After nearly two dozen interviews with over a dozen candidates, the Baltimore Ravens finally hired their next offensive coordinator. Replacing Greg Roman who “stepped down” on January 19, 2023, is Todd Monken who helped the University of Georgia reach and win a back-to-back title the past two years serving in the same role.
The veteran coach is making his return to the big leagues after three years away in which he helped transform the Bulldogs into the top college program in the nation as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. His unit has been the fifth-best offense in points per game (39.8) and eighth-best in scrimmage yards per game (472.0) over the past two seasons.
During their 2022 title run, Georgia led the NCAA in total net yards (7,517), total points (616), and Monken had starting quarterback Stetson Bennett in contention for Heisman Trophy as a finalist after recording 37 combined touchdowns with 27 passing and another 10 rushing.
“Todd’s leadership and coaching acumen were evident from the beginning,” head coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “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.”
Monken has nearly a decade of NFL coaching experience with his most recent stint being as the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns in 2019 when Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb finished second only to Derrick Henry in rushing with 1,494 yards according to Pro Football Reference.
Prior to that, he served as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016 to 2018. His first stint in the NFL was as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2007 to 2010.
After that, Monken spent two years as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Oklahoma State from 2011 to 2012 and then as the head coach at Southern Miss University from 2013 to 2015.
Former Ravens WR Predicts Superbowl Run Following Hire
The hiring of Monken has been widely praised in the media and by several former Ravens players. In a response to a fan who didn’t agree with his initial take on the hire, retired three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant who spent part of the 2020 season in Baltimore doubled down with a few bold projections.
He not only believes that both quarterback Lamar Jackson and tight end Mark Andrews could be set up to have All-Pro seasons this fall but he can also foresee a potential championship run for Ravens altogether in 2023.
“I’ll argue Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews make all pro… I’ll also make an argument they’ll be playing for a chance to make it to the Super Bowl next year.. Todd Monken win wherever he go,” Bryant wrote.
Another former Ravens player that also happens to be a Georgia alum and loves the hire is retired tight end, Benjamin Watson. He had a 15-year career in the league, spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Baltimore, and “can’t wait” to see Monken’s ” ingenuity on display with the talent on this roster”.
Other media pundits as well as active and retired players also believe that Monken and the Ravens are a “perfect fit”.
Lamar Jackson’s Input was ‘Folded Into the Evaluation Process’: Report
In his statement following the hiring, Harbaugh said that the search was “a thorough process that had wide-ranging organizational involvement” which reportedly included input from franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson that was ‘folded into the evaluation process’ per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson.
In his season-ending press conference on January 19, 2023, Harbaugh vowed that the former league MVP would be “involved” in the hiring process for his next play caller.
“I’ll keep him abreast to what’s going on, and I’m sure he’ll have some input along the way, but I know his focus – like he told me – is going to be on getting himself ready and getting his guys ready for next season,” he said.
Anderson also reported that “communication from key players was welcomed” during the hiring process as well.
Monken’s extensive and diverse background on the offensive side of the ball emphasizing the importance of both a strong running game and an explosive passing attack makes him an ideal successor for Roman.
As the team looks to shift its philosophy on offense from being more run-dominant to more of a balanced approach with the rushing attack still at the core, this is the first major step in the right direction. Next up is providing both Monken and Jackson with the requisite weapons at wide receiver to aid in the offensive evolution and ascension.