Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson ‘confident’ he’s ready to call plays

Three times this offseason, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has told the media that his goal — now that he hasn’t landed a head coaching job elsewhere — is to be the best coordinator. than the Detroit Lions have ever had.

“My main contract right now, I want to be the best coordinator Detroit has ever had,” Glenn said last week. “I’m going to stick with it and keep saying it because I really believe it in my heart.”

On Thursday, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson stepped onto the podium for the first time since the NFL Draft, and before reporters had a chance to ask him a question, he took it upon himself to respond to comments from Glenn.

“I have to address the elephant in the room before I start here,” Johnson said.
“It has come to my attention that a colleague of mine has made a statement about becoming the greatest coordinator in Detroit Lions history. Two things come to mind – the first is that he will having competition for it. The other is, I hope for him, dancing skills aren’t included because I saw him trying to breakdance last week and it wasn’t pretty. It was not pretty.

Sure, Johnson’s comments were light-hearted, but it also shows that the competition this staff always preaches doesn’t stop at the players. All you have to do is watch a practice and see the trainers face each other, especially in very competitive drills. Sometimes Duce Staley gives it to the defensive staff. Sometimes Glenn breakdances after a defensive win, hence Johnson’s sarcastic comments.

While Glenn has an established reputation as a good coach and excellent teacher, certainly capable of leaving a noticeable mark on Detroit’s record books, Johnson still has a long way to go before he is in the conversation for the best of all the time.

Players and coaches gave him a lot of credit for the turnaround on offense in the final two months of the season. Under Anthony Lynn, the Lions offense averaged just 16.75 points per game. When head coach Dan Campbell took over call-of-play duties and Johnson essentially served as pass-play coordinator, the Lions jumped to 21.2 points per game.

“I think Ben came on halfway through the season really helped us as an attack with the passing game. I love him,” Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown said last month. “I think he’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with, and I’m super excited to have him as the offensive coordinator.”

Johnson has certainly gained some goodwill in his only season with the Lions, but becoming an offensive coordinator for the first time is a whole new adventure for the 36-year-old coach. Still, he sets the bar high for himself.

“One of my top priorities, personally, is to help (Jared Goff) have the best season of his career,” Johnson said.

Another potential mountain to climb is taking over call-of-play duties. Campbell said Thursday that no decision has been made on who will call plays this year.

“I think it’s going to be tough to make that decision before the season is almost here,” Campbell said. “I’m just going to let it go and I want to be able to coach the team right now and let him handle the attack.”

Although Johnson has no direct experience in call plays, he is confident he can do so simply through his involvement in game planning throughout the week.

“I’m confident I’m ready, I am,” Johnson said. “Again, you have to be put in those situations to really know, but our game planning process is so detailed that I think on game day it takes care of itself because you know exactly what you’re doing. want and where you want.”

Johnson admitted things get tricky in critical situations when play calls are particularly crucial. But derives confidence from doing this sort of thing when he was on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff.

“The five percent that get tough is the end of the game, the end of halftime situations where the clock is ticking, you have to think fast,” Johnson said. “And those are the situations I’ve been through since my time in Miami, doing that in practice with some of our guys. So I know what the potential pitfalls are. It’s a learning experience, no doubt about it, but it’s one I definitely feel confident in.

Say what you will about this coaching staff, but they don’t lack confidence.