We all knew that Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was going to be a hot name for the seven NFL head coach vacancies, but it appears he may be the top name for several openings. It’s long been reported that Johnson remains a prime target for a Carolina Panthers team that heavily pursued him last year. Now it appears the Washington Commanders will make a hard push for him, as well.
Per Dianna Russini of The Athletic, Johnson has emerged as the Commanders’ early “top choice.”
While Washington is going to attack this search for a head coach with openness and flexibility, the Commanders are targeting Detroit's Ben Johnson as their top choice, per sources. Carolina is also hoping to land Johnson.— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) January 13, 2024
The Commanders are reportedly hiring former 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters to be their new general manager, and he will likely be part of the search for the team’s next head coach. Johnson is one of many candidates who have received an interview request from the Commanders, joining Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike McDonald, and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn among others.
While the Commanders have interest, they will not be able to even have a phone interview with Johnson until at least three days after the Wild Card round due to new NFL rules. In-person interviews won’t be able to be held until after the divisional round.
As of now, Johnson has also been requested to interview for four other job openings: the Panthers, Chargers, Titans and Falcons jobs.
You can track all of the latest head coaching carousel news as it relates to the Lions in our 2024 Detroit Lions coordinator tracker here.