As expected, the head coaching interview docket for Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Before "Black Monday" was over, three teams (Washington Commanders, Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers) made requests to interview him. On Wednesday, the Tennessee Titans added themselves to the list.
The Atlanta Falcons made Arthur Smith in the first official head coach firing on "Black Monday", releasing the news just after midnight. Thursday morning, they became the third team to submit interview requests for Johnson and Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn (joining the Commanders and the Titans).
Smith's failure as the Falcons' head coach was rooted in the usage patterns of some good young skill position players. The investment of top-10 overall picks in tight end Kyle Pitts, wide receiver Drake London and running back Bijan Robinson was met with lack of targets and touches for them, followed by Smith's flimsy excuses.
Falcons should be an appealing head coaching job for Ben Johnson
Of course a big part of the Falcons' underachievement offensively under Smith was rooted in quarterback play. Desmond Ridder has shown he's probably not the guy long-term, so what's done to upgrade the situation this offseason is worth watching.
The idea of working with, and finding a way to maximize, Pitts, Robinson and London should appeal to Johnson as he considers head coaching opportunities. But it will come down to who the quarterback is to a large degree too. There would be a chance for him to pick who he likes though, among available veterans or with the 8th overall pick in the draft.
Johnson's desire to leave the Lions remains a big question as this year's head coach hiring cycle gets going with interview requests. He could ultimately turn down some of those interview requests, but it seems likely the Falcons are one he would take based on the intrigue attached to the team's offensive weapons and an offensive line that is quite good too.