One of the hottest names on the head coaching market, Ben Johnson is staying in Detroit.
The Lions offensive coordinator has notified interested teams that he's retaining his current position, according to the NFL Network.
Johnson, 36, had interviews with the Texans, Colts and Panthers after leading one of the top offenses in the NFL this season and was reportedly the leading candidate for the head coaching job in Carolina, where he was slated to fly on Wednesday for an in-person meeting with Panthers owner David Tepper, but he reportedly 'feels Detroit is building something special and wants to see it through.'
In Johnson's first season as coordinator and play-caller, the Lions' offense finished fifth in the NFL in points and fourth in yards and quarterback Jared Goff played arguably the best football of his career. The club went 8-2 down the stretch and fell just short of the playoffs, with its sights set on winning the NFC North in 2023.
After the season, Goff, who finished seventh in the NFL in passer rating, said Johnson "has been as instrumental to me as any coach has."
"Obviously want the best for him and for him to get all the opportunities that he deserves," said Goff, "but selfishly would love to be able to continue to play for him."
"I love Ben," said wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, the first Lions receiver to put up 100-plus catches and 1,000-plus yards since Calvin Johnson. "One of my favorite coaches I’ve ever been around, so I hope he’s here for as long as I’m here. I hope he doesn’t leave us. I would definitely be hurt if he left.
"For me, and if you ask a lot of the guys on this offense, he’s one of the best."