Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has assembled a top staff and if the team enjoys success those assistants will be in demand for promotions. Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn both had multiple head coaching interviews in the 2023 hiring cycle.
Johnson stopped his interviewing process short of its completion, and he is back in Detroit for another season. But if the Lions' offense is as good this year as it was last year, turning down head coaching overtures in 2024 will be harder.
ESPN's Dan Graziano made a surprise prediction for every NFL team this season. When it came to Detroit, he's betting on Johnson to be a hot head coaching candidate again.
"Expectations are high for a big year in Detroit, and if Johnson and Goff can carry their momentum over into this season, Johnson is going to get even more attention from head-coach-needy teams next offseason."- Dan Graziano
Johnson would presumably have his pick of head coaching jobs next offseason if the Lions' offense is top tier again, and Jared Goff naturally has another nice season.
Detroit Lions must start preparing for Ben Johnson's departure now
Should it come to that, with the Lions winning a lot of games this year and the offense on center stage, options to replace Johnson have to be on the team's radar. New running backs coach Scottie Montgomery looks like an easy internal option.
Montgomery has been an offensive coordinator at the college level, calling plays for Duke (2014-2015) and Maryland (2019-20). He has also worked as a position coach in the NFL (wide receivers and running backs respectively) with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. With this experience, it could be natural to elevate him to offensive coordinator if Johnson leaves.
Regardless, Johnson feels poised to take a big career jump at the end of the season. And it wouldn't really be a huge surprise.