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Detroit Lions coach to interview for Patriots offensive coordinator job

Detroit Lions pass game coordinator—a candidate to fill in for Ben Johnson—is reportedly a candidate for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator job.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Detroit Lions pass game coordinator Tanner Engstrand is a candidate to be the New England Patriots’ next offensive coordinator. According to a report from NFL Network, the Patriots plan to interview Engstrand for the position, although there is no timeline for that discussion yet.

Losing Engstrand would be a tough blow to the Lions coaching staff, particularly if Detroit loses current offensive coordinator Ben Johnson to one of the two remaining head coach vacancies (Commanders, Seahawks). Johnson is considered one of the front-runners for the Washington Commanders job and he has also interviewed for the Seattle Seahawks job, as well.

Engstrand was one of the internal candidates qualified to replace Johnson, should he leave for a head coach position. Originally hired as an offensive assistant in 2021, Engstrand took over as tight ends coach when Johnson was promoted to offensive coordinator. Engstrand received another promotion this year, becoming the team’s pass game coordinator.

“He’s been great and brings different ideas to Ben, brings different thoughts,” quarterback Jared Goff said earlier this season. “I’m able to ask him questions that he can answer instead of hogging Ben down with more. I can kind of go to Tanner with some of that stuff and he’s been extremely helpful for me. I had him in the quarterback room my first year and he’s bounced around this building a couple times, but he’s doing a hell of a job.”

If Engstrand does end up taking the Patriots job, the Lions do have other in-house candidates for the OC job, should it become available. That includes assistant head coach/running backs coach Scottie Montgomery and possibly even offensive line coach Hank Fraley.

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