Lions OC Ben Johnson was reportedly ‘turned off’ by Commanders ‘basketball guys’

For the second consecutive year, Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was regarded as a hot commodity on the NFL head-coaching market but came up empty. The Washington Commanders were frequently linked to Johnson, but did the Lions coach take issue with some members of the franchise?

Johnson was “turned off” by Washington’s ownership group for being “basketball guys,” considering them too confident in their football judgment, ESPN reported Saturday.

The Commanders recently concluded their first season with Josh Harris as owner, going 4-13. Additionally, Harris is a co-owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

Washington was the last team to fill its head-coaching vacancy, which was created when Ron Rivera was fired after four seasons at the helm (26-40-1 in the regular season, 0-1 in the postseason). The Commanders hired former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator and Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn.

Johnson, 37, now returns to the Lions for a sixth season, including his third as offensive coordinator under head coach Dan Campbell. The now-offensive coordinator was an offensive quality control coach (2019), tight ends coach (2020-21) and passing game coordinator (2021) for Detroit before getting the full-time playcalling nod in 2022.

Prior to joining the Lions, Johnson was an offensive assistant for the Miami Dolphins from 2012-18; Johnson and Campbell were on the same coaching staff in Miami from 2012-15.

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