Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is atop at least one team's list of head coaching candidates

Ben Johnson stopped short of interviewing for one head coaching job a year ago, but that team is set to pursue him again.
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Once the Detroit Lions' season is over, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson will be wanted for multiple head coaching interviews again. Whether he fully pursues those opportunities is an open question, after he cancelled an interview and chose to stay in Detroit for at least one more year a year ago.

What Johnson does with his career moving forward will of course be his decision, but Lions' fans who think he'll just stay forever or until "we" win a Super Bowl are set to be disappointed. Johnson will be a head coach at some point, it's just a matter of time.

Multiple teams could make a case to have Johnson No. 1 on their list of head coach candidates, and some of them may have great appeal to him. There is one in particular that won't be very appealing, for a number of reasons, but it has a "never say never" element to it until proven totally otherwise.

Team Ben Johnson declined interview with a year ago is set to pursue him again

As we know, the interview Johnson cancelled around a year ago was with the Carolina Panthers. But according to Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network, the Panthers will pursue him again.

"The Carolina Panthers were set to interview Ben Johnson during last year’s coaching search, but he decided against it and wanted to wait another year due to family considerations, a league source said. ....He’ll be the top candidate on the Carolina Panthers list, sources said, for the second straight year among many teams that will want to talk to him."

Johnson has roots in the Carolinas. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, went to high school in Asheville, North Carolina and went to college at the University of North Carolina. So it's a nice story for the Panthers to bring him back home to resurrect them.

But if Johnson was hesitant to work for Panthers' owner David Tepper a year ago, he should be even more hesitant now. Tepper has taken the baton from former Washington owner Daniel Snyder as the worst owner in the NFL.

There are plenty of stories pointing to Tepper as a "won't take no for an answer" guy. Apparently Johnson's first decline of an opportunity to interview for the Panthers' head coaching job won't have any bearing on their pursuit of him this year. It's worth wondering if the flimsy report last month about Johnson's high asking price had "sources" in Carolina, in what will surely be a failed attempt to turn other teams away.

The Panthers can pursue Johnson all they want, and maybe he takes an interview this time. But anyone with options has ample reasons to not like the job in Carolina, and no head coaching candidate is lined up to have more options than the Lions' offensive coordinator.

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