Detroit Lions tight ends coach Ben Johnson has been promoted to offensive coordinator, a source told ESPN on Monday, confirming a report by NFL Network.
His promotion comes after Lions head coach Dan Campbell officially opened up the search in Mobile, Alabama, during the week of the Senior Bowl, where he conducted interviews.
Johnson was elevated to the offensive coordinator role for Saturday’s Senior Bowl, coaching the American team alongside Lions assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley, who served as head coach for the game.
“I’ve known Dan for a long time so I think that certainly helps just having that comfort level. He sees the game (and) I see the game very similar,” Johnson said at last Thursday’s practice leading up to the Senior Bowl. “So, I think he felt comfortable just having me interact with a few different more position groups and it was good from that regard, just tying that pass game together and also knowing what our players brought to the table.”
Johnson sat down at length with Campbell on a couple different occasions in Mobile.
Johnson originally joined the organization in 2019 as an offensive quality control coach before being promoted to tight ends coach in 2020.
Johnson took on a bigger role in directing the Detroit offense during the 2021 season when Campbell stripped Anthony Lynn of his play-calling duties following the bye week. Campbell confirmed after the regular-season finale that Lynn would not be returning as offensive coordinator.
As of last week, Campbell hadn’t decided whether he’ll continue to call plays or not, saying last Tuesday from Mobile, “I’m still thinking it through a little bit.”