What to Expect from Ben Johnson

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.

It factor:
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?

Parting thoughts:
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.


I wonder if it’s possible that Dan is like “they’re over pursuing and susceptible to blowing contain on the left side…give me a play with misdirection.” …then Ben (I refuse to call a man I respect BJ …LOL) calls a play that gives Dan what he wants?

Wondering if he’s just like an extension of Dan, and maybe gets more input as he proves he can/can’t handle play-calling?

I think they’ll be much better prepared with a lot more continuity this year. Last year, everyone was learning the playbook…this year, guys that have been in the system for a year will be able to assist guys that are just learning. Sort of a “coach on the field” aspect, rather than an “everyone’s learning from scratch” aspect. Lions have had a new coach every 3 years, with new OCs even more often than that…this dynamic will change with these lions…we’re gonna have continuity literally for the first time since Wayne Fontes had a contract extended.

Philosophy is going to cheat toward trusting the trenches, but I do feel like the aggressive play calling is part of what makes it fun for players, and I do expect us to do more trick plays than other teams, because that shows your guys you trust them…as well as keeps it fun for everyone.

Dan has enough “it factor” to compensate for a lot. They all support him so much that it trickles through the coaches into the players. Everyone is fully bought in to the energy (which is more than just a culture).

Even given the circumstances, I still would be surprised if Boyle even developed into a good backup, at this point. I like the guy, but he’s not very good at football. Hope it changes, but it’s been brutal so far.


Dan has a very interesting background coming from Payton/Parcells.

Payton was one of the best in the business and exploiting and running around teams. Parcells too was great at exploiting, but more of a power game vs the Payton finesse.

When you look at the Lions roster on offense, they have a lot of different types of players. Added speed with size this year (Jamo, Chard). Have a technician in Aman Ra, and a 50/50 guy in Cephus. For RBs, committee of guys with different builds like Ingram (williams) and Kamara (swift). OL is good in power or zone. Two good wr TEs like Grahm (Hock) and trying to find power block TEs.

With Goff, I think you can run any type of offense you want except for QB running. Goff can make any type of throw out of any type of set position or motion. This is similar to Brees.

Dying to see what this offense will look like this year with more pieces in place and presumed health. It’s good for teams to have a few trick plays ready every game, but much like home run swings, they aren’t sustainable for a season to rely on.


Please…dear Jesus…Please let this be true.
Multiple SBs if true.


Shotgun formation, empty, 5 WR’s, QB draw all day with Jack Fox at QB of course!


I’m pretty sure that the reason Campbell wanted Goff was that he watched that NFC championship from the sidelines and he watched Goff out sling Brees in the 2nd half where New Orleans has all the momentum and one of the loudest indoor crowds imaginable. Goff rose to the occasion and made a couple of late plays under duress that Brees didn’t.

Everyone talks about Goff’s poor SB where they had no kupp, gurley, or higbee and Bilichick was able to blanket Woods and Cooks because there were no other threats. They don’t talk about how Goff rose up and willed the rams to win (yes I know there was a terrible no call penalty that gave the Rams one more chance).


I think they’ll save that for when we are deep in the playoffs, man. I don’t think they want to put film out on that look just yet


No point in saving an unstoppable play!


truth to that as well.

You have to have trick plays as part of your arsenal in football, just as you need to bluff infrequently and judiciously to maximize your poker game. The rep Dan has will keep teams from overplaying what we really want to do.

I guarantee our gunners on punt coverage are going to have an easier time getting downfield this season because of the possibility of Fox throwing another dime.


Yup. Going to open a whole next level of mystery on how to defend him when he takes off once or twice too. Who the hell ever heard of a PUNTER that is indefensible?
It’s actually funny to think about.


Aside from Fox, I think Ben Johnson is the real x factor for the 2022 season. Will be interesting to see where the offense can go if they can remain relatively healthy.


That’s a good point that it’s probably mostly on DC as he called a lot of trick punts over the year.

There was some article where they said that Ben was looking for ideas from the team on plays to run and Blough showed some of his and they used them against the packers in that final game. Goff even yelled out purdue or boilermaker or something as the name of the play. The key was the execution worked on both. That wasn’t close to happening when Lynn was running the show.


I hope we become known for trick plays. We run them so much that teams start adjjusting and lining up to counter our trick plays. Then we counter their counter and have their heads reeling.


I think we will, especially in going for it on 4th down. Wait until DC pulls a fake FG in a playoff game and Fox busts out of there for a 40 yard score.

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I think, “find a way to win”, was the only philosophy they had.
Hopefully, that’s their only philosophy this season.


I think more teams are going to look for punters with a history at quarterback. There is too much versatility to be had there.

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I’ve always thought backup QBs should be holders for FGs. Can’t believe more of that isn’t being done.
on punt team, I’d love to see J-W in coverage. One on one coverage with some ST dude…and FOX as punter. LOLOLOL
7 Points…EVERY MF’N time!


Infamous self-quote.
Imagine if we found a way to get him out there and the defense didn’t notice the personnel. Super, super high percentage play.

Even if they recognize the personnel, it could force them to burn a timeout.

In theory you’re absolutely correct & that’s what teams hope for. The problem is the art of the FG hold as easy as it appears is actually quite difficult. Very few players can do it with limited reps including QB’s. Pretty much every team will try to do it w a backup QB at some point during camp & usually it fails. You have some naturals…

Usually it ends up being the punter, because while the QB is w the offense during practice. The punter is usually the one person that has ample time to get a ton of reps doing it. It’s a very high rep count needed for most to master it