5 candidates to replace Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson if he gets a head coaching job
1. Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael
A hat-tip to Justin Rogers of The Detroit News here again for his brief mention of Carmichael on the idea he could become available at the end of his thoughts about Tanner Engstrand. It spurred my thinking, the Saints’ long-time offensive coordinator makes some sense.
Carmichael arrived in New Orleans, as quarterbacks coach, the same year Sean Payton and Drew Brees did (2006), as he was also on the Chargers’ coaching staff when Brees was there. He added passing game coach duties in 2007, and became offensive coordinator in 2009.
On the Saints’ staff for as long as he has been, Carmichael of course overlapped with Lions head coach Dan Campbell for five seasons (2016-2020).
As much credit as Payton and Brees got for the success of the Saints’ offense through all those years, Carmichael deserves a slice of it too. It’s odd he has never gotten more attention as a head coaching candidate over the years.
New Orleans’ mostly lackluster offensive performance this season, and the last couple years really, stands to bring Carmichael’s job status into question when the season is over. He may be done there, and looking for a fresh start independent of recent rumors Payton could be interested in returning as Saints’ coach next year. Maybe Detroit gives that fresh start to him, if they need to replace Johnson.