Dan Campbell offers up some wild criteria for OC Ben Johnson to call plays

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell still hasn’t decided who will be the primary offensive playcaller this coming season. Campbell took over the duties last season when coordinator Anthony Lynn was dumped, and the offense perked up significantly. But new offensive coordinator Ben Johnson played a key role in the stronger finish, and he’s a viable candidate to call the plays too.

The issue came up in Thursday’s media session prior to the OTA session. Based on Campbell’s answer, it’s unlikely we will know the answer for at least a couple more months.

Campbell noted that right now he’s focused more on the entire team, not just the offense. He hasn’t made up his mind yet on if he or Johnson will call the plays during the regular season.

“To be honest with you, I think it will be hard to make that decision until the season’s almost here,” Campbell said. “I’m just going to let it go as it goes and I want to be able to coach the team right now and let him handle the offense. That way, I can keep my eyes on the players and what we’re doing on offense, defense and special teams. So, that’s what I’m trying to focus on right now and we’ll just kind of take it as it comes.”

When asked a follow-up question, Campbell lightened the mood with a wild hypothetical situation in which he would cede all playcalling to Johnson.

“I would say this, the first preseason game, if we put up 85 points, I’m going to name him right there. I’m going to walk off the field – 84 (points) might do it too.”

It was (obviously) said in jest, but there is some truth behind the head coach’s thought process there. If Johnson proves a runaway success in preseason, it makes the playcalling decision that much easier for Campbell.