2023 NFL Coaching Tracker: Latest News, Rumors and Buzz

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Lions OC Ben Johnson Staying Put

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has informed teams he intends to stay on in Detroit, NFL Media reported. Johnson had become one of the most sought-after coaches of the 2023 hiring cycle, but he wants to return to the Lions and see through what coach Dan Campbell and company are building.

Johnson was scheduled to interview with the Carolina Panthers Wednesday for their head coaching vacancy, though it appears the Panthers will need to move on to other options.

The Lions’ offense dramatically improved under Johnson’s direction. After finishing 25th in scoring in 2021, Johnson took over and revamped the team’s scheme, resulting in a jump to sixth overall in scoring in 2022.

Chargers Fire Offensive Coordinator

The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and passing game coordinator Shane Day on Tuesday, the team announced. This comes after the Chargers lost 31-30 to the Jaguars on Saturday night, and the team blew a 27-point lead.

“If I am an offensive coordinator, and I’m up for this job, you’ve gotta be salivating,” former NFL quarterback and The 33rd Team analyst Matt Cassel said. “I mean you look at the weapons they have (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler). Then, you have Justin Herbert, one of the best quarterbacks in the game right now, you’ve gotta be excited. With talent like that, you know if you can put together a good scheme and play to these player’s strengths you’ll be successful.”

Lombardi’s offense averaged 23.4 points per game this season, which was good for 12th in the NFL. However, Lombardi’s passing game concepts were frequently criticized as quarterback Justin Herbert finished the 2022 season with an average depth of target of just 6.9 yards.

There were rumors head coach Brandon Staley was on the hot seat after the Chargers’ playoff collapse, but clearly, the team is willing to give him a third season.

Browns Hire New Defensive Coordinator

The Browns are hiring Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator, NFL Media reported.

Schwartz has spent the past two seasons working as a senior defensive assistant with the Titans under coach Mike Vrabel. He has 14 years of experience as a defensive coordinator, including stints with the Titans and Eagles. He was also the Lions’ head coach from 2009 to 2013.

Schwartz is taking over for Joe Woods, who was fired at the end of the 2022 season. Schwartz will look to improve a unit that finished 20th in points per game allowed in 2022 but has talented, young players like Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward.

Colts Request Interview with Quinn

The Colts hope to add Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to their list of candidates interviewing to be Indianapolis’ new head coach, ESPN reported. Quinn is a former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, compiling a career record of 46-44. He also led the team to Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Falcons would eventually fall to New England.

Quinn is scheduled to interview with the Texans Friday for their head coaching vacancy.

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