Ben Johnson was considered the favorite for the Lions offensive coordinator vacancy, and the tight ends coach ended up getting the gig. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter), the Lions are promoting Johnson to offensive coordinator.
The Lions have been seeking a new OC since parting ways with Anthony Lynn last month. Johnson emerged as a favorite for the job following a standout year in Detroit. After serving as an offensive quality control coach in 2019 and tight ends coach in 2020, Johnson took on even more responsibility in 2021.
While he still served as TEs coach, he saw an expanded role once Dan Campbell took over play-calling duties from Lynn around the midseason mark. Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter), Johnson served as a “pseudo pass game coordinator.” Play-calling duties are still TBD for next season, per Birkett (on Twitter).
Recently, Johnson has played a big role in Pro Bowler T.J. Hockenson‘s ascension, and he’ll now look to kick-start an offense that’s still finding itself in a post-Matthew Stafford era. Prior to his stint in Detroit, the 35-year-old spent years in Miami, working his way up from offensive assistant to wide receivers coach.