On Tuesday night, the massive news that Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is returning dropped. Per a report from Tom Pelissero, Johnson removed his name from consideration because he felt the Lions were building something special and he wanted to be a part of that.
The Lions had a top-five offense last year, and Johnson has been largely credited for the unit’s sudden turnaround. Understandably so, the news sent Lions nation into a frenzy. Many were preparing to lose Johnson, seeing as he was considered the Vegas favorite for two separate head coaching jobs as recently as Tuesday afternoon. So to suddenly get the news that Johnson was returning—before even having a chance to interview with the Panthers—was nothing short of fantastic news.
So let’s take a look at the best reactions from Tuesday night and Wednesday morning from One Pride nation.
Let’s start with some players. First off is left tackle Taylor Decker, who has worn his emotions on his sleeve this year. His initial reaction: disbelief.
*checks calendar to be sure it isn’t April 1st* https://t.co/SRJxtQanlZ— Taylor Decker (@__taylordecker) January 18, 2023
You’d think reactions would just be limited to offensive players on the team, however, even defensive and special teams players could sense the enormity of the news. Here’s long snapper Scott Daly.
And here’s cornerback Chase Lucas.
But the best reaction of all came from Lions stud receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown has seen his career blossom under Johnson. The young receiver’s rookie season exploded almost simultaneously with Johnson’s promotion to passing game coordinator. And when Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator this offseason, both St. Brown and the Lions offense took off.
During “Hard Knocks” this year, we saw St. Brown declare Johnson a “genius.”
So how did St. Brown react to the news on Tuesday night? Fair to say he was moved and happy:
(Note: Iykyk = If you know, you know.)
Now let’s move to some Lions fans, who were throwing a party last night. Here’s our staff’s reaction:
players want to stay here. coaches want to stay here.— Ryan Mathews (@Ryan_POD) January 18, 2023
Detroit is officially a destination. https://t.co/oMOJ4qgqJ1
How it started vs How it's going pic.twitter.com/vqV08kEQ8n— Erik Schlitt (@erikschlitt) January 18, 2023
"Dan Campbell culture builder" with the fattest W today— Chris Perfett (@chrisperfett) January 18, 2023
The Lions aren’t in the playoffs yet they still have the biggest win this past week. https://t.co/vDHOsWUR1b— John Whiticar (@Whiticar) January 18, 2023
This is a huge W for the Lions. Just incredibly huge.— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) January 18, 2023
And some of the other best reactions from the internet:
When Ben Johnson was the Lions tight ends coach last year I asked him about working for Dan Campbell and this is what he said. Their working relationship is no joke. pic.twitter.com/wTJUWGzksx— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) January 18, 2023
Ben Johnson staying in Detroit cause he feels the Lions "are building something special" Goes to show you that the best days as a franchise & fans are ahead of us.— Damone Hardy (@DamoneHardy) January 18, 2023
Couldn't be more excited.
THE FUTURE IS OURS pic.twitter.com/0S3Er9po3m
Mood after finding out Ben Johnson was returning to the Lions: pic.twitter.com/i6uG34swt8— We The Detroit Lions (@DetLionBlood) January 18, 2023
Ben Johnson was awesome this year. Maximized his players’ strengths to run one of the NFL’s most efficient offenses. Now they get to add Jamo for a full season in the 2nd year off the ACL https://t.co/l3FuvLoMg9— Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT) January 18, 2023
BEN JOHNSON TURNED DOWN HEAD COACHING INTEREST TO RETURN TO THE LIONS ONLY SOLIDIFYING THIS TEAM IS WINNING THE NORTH NEXT YEAR. pic.twitter.com/TeaSEg4ZSG— We The Detroit Lions (@DetLionBlood) January 18, 2023
Ben Johnson returning to Detroit?!?! pic.twitter.com/W55JjYvrVZ— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) January 18, 2023
And if you missed it, you can check out our live reaction from our emergency Twitch show here: