One of the top head coaching candidates is staying put in Detroit.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson informed interested clubs he will remain on head coach Dan Campbell's squad, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday night.
Johnson was on the itinerary for a Carolina Panthers interview Wednesday, and had previously interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans for their HC openings. However, he's off the market for now, but will likely remerge as a contender for head coaching vacancies if his trajectory continues upward next season.
Having played a major role in the Lions' turnaround this season, Johnson is of the belief that something special is being built in Detroit and he wants to see it through, Pelissero reported.
Just 36 years old, Johnson's debut season as Lions offensive coordinator was of the sensational variety.
Ranked 25th in total yards and 22nd in points scored in 2021, the Lions launched up to fifth and fourth in those categories, respectively, in Johnson's first season as OC.
Quarterback Jared Goff had one of the best seasons of his career, running back Jamaal Williams set franchise records and career highs and Amon-Ra St. Brown continued to emerge as one of the brightest, young wide receiver talents in the game.
Johnson was with the Miami Dolphins from 2012-2018 in various offensive assistant roles before joining the Lions in 2019 as an offensive quality control coach under head coach Matt Patricia and then was moved to tight ends coach in 2020. In what would prove to be a hugely beneficial move, Campbell retained Johnson as TE coach in 2021 before hiring him as OC ahead of this past season.
Johnson's offense was a catalyst in the Lions knocking on the door of the playoffs with a 9-8 record – their first winning mark since 2017.
Now, as the Lions look to get into the postseason and keep moving upward under Campbell, Johnson will remain on the staff, leading an offense that was one of the NFL's best and most exciting in 2022.