Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson has made headlines by returning to the team for the second consecutive year, despite being a sought-after candidate for head coaching positions in the NFL. However, recent rumors suggest that Johnson’s unsuccessful coaching interviews, particularly with the Washington Commanders, may have influenced his decision to return to the Lions.
Interview Feedback and Decision to Withdraw:
Insider reports, including information from NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, indicate that Ben Johnson’s coaching interviews, notably with the Washington Commanders, did not leave a positive impression. Garafolo suggests that Johnson’s decision to withdraw from coaching searches, including the one with the Commanders, may be a result of not receiving a favorable response during the interview process.
Perceived Issues in the Interview Process:
While Johnson is recognized for his role in shaping the Lions’ potent offense, concerns have been raised about his performance in coaching interviews. Garafolo suggests that Johnson’s interviews did not “bowl people over,” hinting at potential issues related to character and attitude during the process.
Withdrawal Seen as a Defensive Move:
The decision to withdraw from coaching searches, even before potential offers were extended, is described as a preemptive move by Johnson. The analogy of “I’m not fired, I quit” is used, implying that Johnson may have sensed that he was not the preferred choice for the positions in question.
Balancing X’s and O’s with Coaching Character:
While Johnson’s strategic prowess is acknowledged, the rumors highlight the importance of character and coaching demeanor in the hiring process. Coaching interviews involve evaluating not just football knowledge but also how candidates handle themselves, communicate, and align with the organizational culture.
Perspective from Lions’ Head Coach Dan Campbell:
Despite the rumors, Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell has expressed positive sentiments about Johnson’s return, emphasizing that Johnson’s initial return to the team was to further his coaching education. The supportive environment created by Campbell may provide Johnson with opportunities to develop his coaching skills holistically.
The rumors surrounding Ben Johnson’s coaching interviews and subsequent return to the Lions shed light on the multifaceted nature of head coaching decisions. While Johnson’s offensive expertise is evident, the perceived challenges in the interview process underscore the significance of coaching character and interpersonal skills in securing leadership positions in the NFL.