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Ravens OC Todd Monken wants to exploit skill sets, sees QB Lamar Jackson as an 'underrated' passer

The Baltimore Ravens hired offensive coordinator Todd Monken to jumpstart a passing offense that hasn't gotten off the ground in recent seasons.

Speaking Tuesday at his introductory press conference, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and Georgia Bulldogs OC said his philosophy revolves around getting the most out of the player's skill sets.

"Players dictate style of play," Monken said. "They do. Players around the quarterback dictate the style of play. There's no way around it… When I was in Tampa, we had really good receivers … and we had quarterbacks that loved to throw it -- sometimes to the other team, but they liked to throw it. But the reality is we were much better throwing it. So that's where you play to -- the strengths of who you have."

For years under Greg Roman, the Ravens' strength lied in the ground game. Baltimore was great at it -- with Lamar Jackson under center. The passing game, on the other hand, struggled mightily. Following the Marquise Brown trade and Rashod Bateman's foot injury in 2022, the receiver corps was gutted. At times it was Mark Andrews or bust.

This offseason, the hope is Baltimore upgrades the pass-catching unit. But Monken made no grand pronouncements about the brand of football he intends to employ.

"To me, balance isn't run-pass," he said. "Balance is make them cover all five of your guys, make them defend the field, make them defend the depth of the field."

The biggest question in Baltimore is the future of Jackson, who is likely to be franchise-tagged before the March 7 deadline. Monken glowed about what separates the former NFL MVP from other quarterbacks.

"Elite. You know, he's got an elite skill set," he said of Jackson. "It's obvious when you watch him on film. The things he can do with a football and the plays that he makes. I think he's underrated as a passer, I think so, in terms of his ability to make plays and throw it down the field. You've all seen it. I'm like you. I'm no different than you. I watch what you guys watch, and it's pretty amazing."

If the Ravens invest in an upgraded receiver corps, we might see more of that underrated passing from Jackson in 2023 in Monken's offense.

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