Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson thinks something is going on in The Den.
The 36-year-old assistant was scheduled to interview with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday for their head coaching vacancy, but ultimately chose to stay in Detroit.
He has reportedly informed all the teams that he is only interested in returning to the Motor City in 2023.
“He thinks Detroit is building something special and wants to see it,” the NFL Network insider said. Tom Pelissero reports.
The Lions experienced somewhat of a renaissance during the team’s second season under head coach Dan Campbell. After starting the 2022 season at 1-6, the incoming team finished the year with a 9-8 record and nearly earned a berth in the postseason.
With this upward trajectory, it makes sense that Johnson would want to return for another season in 2023.
Johnson has been with the Lions organization since 2019. The former tight ends coach was promoted to offensive coordinator prior to this past season. And after his first year as OC, he’s already earning head coach consideration.
If the Lions put together another strong campaign in 2023, Johnson will likely be a head coach option in next year’s cycle as well.