June 23, 2024

Lions OC ‘sleeps well at night knowing what happened’ with HC rumors, drama

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was among the hottest names in the head-coaching carousel during the 2024 NFL offseason. 

After widespread belief that Johnson would land with the Washington Commanders as their next head coach, things took a drastic turn.

Johnson opted to remain with the Lions to help the team push for a Super Bowl after having its best season since 1991. This led to rampant speculation about what had played out with Johnson and his immediate future as a head coach.

During a news conference this week, Johnson addressed the “false narratives” surrounding the situation, including the rumor that his “asking price spooked some teams,” as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

“There was in my opinion some false narratives going on out there,” Johnson told reporters, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “And it started towards the end of last year, before I made the decision to pull out. That comes with the territory. I’m good with that. That’s part of life in the NFL. So, [it] doesn’t affect me. I do feel for the people around me. I hate that my family would ever read stuff that’s not necessarily the case. But they handled it really, really well …”

Johnson explained that he feels just fine “knowing what happened” in the situation surrounding his head-coaching candidacy.

“I think I sleep well at night knowing what happened, how it happened, why it happened. I’m good there. And the people that are closest to me, they know who I am and what I’m about,” he said.

While it was a surprise to hear the news of Johnson’s return to the Lions, it’s not the first time a highly touted head-coaching candidate has opted to remain with their former team. 

But Johnson’s situation was slightly different because he’s 38 years old, and we’ve seen a high level of intrigue around the NFL from teams regarding younger head coaches believed to be “on the rise.”

Even considering a bit of a chaotic offseason on the head-coaching carousel, don’t be surprised if Johnson emerges as a head coach within the next 1-2 years.