HomeFootball DirtCommanders Still Determined to Hire Lions' Ben Johnson as Head Coach?

Commanders Still Determined to Hire Lions’ Ben Johnson as Head Coach?

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Ben Johnson has attracted head coaching interest after just one year as the Lions’ offensive coordinator. His work this season has solidified his status as one of the most sought-after staffers in the league. Signs continue to point to him joining the Washington Commanders in the near future.

Johnson has been reported as the top target for both the Panthers and Commanders. In Carolina’s case, this comes as no surprise. Panthers owner David Tepper made a focused effort to land him during last year’s hiring cycle, and it was expected for him to make another strong push this offseason. Ultimately, however, Carolina chose to bring in Dave Canales after his one-year OC stint with the Buccaneers.

Once the Commanders selected Adam Peters as their new GM, Johnson was named as a candidate to watch as the new head coach to pair with him. Johnson’s stock has increased during his two-year run at the helm of Detroit’s offense, and the unit played a central role in the team’s run to the NFC title game. As Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline writes, the expectation around the league remains that Johnson will be hired by the Commanders once the Lions’ postseason journey ends.

Teams still in contention for the Super Bowl are prohibited from having their coordinators take part in head coaching interviews during the week leading up to the conference championship games. Washington’s second interview with Johnson will therefore not take place until Detroit’s season comes to an end. The Commanders – who are joined by the Seahawks in having the league’s only remaining HC vacancies – are prepared to wait for Sunday’s games to take place before making their respective hires.

Commanders owner Josh Harris dismissed Ron Rivera on Black Monday, and the committee quickly landed on Peters to serve as general manager. Peters will directly oversee the team’s new head coach, a departure from the organizational structure in place during Rivera’s tenure. Johnson will be a rookie head coach if/when he is hired this year, and the same is true of Peters after his decision to depart his AGM gig with the 49ers.

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has also drawn considerable interest during this year’s cycle, and he too has a second Commanders interview lined up. Johnson is joined by Texans OC Bobby Slowik in terms of staffers with an offensive background who have drawn significant interest this year, and both have met once with the Seahawks. Seattle does not have a second meeting with Johnson on the books, however, leaving his connection with Washington something to watch closely in the coming days.

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