Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson optimistic during training camp
Ben Johnson opened training camp statement giving acknowledgement for significant others of players and coaches. Coach Johnson had his third child one month ago and recognizes how difficult it must be for his wife at home with the three children. He even gave her a special message, “I promise you’ll eventually sleep through the night.” Coach Johnson responded with, “We’re a lot quicker getting to those solutions than what we were, so we have made a step forward and that’s really with the vets. The young guys are drinking through a water hose right now, which is a good thing” when asked if the offense has hit the ground running now that a foundation has been built this year. “As we get going, our volume will increase, the more that will go up and the guys that end up making our team are the guys that can handle that, handle the volume and deal with it, so it’s good.”
Youngsters, Sam LaPorta a young tight end has gotten the coaching staff excited for what’s to come. “He’s proven that over the course of springtime and the work that he’s put in he will contribute right away. We’re encouraged with where he’s going, but he’s still making mistakes, but he’s also still learning, we are putting a lot of pressure on him to pick it up. I think we're headed in the right-direction.”
The Detroit Lions put together a rigorous offseason program and Ben Johnson acknowledged it was all about the players. “It’s not about me and it never has been. I think it’s a player’s game. They’re going out there playing whether they like me or not. That’s the mindset we take as a coaching staff each and every day. It doesn’t matter who is the coordinator, who’s the play-caller, who the position coaches are, we’re here to make them the best players that they can possibly make this organization win as many games as we possibly can.”
Coach Johnson can see the growth in Lions wide receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown and how motivated he is coming into camp, “He doesn’t need any more chips on his shoulder.” He acknowledged St. Brown has a great understanding of where he needs to be, when the ball’s going to be there, and how to translate to a live game.
Going into late camp and into preseason games, Coach Johnson admitted levels of improvement still left. “From a preparation standpoint, being more efficient. I’m hoping to be a lot more efficient and our coaches as well.” The Lions have embraced the high expectations and reiterated, “I’ve always had high expectations of myself. It didn’t matter what position I was in, it was business as usual. Ben Johnson is well aware that he has been rated by Pro Football Focus as the best offensive coordinator in the league, “QB coach, Mark Brunell sent it to me.” In typical Coach Johnson fashion, his last words circled back to a gratitude of having the opportunity of getting better, “It’s nice to be back on the grass and how the players are jacked-up and ready to go.”