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Carolina Panthers coaching candidate will not interview

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson informed several NFL teams he would be no longer be interviewing for head coaching vacancies

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was reportedly the "leading candidate" for the Carolina Panthers head coaching opening.

Owner David Tepper was said to be "enamored" with the 36-year-old assistant.

On Tuesday night Johnson told the Panthers, and several other interested teams, he was staying in Detroit, according to a league source.

The source confirmed that Johnson wants to remain with the Lions to continue building off the team's step forward this season.

In just one season calling plays in Detroit, Johnson helped the Lions to an offensive renaissance in 2022.

The team finished fifth in the NFL in points scored, 11th in rushing yards and 8th in passing yards.

Veteran quarterback Jared Goff, an afterthought after being traded away by the LA Rams, enjoyed his highest-rated season since 2018.

Carolina still has a list of candidates nearing the double digits.

And with news breaking Monday that Tepper would interview former Saints coach Sean Payton on Friday, the search still has star power.

Carolina has already conducted interviews with its interim coach Steve Wilks, former NFL head coaches Jim Caldwell and Frank Reich, and Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen.

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