Ben Johnson recently got a play idea from an official (and Johnson apparently plans to use it)

The smartest coaches don't devise all of their own plays. The smartest coaches are smart enough to know when to lift a play from someone else.

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson spoke Saturday about a play he was recently given by an official.

“I think we were practicing against Jacksonville a couple weeks ago, and it’s a special teams period,” Johnson said, via Jeremy Reisman of “And one of the officials walked up to me, and I still have the diagram in my office. It’s a piece [of paper]. He’s got 11 guys written up, and he literally took the entire special teams period — it was over five minutes — talking about how this play would work out.”

Johnson declined to describe the play, since he apparently plans to use it.

“It’s a good idea," Johnson said. "It’s a little bit out of the box. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it happen before. . . . I’ll let you guys [know if I use it]. I’ve got to give credit where it’s due."

The official should get more than credit. And he should think twice about just giving away good plays. And Johnson should hope the official in question won't be telling any of Detroit's opponents about the play.

Frankly, if I were a coach of a team on the Lions' schedule this year, I'd try to figure out which officials were working that practice. I'd then try to find out more about that play.

Which probably is reason enough for 345 to tell the officials they probably shouldn't be drawing up plays and sharing them with teams. In this environment of legalized gambling, the NFL already has more than enough that it could or should be worrying about when it comes to game officials.