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Lions OC Ben Johnson says NFL referee pitched him a play

Chiefs coach Andy Reid is getting plays from janitors. And Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is getting pitches from NFL refs. What is going on?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Earlier this week, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid told a crazy story about how he once used a play from a janitor, and it actually resulted in a touchdown.

“I took one from a janitor one time at Green Bay,” Reid said. “He goes, ‘I got this play for you.’ And he kept telling me this over and over. Finally, I said, ‘OK, here’s a card. Draw up the play.’ And he drew up the play, and I go, ‘Dang, that’s pretty good.’”

On Saturday, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was asked where the craziest play he’s pulled a design from, and his answer was just as surprising. According to Johnson, an NFL official took five minutes pitching him a play during joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars this year.

“I think we were practicing against Jacksonville a couple weeks ago, and it’s a special teams period,” Johnson said. “And one of the officials walked up to me, and I still have the diagram in my office. It’s a piece (of paper). He’s got 11 guys written up, and he literally took the entire special teams period—it was over five minutes—talking about how this play would work out.”

Johnson wouldn’t give any details about the play or whether he’s going to use it.

“It’s a good idea. It’s a little bit out of the box. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it happen before,” Johnson said.

Johnson said if the Lions do end up running the play, he’ll be sure to let everyone know about it.

“I’ll let you guys (know). I’ve got to give credit where it’s due.”

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