You no longer have to be on Ben Johnson watch.
According to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator has canceled his in-person interview with the Carolina Panthers this week, and has informed all interested teams that he will be returning to Detroit for 2023.
“Johnson was slated to travel Wednesday to interview with the #Panthers. But he feels Detroit is building something special and wants to see it through,” Pelissero tweeted on Tuesday night. “Should be a hot HC name again next year.”
That is a massive win for the Lions, who have been speaking Ben Johnson’s praises all year, as the team orchestrated the fifth-highest scoring offense in the league in 2022.
“I’ve got to be careful how much I keep pumping him up, but no, I’m joking,” quarterback Jared Goff, who enjoyed a career renaissance this season, said about Johnson. “He’s great. 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 is constantly communicating and keeping us all in the same page.”
Lions coach Dan Campbell praised Johnson all year, often referring to him as a “rockstar.” But he said if the offers came his way, he wouldn’t stand in the way of them.
“I think a ton of Ben. I think he’s—I just think he’s extremely bright,” Campbell said. “He’s creative, he’s organized, he’s a great communicator. I mean he’s got it, and I would do anything I can to help him. That’s the bottom line. Of course, I don’t want to lose him, but I’m not going to hold him back either. I would help him any way I can help him.”
Luckily for Campbell, it looks like he won’t lose him… this year.