Skip to main content

Lions' Ben Johnson Explains Why He Is 'Getting Better' Leading Offense

New voices in the offensive meeting rooms have aided Ben Johnson.

The Detroit Lions have hired several new offensive assistant coaches that are significantly aiding offensive coordinator Ben Johnson

“Yeah, you know coach (Dan) Campbell always brings up, ‘It’s not having necessarily the smartest coaches all the time. It’s not necessarily having the hardest, the most demanding coaches. It’s having the right mix.' And, that’s really what we have. We have some guys that are really good teachers," said Johnson. "They have extremely good work ethics. They are very demanding out of their position groups, which is really what I look for in an assistant coach. So, they all bring that to the table. And then, they have completely different offenses that they come from."

The addition of tight ends coach Steve Heiden and running backs coach Scottie Montgomery have given the talented offensive mind an opportunity to lean on others and to delegate more responsibilities.  

"Coach Heiden came from, really more of the run-and-shoot from Kliff Kingsbury (the) last few years, but he has a wealth of experience playing and coaching in the Bruce Arians system, which we have some concepts from. And, (running backs coach) Scottie (Montgomery), he’s worn so many hats over the years, quarterbacks, receivers, running backs," Johnson said. "He’s been a head coach, he’s been a play-caller. So, I can lean on him heavily, and same thing with (senior offensive assistant) Jim Hostler."

As a result of adding coaches with a vast array of experiences in the NFL, the potential head coach-in-the-making feels he is growing as the leader of the Lions' offense. 

"I mean, these guys -- it’s awesome to be in the room right now, because we have so many opinions," Johnson said. "And, I love it when they bring things up, because it just hits me from a different light and I’m growing. I’m getting better, because we have these new voices in the room.”