By CJ Carlson
Ben Johnson was probably the hottest candidate to become a head coach in 2024. The Detroit Lions offensive coordinator was instrumental in turning the football franchise around, while making it into the NFC Championship game. However, Johnson has decided that he won’t be switching teams after all and will stick with Detroit moving forward.
Part of what likely went into Johnson’s reasoning for staying was because the Lions were one half of football away from making the Super Bowl. He likely believes that this Lions team is special, and that he could better benefit in his career by sticking with them, rather than head into a rebuilding situation. Then again, he hasn’t publicly said any of this, it’s purely speculation.
Throughout the postseason though, there was a genuine chance that Johnson would leave. It was reported multiple times that the Washington Commanders were in love with the possibility of landing Johnson as their next head coach. That felt like it was absolutely the case considering that they weren’t even interviewing guys like Mike Vrabel or Bill Belichick, and they are just one of the two teams left without a current coach.
Washington Commanders Forced To Look Outside Of Ben Johnson
The unfortunate part about his withdrawal isn’t just that the Commanders are left to look towards their backup option, but it’s where they were when they heard the news. It was reported that multiple staff members in their franchise were en route to meet with Johnson for another interview and were on the plane when the news broke.
This included their team owner Josh Harris, their general manager Adam Peters, and many others. The only positive for Washington was that they didn’t have to completely turn around considering that they wanted to meet with Aaron Glenn also, the defensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.
The Commanders will also have to look past the Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, who announced that he’d be staying with the club as well. This leaves them with a few top-tier options. There’s going to be Glenn, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, and Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.
That’s not even mentioning Pete Carroll, Vrabel, Belichick, and their own current offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. They might not even make a decision anytime soon, as they currently have quite a bit of time available due to every other head coaching opening getting filled already except for one.