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Head Coach Search: 5 Things to Know About Lions OC Ben Johnson

5 Things Johnson

The Chargers on Saturday confirmed they have interviewed Ben Johnson for their head coach position.

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Here are five things to know about Johnson:

1. Leading a top offense

Johnson spearheaded one of the most high-powered offenses in the NFL this season.

The Lions closed out the regular season in the top five in total yards, rushing yards and passing yards per game, one of only two teams to achieve those numbers. They also ranked fifth in offensive DVOA and scored over 30 points in nine out of their 18 regular season games.

These numbers helped the Lions capture their first NFC North title since 1993.

2. Time in Detroit

Johnson has two years as Detroit's offensive playcaller but has been with the organization since 2019.

He initially began as an offensive quality control coach before becoming the team's tight ends coach for the next two seasons, working closely with T.J. Hockenson.

But when Johnson took over the offense in 2022, the Lions took off.

As the playcaller, Detroit had 4,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards in the same season for the first time in franchise history as four players made the Pro Bowl.

They would finish fifth in points per game, fourth in total offense and scored over 30 points in eight of their 17 games.

"I think Ben's a rock star, man," Dan Campbell said. "He's a young guy, but he's kind of gone a little longer, harder road to get to where he's at. He's been around some really good coaches, now, some guys who have coached some pretty good quarterbacks."

The Chargers on Saturday confirmed they have interviewed Ben Johnson for their head coach position.

3. Past NFL experience

Even though his NFL coaching career has spanned over 12 seasons, Johnson has only spent time with one other NFL franchise aside from the Lions.

Before joining Detroit, Johnson spent from 2012 to 2019 in Miami serving in many roles.

He was first an offensive assistant before being promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach in 2013. He would have that role until 2015 when he had to take over as tight ends coach in the middle of the season.

Johnson's final three seasons with the Dolphins would see him work closely with the wide receivers, first an assistant wide receivers coach and then the full time wide receivers coach in 2018.

4. Getting his start

Johnson got his first coaching job on the college level.

After finishing school he would become a graduate assistant for Boston College from 2009 and 2010.

He would then be promoted to tight ends coach and hold the role for a season before moving on to the NFL.

5. Walk-on at North Carolina

Johnson himself was a quarterback during his playing days.

The Fairview, North Carolina native earned all-conference honors at Reynolds High School under center for the final two years and also the conference player of the year as a senior.

He would walk-on to the North Carolina football team in college and worked closely with future NFL quarterback T.J. Yates throughout his time with the team before graduating in 2008.

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