Ben Johnson ‘turned off’ by Commanders’ owners, calling them ‘basketball guys’

We have finally heard from Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson regarding his opinion on the Washington Commanders after he pulled out of consideration for their head coaching job.

Or have we?

On Saturday, courtesy of Jenna Laine, who covers the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for ESPN, we’ve heard what Johnson thinks of Commanders’ ownership.

Per Laine, he believed Washington’s new owners were “basketball guys” who thought a little too highly of their “football opinions.”

Here’s Laine’s tweet:

This comes after the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo revealed some interesting info on Johnson’s interviews with the Commanders and Seahawks. According to Garafolo, Johnson didn’t do well in his first interview, which caused Washington some hesitation.

After the initial interview, per Garafolo, it caused some concern from Washington’s side, but it wanted to follow through with the second interview. Johnson famously canceled the interview with the Commanders while they were en route to Detroit to meet him.

That didn’t go over too well. Essentially, Garafolo said, Johnson withdrew from two jobs he already knew he wouldn’t get.

Truth or fiction? Who knows.

However, Laine confirmed many of the reports that Johnson did not interview well.

As far as calling Washington’s ownership group “basketball guys,” that one is interesting. New general manager Adam Peters was in on the meeting, as was former Vikings GM Rick Spielman. Sure, owner Josh Harris and minority partners Magic Johnson and David Blitzer are “basketball guys,” but they are also extremely smart businessmen who are experienced sports owners.

Here’s what we think. There is probably truth to a lot of this from both sides. Johnson hasn’t interviewed particularly well, or it would not come from so many different sources. With that being said, he was clearly Washington’s top choice. Perhaps the Commanders did move on from him and wanted him to change their minds in the second meeting to be certain of their collective decision.

How do we know it’s Washington leaking these details? Perhaps it was Seattle or even Carolina. We just don’t know. Before Ron Rivera was fired last month, nearly everyone in the media pegged Johnson to Washington. Something happened. There was too much smoke connecting the two sides.

In all likelihood, Johnson had some support from Washington’s search committee, but others, not so much. So, the Commanders’ brass wanted another interview. It never happened, as Johnson let them know via text that he was no longer interested.

Will that hurt Johnson down the road? Who knows? Turning down these types of opportunities is difficult because you may never be this hot of a candidate again. The most revealing part of this entire process was Johnson being comfortable enough to send a text to Washington brass while they were in the air and on the way to see him, only for him to say he wasn’t interested — via text. That’s a problem. And it’s a bad look.

The Commanders hired Dan Quinn on Thursday, and it’s best for everyone involved to move forward. Ultimately, it’s as simple as these two sides weren’t compatible.

Johnson will never coach in Washington.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire