The Baltimore Ravens cast a wide net for their offensive coordinator search, and they've reeled in a very interesting choice.
Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken was named as the Ravens' new offensive coordinator on Tuesday, emerging from a large pool of candidates Baltimore brought in. Monken has served as the Bulldogs' offensive play caller and QB coach since 2020, overseeing back-to-back national championships under head coach Kirby Smart.
Monken, 57, replaces Greg Roman, who resigned from his post after six years with the club and the past four as offensive coordinator.
"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."
Georgia leaned on the run game and its defense to win consecutive national titles. But Monken's work with quarterback Stetson Bennett IV, who was considered a fringe NFL prospect entering last season, can't go overlooked. Bennett stepped up in both title runs and was named a Heisman Trophy finalist despite having to walk on at the school initially and take the junior-college route before earning a starting job.
The burning question with Monken and the Ravens: What does this mean for Lamar Jackson?
Jackson is slated to hit free agency, but the Ravens have every opportunity to keep the dynamic QB with the franchise tag if a long-term extension can't be worked out. The NFL's 2019 MVP is coming off back-to-back sub-par seasons in which he missed five games to injury in both and failed to progress as a passer.
Will the Ravens suddenly open things up under Monken? Interestingly, he also has served as an NFL offensive coordinator twice -- with the Buccaneers from 2016 to 2018 and with the Browns in 2019 -- and wasn't afraid to call a pass-heavy offense then.
Working primarily with Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick in Tampa Bay, Monken's offenses ranked 16th, third and fourth, respectively, in the NFL in terms of pass attempts. The Bucs also ranked fourth and first, respectively, in passing yards in 2017 and 2018, although all three of his offenses in Tampa Bay ranked near the bottom of the NFL in interception percentage.
In his one year in Cleveland, Monken's offense was a bit more run-heavy during Baker Mayfield's first full year as a starter. Of course, Monken and then-Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens were let go after a 6-10 season that year.
Harbaugh appears to like Monken's flexibility and willingness to adapt to the talent at hand. It also doesn't hurt that Monken arrives from the college game, perhaps willing to adopt some concepts that still remain a bit foreign in the NFL.
"(Monken) has a proven track record for designing and teaching offensive systems that allow players to succeed at the highest level," Harbaugh said. "We're excited to get to work and begin building an offense that will help us compete for championships."