You no longer have to stand guard on Ben Johnson.
According to a report by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, The Detroit Lions offensive coordinator canceled his in-person interview with the Carolina Panthers this week, informing all interested teams that he will be returning to Detroit for 2023.
“Johnson was due to travel to an interview with the #Panthers on Wednesday. But he feels Detroit is building something special and wants to see it through,” Pelissero tweeted Tuesday night. “Should be a hot HC name again next year.”
It’s a massive win for the Lions, who have lavished praise on Ben Johnson all year as the team orchestrated the league’s fifth-highest offense in 2022.
“I have to be careful how much I pump him up, but no, I’m kidding,” quarterback Jared Goff, who was enjoying a career renaissance this season, said of Johnson. “He’s amazing. He’s unique in his own way. I think the best thing about him is his communication and the way he listens and the way he takes our input and constantly communicates and gets us all on the same page stands up.”
Lions coach Dan Campbell praised Johnson throughout the year, often referring to him as a “rock star.” But he said if the offers came to him, he wouldn’t stand in their way.
“I think a lot of Ben. I think he’s — I just think he’s extremely smart,” Campbell said. “He’s creative, he’s organized, he’s a great communicator. I mean he has it and I would do anything to help him. That’s the bottom line. Of course I don’t want to lose him, but I won’t hold him back either. I would help him in any way I could.”
Luckily for Campbell, it looks like he won’t lose him this year.