New Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson explains the areas the offense must improve upon in 2022.
The Detroit Lions‘ coaching staff has been fairly candid regarding the struggles of the offense.
During head coach Dan Campbell’s first season at the helm in Motown in 2021, the Lions’ offense struggled to execute explosive plays consistently.
Detroit was also among the worst in the league on third-down conversions and in turning trips in the red zone into touchdowns.
“We were terrible, just terrible, frankly,” new Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson told reporters at the NFL combine.
Detroit converted just 34.7% on third down, which tied for 32nd in the NFL.
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In the red zone, Campbell’s offense finished 31st, with only the New York Giants ranking below the Lions at scoring touchdowns after entering the red zone.
“When you look at our overall run efficiency, we were over 50%. When we got in the red zone, that dropped down under 40%. I’m not even talking about in the tight red zone. In the tight red, you know the safeties are going to get up there tighter, and you have to be creative in terms of how you account for them,” Johnson said. “I’m talking about really the 20 to the 12, we were closer to 24% efficient, which is staggering how much that dropped.”
Johnson continued, “That was another thing that we brought up: How many times did we really throw it outside the numbers when we got down there tight? It was probably below league average. That’s something we need to look at and need to continue to explore.”
Detroit’s coaching staff is well aware that adding a deep threat to the wide receivers room would also take the offense to the next level.
“We feel like we attack the middle of the field really well,” Johnson said. “The more we can expand both vertically and horizontally, outside the numbers and deep down the field, that’s going to make those guys on the inside that much more dangerous.”
original source: Detroit Lions Ben Johnson shares at NFL combine how to fix offense – Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions News, Analysis and More