture Dan Campbell created here. I know that Lions fans are in mourning right now. I totally get it, but I genuinely think the organization is in a pretty good place right now, and a big reason for that is the coaching staff. These players and coaches are all in. It's hard to believe that last Sunday's loss didn't leave a disgustingly bitter taste in their collective mouths. I'm very confident that Ben Johnson will make an excellent National Football League coach, but for now, he belongs to Detroit. This is a huge break for an organization that deserves some. On paper, this could be the best offense in football next year.￼￼￼￼