The Detroit Lions are in need of an offensive coordinator, and interviews will begin this week.
When Anthony Lynn had play calling taken from him coming out the Week 9 bye, it was clear he’d be one-and-done as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator. Head coach Dan Campbell took over the play calling, and the results were better.
The Lions coaching staff is leading one of the teams down at the Senior Bowl this week. But the event in Mobile is also a networking event for the league. On that note, per Kyle Meinke of MLive, Campbell said he’d be starting interviews for the open offensive coordinator post this week.
“Ben is certainly in this conversation, and I’ve started the process this week,” Campbell said. “I’ll have interviewed — I’m not going to give you names — but at least a couple by the time we leave Mobile.”
Campbell confirmed tight ends coach Ben Johnson is in the mix to replace Lynn. Late in the season Johnson became the Lions’ passing game coordinator, with credit given to him for some play designs and finding ways to get the most out of Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Detroit Lions offensive coordinator search is about more than pure scheme
Johnson is serving as offensive coordinator for the Lions’ Senior Bowl team, in what certainly looks like an audition for a permanent new job.
Campbell would not name who else he’s planning to interview for the offensive coordinator post. Johnson might not even be the only internal candidate. Running backs coach (and Senior Bowl head coach) Duce Staley might be another, and quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell can’t be ruled out.
In terms of external candidates, there are some who may be available and might make sense. The head coach said he’s undecided on if he’ll keep play calling duties or not.
“I don’t know,” he (Campbell) said. “I’m still thinking it through.”
Campbell keeping the play calling or not is surely dependent to a large degree on who the new offensive coordinator is. Campbell and Lynn never meshed despite seeming to have similar offensive philosophies, so the head coach will surely be keen on finding a personality fit as much as a schematic/philosophical one.