It's not surprising Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is one of the most in-demand head coaching candidates in this interview/hiring cycle. Multiple interview requests came before "Black Monday" was over, and a total of five came before last week was done. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn got interview requests from four of the same teams.
On Tuesday, the number of interview requests for Johnson moved to a half-dozen. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Seattle Seahawks have submitted a request to interview the Lions' offensive coordinator for their head coaching job. He is among eight candidates the Seahawks have now asked to interview.
The Seahawks made a stunning decision to relieve Pete Carroll of his head coaching duties last week, after 14 pretty successful seasons. Carroll was not happy with the decision as he clearly fought to keep his job, subsequently saying the people who decided to move on from him are "not football people."
Would the Seahawks head coaching job appeal to Ben Johnson?
Only his gray hair would suggest it, but Carroll was the oldest head coach in the NFL. He'll turn 73 in September. So the move to move on from him has to be rooted in an eye on the long-term. Hiring a younger coach, like the 37-year old Johnson, would seem to be the plan in Seattle then.
The Seahawks have good talent on both sides of the ball. But to appeal to an offensive mind like Johnson, a look at the quarterback situation is natural.
Geno Smith had a natural drop-off from his breakthrough 2022 campaign this year. It feels like the Seahawks are stuck with him for the two remaining years on his contract, but they could pursue a path to move off him. Johnson would presumably have input in that decision if he were hired. The talent around whoever the quarterback is (D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Kenneth Walker, Zach Charbonnet) is solid.
The excellent work Johnson has done with Jared Goff is a driving force for his appeal as a head coaching candidate. The Seahawks would easily see the same possibility working with Smith, or whoever they go with under center down the road.
Among the jobs Johnson is wanted to interview for, the Seahawks easily land as a background option. If they want to schedule a virtual interview this week, as is allowed, there's a compressed timeframe to do it. Dan Campbell said his coordinators would limit their head coaching interviews to Friday and Saturday before Sunday's Divisional Round game against the Buccaneers.
Johnson reportedly has interviews scheduled with the Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers on Friday. So his dance card is filling quickly, and the Seahawks are now trying to get a place on it.