Ben Johnson explains why he stayed on as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator

Credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY Sports /

Given the opportunity to speak for himself on the matter, Ben Johnson explained why he decided to stay with the Lions as offensive coordinator.

When Ben Johnson withdrew his name from consideration for head coaching jobs, there was mention of his wanting to keep being part of something special and seeing it through in Detroit. Of course he also reportedly got a healthy raise to stay on as Lions offensive coordinator.

Johnson recently appeared on the “Twentyman In The Huddle” podcast with Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website.

He of course said a lot about his decision to return to the Lions for at least one more year. But ultimately, he says, it was a simple decision.

"It’s really simple for me,” “It starts with this place and these people. Been here four years now and I believe in (principal owner) Sheila (Hamp) and what she’s doing. (Team president) Rod Wood. Dan (Campbell), Brad (Holmes). It starts at the top and trickles down.This is as encouraged [as I’ve been] in my four years with the direction of the Lions and where we’re headed.”"

The not-so veiled shot at Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn is notably appreciated.

Ben Johnson doesn’t want to leave a good thing with the Lions

After recalling a Garth Brooks concert at Ford Field after he came to Detroit from the Miami Dolphins staff, Johnson got to the punchline about how he feels about the situation with the Lions.

"So many good people, coaches, players, I love the offensive staff and everyone we have on board there. I love the players. I love coming into work every day. Coach Campbell is incredible, and so end of the day talking with my family it just made sense. Don’t ruin a good thing.”"

Johnson’s first year as a coordinator couldn’t have gone any better. The Lions were third in the NFL in net total yardage, fourth in touchdowns (54) and fourth in total first downs (376), with the fewest turnovers (15). It was the first time in franchise history the Lions passed for at least 4,000 yards and ran for over 2,000 yards in a season.

Jared Goff knows how huge it is to have Johnson back, as does former Lion T.J. Hockenson.

As long as the Lions’ offense is one of the most productive in the league, Johnson will be in the mix for head coaching jobs. And he’ll eventually get one if he wants one. But he is not ready to leave Detroit just yet, which is surely a new sentiment attached to the Lions.

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