clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lions OC Ben Johnson snubbed for Assistant Coach of the Year... again

For the second year in a row, Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson came up short in Assistant Coach of the Year voting.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Last year, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson came in second in voting for the Associated Press’ Assistant Coach of the Year award. This year, it was more of the same. Despite another impressive season for the Lions offense—and one that led the team to the NFC Championship game—Johnson was once again beaten out by his competition. Former Lions head coach and Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz walked away with the Assistant Coach of the Year honors for the 2023 season.

To be fair, Schwartz had an outstanding year with the Browns. Cleveland allowed the fewest yards per play, ranked first in defensive DVOA, and first in expected points added per play.

That said, it’s a bit frustrating to see Johnson’s incredible work go unrecognized by the national media. He’s helped resurrect Jared Goff’s career, developed the first successful running game in Detroit since Barry Sanders, and been a key part of Detroit’s iconic postseason run in 2023. Even in the NFC Championship game, the Lions' offense put up 24 first-half points against the 49ers’ second-ranked defense (by DVOA).

At this point, it’s unclear where Johnson finished in the voting, but that will likely be revealed later on Thursday night. The other nominees for the award were former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken, and Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik.

UPDATE: Johnson finished third in voting, behind Schwartz and Macdonald:

The rest of the awards will be revealed after 9 p.m. ET. Other Lions still up for awards include both TE Sam LaPorta and RB Jahmyr Gibbs for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dan Campbell for Coach of the Year, and Frank Ragnow for Walter Payton Man of the Year.

Subscribe to PODD

After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.