A new report on how the Washington Commanders landed on Dan Quinn as their new head coach revealed some shocking levels of disrespect from Ben Johnson toward the franchise during his interview process.
Early in January, there were eight head coach openings around the NFL. However, by the end of the month the Washington Commanders surprisingly still had not filled the position while most organizations had finished their searches for a new head coach. Many assumed they were patient because they were waiting to have in-person meetings with popular candidate Ben Johnson, the current offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.
Yet, after meeting with the team, Johnson surprisingly took his name out of the running for the job. In the days after talks broke down and the organization chose to make Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn their new head coach some surprising details came out about the conversation the Commanders had with Johnson.
Ben Johnson texted Washington Commanders about removing himself from their head coach search
First came a report with both sides bad-mouthing the other. People inside the Commanders claimed Johnson had a poor interview and it cooled their interest in the offensive guru. The coach’s reps then countered by claiming overconfidence from the new front office regime filled with “basketball guys” turned him off to the job.
Well, on Monday an all-new report on the process added more layers to an unfavorable reputation Johnson is developing when it comes to interviewing for head coach jobs.
According to The Athletic NFL insiders Ben Standig and Dianna Russini, the Washington Commanders front office was high on the coordinator and he was indeed a top candidate. A contingent from the team had set up to meet with him in Michigan and was already in flight when Johnson and his agent shockingly alerted officials to the fact he was no longer interested in the job.
Making the matter all the worse is that he allegedly let the Commanders’ brass know via text.
Johnson was reportedly close to also landing the Carolina Panthers head coach job last year. However, he also surprisingly pulled out of that position — which he was also a favorite to land — to instead stick around with the Lions after getting a notable pay increase from the team.
It will be interesting to see how his handling of these two situations affects how teams around the league view him when the next round of head coach openings becomes available.