Carolina Panthers must not panic if Ben Johnson pursuit falls short

The comptition for Ben Johnson is fierce.

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper must not panic if they miss out on appointing Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson as their next head coach.

Ben Johnson has long been connected to the Carolina Panthers. This was the man team owner David Tepper wanted to succeed Matt Rhule long-term. When the offensive coordinator opted to remain with the Detroit Lions, it caused a panicked shift in direction that eventually led to Frank Reich.

This failed miserably. Therefore, the Panthers cannot be caught short if their quest for Johnson fails.

Carolina Panthers must prepare for every Ben Johnson eventuality

He's a hot commodity around the league. There are multiple interview requests for him to ponder. Although Tepper's dwindling reputation has the scope to damage Carolina's chances of getting their guy, Dianna Russini from The Athletic recently reported that the interest could be mutual heading into their critical meeting next week via The Bleacher Report.

"Owner David Tepper is going to try again for Ben Johnson, according to a league source. The play-caller is open to the job and will also be meeting with other teams that are expected to show interest, the source said. There's a sense around the league that general manager Scott Fitterer may help with some of the transition but still may not be safe in his job. Carolina could be starting anew."

Dianna Russini via Bleacher Report

There was some real momentum behind the Panthers potentially securing Johnson's services just a few short days ago. Now, it seems as if the tide might be turning.

Carolina Panthers
Ben Johnson / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Russini revealed that the Washington Commanders have also identified Johnson as their No. 1 target. Josh Harris and his hiring committee will leave no stone unturned before concluding, but the senior insider was hearing from sources that the progressive play-caller is atop the team's list of options right now.

This means the Panthers have a fight on their hands where Johnson is concerned. It shouldn't surprise Tepper or the consultancy firm he hired to assist during the process. It also indicates the significant need to form a contingency plan or two in the event the respected coach takes his chances elsewhere.

The Panthers cannot panic. Tepper must remain composed, stay the course, and make decisions that lack the impulse normally associated with his ownership. These rash moves have transformed Carolina from a respectable franchise to a complete joke.

This is not the Washington of old, either. Dan Snyder is gone, replaced by an ambitious ownership group eager to wake a sleeping giant. They also pulled off a coup by making Adam Peters their new head of football operations. Something that won't be going unnoticed by Johnson or other prospective head coaching candidates.

Everything should become clearer in the coming days. Johnson's primary focus has been getting ready for Detroit's home playoff clash - their first for 30 years - against the Los Angeles Rams this evening. After that, he'll spend time speaking to other teams about their vacancies whether the Lions reach the next round or not.

Tepper's pitch must have conviction. There needs to be a humbleness to his approach. Everyone knows he's got the financial means to outbid almost everybody, but money alone isn't enough.

Remaining calm is key. There are plenty of exceptional consolation prizes during this cycle. But as we all know, Tepper is a man who stops at nothing to get what he wants. In this case, it's Johnson.

Even if this one might be out of his control.