The Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday that they’ve hired former University of Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken for the same position. Monken will replace Greg Roman, who had served as Baltimore’s offensive play-caller since 2019. After winning collegiate championships in back-to-back seasons, Monken’s next task will be elevating Lamar Jackson back to MVP status — provided he’s still the Ravens’ quarterback in 2023.
Ravens Hire Todd Monken as Offensive Coordinator
Monken’s success at Georgia, where’d he been the OC and quarterbacks coach under Kirby Smart since 2020, led to renewed interest at the NFL level. In addition to the Ravens, Monken also interviewed with the Buccaneers, for whom he’d previously worked for from 2016-18.
Baltimore conducted an exhaustive search to replace Roman before deciding on Monken. Vikings tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Bobby Engram, and former Broncos offensive coordinator Justin Outten were among those who received two interviews with Baltimore.
“We conducted 21 interviews with 14 candidates throughout a thorough process that had wide-ranging organizational involvement,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement.
“Todd’s leadership and coaching acumen were evident from the beginning. He has a proven track record for designing and teaching offensive systems that allow players to succeed at the highest level. We’re excited to get to work and begin building an offense that will help us compete for championships.”
Most of Monken’s career history has come at the college level, where he spent time with Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State, and LSU before accepting the head coaching position at Southern Miss in 2013.
Monken was the Jaguars’ wide receivers coach from 2007-10 before joining the Buccaneers’ staff in 2016. Although he held the offensive coordinator title for the duration of his time in Tampa Bay, he didn’t call plays until the 2018 campaign.
That year, Monken took over an offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston and gained the third-most yards in the NFL. The Bucs ranked first in passing yardage per game, although they weren’t as effective in scoring (12th) or efficiency (12th).
Monken was not retained after Bruce Arians was hired as Tampa Bay’s new head coach in 2019. He joined the Browns as OC, but head coach Freddie Kitchens called the offensive plays. Monken was never on the same page with Kitchens and reportedly called the situation in Cleveland a “total mess.”
Over his final two seasons at Georgia, the Bulldogs ranked fifth in the nation in points per game (39.8). Last year, Georgia led the country in total net yards (7,517), while quarterback Stetson Bennett was a Heisman Trophy finalist after scoring 37 total touchdowns.
Will Monken Get To Coach Lamar Jackson?
The opportunity to work with a quarterback like Jackson was likely a major selling point as the Ravens searched for a new offensive coordinator, but it’s not a guarantee that Lamar will be back in Baltimore next season.
A pending free agent, Jackson won’t actually reach the open market, as the Ravens will use the franchise tag to keep him under contractual control. However, Baltimore could use the non-exclusive tender, allowing other teams to negotiate a deal with Jackson. Even if Baltimore deploys the exclusive tag, they might be open to a tag-and-trade.
Provided Jackson is still on the roster, Monken will be tasked with developing an offense that can get him back to his 2019 MVP form. Jackson has struggled with injuries in recent seasons, but Baltimore’s offense has also been stagnant when he’s been on the field. Roman is arguably the NFL’s best run game designer, but his passing concepts often leave much to be desired.
Monken’s best path is to retain most of Roman’s rushing attack while revamping the Ravens’ passing game. Receiver spacing has been an issue in Baltimore, but Monken has demonstrated the ability to give his quarterbacks clean looks and open pass catchers.
The Ravens have regularly featured more heavy personnel than any team in the league. If that changes under Monken, Baltimore will have to target receiver help, either in free agency or the draft. If the season began today, the Ravens’ top two wideouts would be Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, both of whom ended the 2022 campaign on injured reserve.