Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson confident about calling plays if asked

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson talks with reporters before OTAs on Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Allen Park.Lions
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson talks with reporters before OTAs on Thursday, June 2, 2022, in Allen Park.Lions /

Even if a formal decision isn’t coming for a bit, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is ready to call plays if the duties are given to him.

When the Detroit Lions‘ offense looked better late last season, two things were prominent. Head coach Dan Campbell took over play calling, and tight ends coach Ben Johnson took on a bigger role as passing game coordinator.

Johnson was named offensive coordinator early this offseason, and during OTAs he has called the plays. Still, Campbell is not ready to announce a decision on who will call the plays this season.

It seems likely Johnson will be the one to call the plays, but if/when that happens he has made it clear he’s ready for it.

Johnson took the podium last Thursday at OTAs. Among other topics, he talked about how confident he is about being the Lions’ play caller if Campbell gives him the duties. With no direct prior experience as a play caller, his confidence is rooted in how involved he is/was/will be in game-planning throughout the week.

Ben Johnson confident about his readiness to be the Lions’ play caller

Via Pride of Detroit:

"I’m confident I’m ready, I am,” Johnson said. “Once again, you got to be put in those situations to truly know, but our game planning process is so detailed that I think on game day, it takes care of itself because you know exactly what you want and where you want.”"

Johnson went to acknowledged the challenge critical situations present for a play caller, while harkening back to his time on the coaching staff in Miami.

"The five percent that gets hard is the end of the game, end of the half situations where clock is running, you got to think quickly,” And those are the situations I actually have experience with from my time in Miami, doing that in practice with some of our guys. So I know what pitfalls there potentially are. It’s a learning experience, no doubt about it, but it’s one I certainly feel confident about.”"

As one of his top priorities, Johnson has noted wanting to help quarterback Jared Goff have the best season of his career. To this point, that has meant reviewing Goff’s successes with the Los Angeles Rams and looking to incorporate those things into the Lions’ offense.

If Johnson doesn’t get named the Lions’ offensive play caller, it will be a surprise. But it’s good he’ll take on the duties with confidence, even if he’s just saying so publicly to quell any concerns.

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