Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was mic’d up at the Senior Bowl (video)

Credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Credit: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images /

During what amounted to a trial run for the job, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was mic’d up at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

Last Monday night’s news that Ben Johnson was promoted to be the Detroit Lions new offensive coordinator was not surprising. The tight ends coach had taken on a greater role as the passing game coordinator in the second half of the season, in line with Jared Goff’s improved play and the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Down at the Senior Bowl, as the head coaches stepped back into more advisory roles, Johnson got a trial run as offensive coordinator for the American team the Lions’ coaching staff led. That meant he got to work closely with quarterbacks Malik Willis, Sam Howell and Bailey Zappe as they got some indoctrination into an NFL offense.

During a practice down in Mobile, Johnson was mic’d up.

Ben Johnson shows his personality in mic’d up segment

A couple cool parts of the video are Johnson’s interactions with Willis and Howell.

“That’s a good shot there, bud. I love the ball, love the ball,” Johnson said to Willis after a deep pass just missed tight end Isaiah Likely.

“A little too much?” Willis replied.

“No, he’s got to go get it. He’s got to go get it. Keep putting it out in front.”

Johnson played quarterback at North Carolina, as did Howell of course.

Johnson: “Hey what’s it like having someone in your ear the whole time calling plays?” “What’s that like?”

Howell: “It’s cool, man.” “It’s something I always, like, wanted to do.”


Johnson: “I asked Sam what it’s like to be the second best quarterback to go through North Carolina. “He was like, “Wait who’s the first?” (Johnson was the Tar Heels’ signal caller from 2004-2007).

Howell: “Who’s the first?”

Johnson: “Oh, come on!”

If there was any remaining questions Johnson can handle more, and that he has a little personality too, those questions were answered in the trial run for his new job.

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