Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson talks about how he is growing as a coach

His first year as a play caller couldn't have gone much better, but Ben Johnson explained why he is getting better leading the Lions offense

His first run as a play caller could not have really gone any better, but Ben Johnson explained how he is evolving entering his second leading the Lions' offense.

As a first-time offensive coordinator and play caller, last season could not have gone much better for Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Detroit Lions had a top-tier offense in terms of yards and points, Jared Goff had one of the best years of his career and he showed some outside-the-box guts as a play caller in some critical situations.

Johnson got interest from teams in search of a new head coach after the season. He recently noted his close relationship with Goff as a big reason he stayed with the Lions, though a nice pay raise certainly helped too. And overall, credit to Johnson for not just taking a head coaching job because one would have likely been his if he had wanted it. The job openings were just not that great this year, for one reason or another. So he's back for at least one more year as the Lions' offensive coordinator.

Ben Johnson explains how he is evolving as the leader of the Lions offense

The Lions had some turnover on their coaching staff this offseason. Scottie Montgomery is replacing Duce Staley as running backs coach, while Steve Heiden is in as the new tight ends coach with Tanner Engstrand becoming solely the passing game coordinator. Long-time NFL assistant Jim Hostler was also added as senior offensive assistant.

Via, Johnson explained the benefit of having some new voices around him on the offensive side.

"Coach Heiden came from, really more of the run-and-shoot from Kliff Kingsbury (the) last few years, but he has a wealth of experience playing and coaching in the Bruce Arians system, which we have some concepts from. And, (running backs coach) Scottie (Montgomery), he’s worn so many hats over the years, quarterbacks, receivers, running backs," Johnson said. "He’s been a head coach, he’s been a play-caller. So, I can lean on him heavily, and same thing with (senior offensive assistant) Jim Hostler.""

As Johnson prepares to eventually take the next step to being a head coach, and everyone should be keenly aware of that inevitability, he knows one year of success as a coordinator and play caller is no laurel to take any rest on as he continues to grow as a coach.

"I mean, these guys -- it’s awesome to be in the room right now, because we have so many opinions," Johnson said. "And, I love it when they bring things up, because it just hits me from a different light and I’m growing. I’m getting better, because we have these new voices in the room.”"

Johnson will be challenged to keep the Lions' offense at a high level this season. But he's clearly, and however obviously, up for that challenge as he absorbs the fresh perspective of new coaches working with him.

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