Ben Johnson responds to ‘false narratives’ reported during head coach search…

Following the announcement that the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator would be staying with the team—despite being considered a top candidate for the Washington Commanders head coach position—Ben Johnson’s name was heavily discussed in the media.

The controversy began even earlier when, in December, reports surfaced that Johnson was seeking a salary of $15 million per year if hired as a head coach, a claim his agent denied publicly. After Johnson decided to stay with the Lions, Adam Schefter reignited the narrative, leading to a slew of criticisms. Albert Breer claimed Johnson had a poor interview, while Mike Garafolo criticized his character, describing him as “not the most gregarious guy.”

Last week, Johnson had his first chance to address these criticisms. Although he mostly remained diplomatic, he did label some reports as inaccurate.

“In my opinion, there were some false narratives out there, which started toward the end of last year before I decided to withdraw,” Johnson said, clearly referring to the salary rumors.

Hearing such public criticisms isn’t easy, but Johnson attributes his resilience to a strong support system and his own understanding of the truth.

“That’s part of life in the NFL, so it doesn’t affect me,” Johnson stated. “I do feel for the people around me. I hate that my family might read things that aren’t true, but they handled it really well. I sleep well at night knowing what really happened and why. Those closest to me know who I am and what I’m about. So, it’s all good.”

When asked if he wanted to correct any of the false narratives, Johnson declined, showing confidence in the truth. Regarding his future as a head coach, he emphasized that he will be very selective about leaving the Lions.

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