5 dark horse candidates to replace Ben Johnson as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator

  • Ben Johnson looks like a lock to leave for a head coaching job
  • So who are some dark horse candidates to replace him as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator?

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It's down to two head coaching jobs that are open in the NFL. But on the idea of "it only takes one", the signs that Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will be the next head coach of the Washington Commanders are all over and impossible to ignore. On Friday, ESPN's Jeff Darlington called Johnson-to-the-Commanders a "foregone conclusion."

"It is a pretty foregone conclusion in Washington, albeit one that we'll have to wait on to see with certainty, that Ben Johnson will wind up being the coach of the Commanders after the Lions' season ends," Darlington said."

With a second interview that's set to come after Sunday's NFC Championship Game looking like a formality to Johnson being hired by the Commanders, Lions' head coach Dan Campbell is surely aware he's going to have to replace his offensive coordinator. One internal candidate (the internal favorite), passing game coordinator Tanner Engstrand, will reportedly interview for the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator job.

There's also a chance Johnson will want to take Engstrand with him to Washington as his offensive coordinator.

There's another obvious internal candidate to replace Johnson if he leaves for the Commanders' job-assistant head coach/running backs coach Scottie Montgomery. But it would make sense for Campbell to expand his search right off the bat, as options dwindle with other staffs being formed and changed around the league.

Of course with the idea Johnson will indeed have to replaced upon taking the head coaching job with the Commanders, here are five dark horse candidates to be the next Lions' offensive coordinator.

Johnson decided to stay with the Lions for at least one more year after the NFC Championship Game loss, rendering this list moot.

5 dark horse candidates to replace Ben Johnson as Detroit Lions offensive coordinator if he leaves for Commanders' job