4. Ben Johnson, Offensive Coordinator, Detroit Lions
Maybe the top head coaching candidate in all of the league is going to be Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Even last year, Johnson was looked at as a top candidate. But, he opted to stay in Detroit because he believed in what they were doing. As it turns out, he was right. The Lions ended the year as the no. 3 seed in the NFC.
Johnson's offense has been one of the most successful around the league, this year, too. The Lions scored at least 22 points in 11 of 17 games this year and topped 30 points in nine of those games. They ended the year as the league's no. 5 scoring offense, no. 2 in passing and no. 5 in rushing.
Watching Jared Goff take flight under Johnson has been a breath of fresh air for Lions fans, too, who once thought Goff would be a bridge quarterback instead of a long-term solution under center. Johnson has led a well-balanced attack this year, using multiple running backs and utilizing several weapons in the passing game, including the breakout from rookie tight end Sam LaPorta.
Hey, maybe this guy knows tight end talent when he sees it. Do we think he could get the ball in the hands of Kyle Pitts a bit more? I'd venture to guess so.