Everyone is talking Goff, but I want to know more about Ben Johnson and what we can expect from him this season.
One thing was clear when BJ took over. The offense was more prepared than with Lynn. More explosive. Lynn may have been absent, treating OC as more like HC and delegate from too far away. Simply having Ben in the room with the guys to have cohesion may account for much of the improvement. He also prepared fun trick plays to run against overly aggressive defenses that were absent in the first half. This is the #1 thing that got him the job
While DC was calling the plays, BJ had to be a part of picking the plays that they would have in their overall and weekly planning. Having those trick plays in against Green Bay was brilliant, but is it indicative of what we can expect moving forward? Trick plays are good once in a while, but have a higher failure rate and can’t sustain a season. Does BJ know this? What kinds of plays does he want to run? Was getting a few deep threats key to running plays he couldn’t when Raymond was the fastest guy the Lions have?
In the first half the Lions were clearly pound and dink under Lynn. With Johnson, it seemed the middle area became the focus. Once again, hard to judge with all the injuries.
Does Ben want to do ground game to set up the deep pass? Spread it out like New Orleans?
I didn’t see any kind of obvious philosophy in the Lions last ~6 games. It seemed like they were just executing better as one team. Would love baldinger like insights on what the Lions were trying to do in those 6 games.
Does Ben have the IT factor? Beating the Packers was awesome. They were trying, even if their 2nd string was in the 2nd half. Throttling the falling Cardinals was also a terrific job. Coming back against the Vikings showed grit. None of those had anything important riding on them except to build towards this season.
It’s time to find out how BJ performs when the season matters. Can he rise to the occasion? Can he get the team hard and ready?
I think it’s also an important note about the difficulties in running the offense, especially with a QB that is not familiar. For all those calling for a Rookie QB or new backups, it takes time for an offense to get on the same page and be able to execute timing routes.
This thread is a good reminder of the difficulties a QB has.
Boyle had a year in the system and years in the NFL and still struggled with a 4th quarter man/zone play. Maybe Boyle is not and will never be a good backup, but getting a guy off the street is hard. Even a guy like Baker would struggle to adapt. Ben would have the recreate the offensive philosophy around what Baker does well and get all the players to execute to him.