The Facts: Ben Johnson was the favorite to become the Detroit Lions’ next offensive coordinator all along. Now after a month-long search that included multiple interviews with external candidates, Dan Campbell is making the promotion official. Johnson is expected to be formally named offensive coordinator this week.
Diehards Line: Johnson, 35, is a former North Carolina quarterback who originally joined the organization as an offensive quality control coach in 2019. He was promoted to tight ends coach in 2020, when T.J. Hockenson led all NFC tight ends in catches and was voted to the Pro Bowl, then was promoted to the de facto passing game coordinator when Campbell took over the playcalling from then-coordinator Anthony Lynn last season. And just like that, one of the worst passing games in the league took off. Goff was a bottom-five quarterback in the first half of the season. In five healthy games with Campbell calling the plays and Johnson directing the passing game, he had 11 touchdown passes and just two interceptions while his passer rating exploded from 85.3 to 107.1. That was third-best in the league during that stretch. It was clear Johnson had a connection with Goff, and an understanding of how to use him, in ways that Lynn never did. The team hopes to leverage that going forward.