Texans interviewing Lions OC Ben Johnson today

The Texans are interviewing one of the top offensive minds in the NFL today.

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson interviews with the AFC South franchise today in advance of an interview with the Indianapolis Colts on Friday and the Carolina Panthers next week, according to a league source.

Johnson has engineered a turnaround of the Lions offense and quarterback Jared Goff as they rank fifth in scoring offense in his first season as offensive coordinator after being promoted from tight ends coach. The former North Carolina walk-on quarterback, a former college teammate of Texans personnel director Ronnie McGill, has previous stints with the Miami Dolphins and Boston College. He worked in Detroit with Texans director of team development Dylan Thompson

“I think a ton of Ben,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said during a press conference. “I’ve said it before, I just think he’s extremely bright. He’s creative, he’s organized, he’s a great communicator. I mean he’s got it, and I would do anything I can to help him. That’s the bottom line. Of course, I don’t want to lose him, but I’m not going to hold him back either. I would help him any way I can help him.”

Former Broncos coach Vic Fangio could be in play as a defensive boss if Johnson, who has done a commendable job with quarterback Jared Goff, was the choice as a potential successor to Smith.

The Texans, who fired coach Lovie Smith after a 3-13-1 season, interview Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen on Friday and also have interviews next week with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, who interviewed twice last week, New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero in addition to requesting San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.

Johnson could make an impact on an offense that includes Pro Bowl alternate running back Dameon Pierce, Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil, right tackle Tytus Howard along with the second overall and No. 12 overall picks of the first round

“Johnson is impressive, very sharp,” a source said. “He’s done a very nice job with that offense.”

Johnson came to Detroit in 2019, as an offensive quality control coach, and was heavily involved in the passing game. He has worked with Campbell previously with the Dolphins.

“I think Ben’s a rock star, man,” Campbell said. “He’s a young guy, but he’s kind of gone a little longer, harder road to get to where he’s at. He’s been around some really good coaches, now, some guys who have coached some pretty good quarterbacks. He understands quarterback play well.”

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

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