3. Ben Johnson, OC, Detroit Lions
At this point in time, it seems as though Ben Johnson has taken his name out of the running for head coach positions around the league. He was considered to be potentially the favorite for the Carolina Panthers head coaching gig, but he informed them and other suitors that he is returning to Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions.
Johnson went from being a tight ends coach to offensive coordinator and calling the shots for the NFL’s 5th-best scoring offense at almost 27 points per game and that’s with the least amount of turnovers in the game (just 15 on the season).
The Lions had a top-five red zone offense, a top-10 passing attack, they had the third-most rushing touchdowns in the league, and Jared Goff has experienced a resurgence under this staff.
Johnson has been deservedly getting interview requests from teams, but not from the Denver Broncos. To be fair, it would have been a tough sell for the Broncos to move on from Nathaniel Hackett for a guy like Johnson, who is an ascending coordinator but not the most experienced candidate out there.
Can he run an entire NFL operation right now? Some more seasoning under Dan Campbell should help considerably.
At the same time, why would you not ask this guy his thoughts on your offensive personnel, namely again, Russell Wilson? Why would you not hear him out and ask him his opinions on your organization? Ask him about what clicked for his unit in 2022.
The Denver Broncos have been interviewing candidates for the head coaching position, but is their top option hiding in plain sight?
It just seems foolish that you wouldn’t be talking to some of the best offensive minds in the game when your team has struggled so badly in that area over the last seven years. The Broncos may end up regretting not talking to these guys and it wouldn’t surprise me if Steichen and Reich become two of the better coaches out of this cycle.