Todd Monken Gives Surprising Verdict on New-Look Ravens Offense

Lamar Jackson

Getty Lamar Jackson and the new-look Baltimore Ravens' offense has a lot of work to do at training camp, based on coordinator Todd Monken's verdict.

Todd Monken’s arrival is supposed to ensure the Baltimore Ravens have a more potent offense in 2023. That’s the theory anyway, but the new coordinator isn’t impressed by what he’s seen at training camp, despite several high-profile additions, including wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers.

Monken delivered this damning verdict on his unit after practice on Thursday, August 3, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic: “We’re not really good right now. We have a long way to go.”

Monken’s words could be read as classic coach speak, an attempt to motivate his players and raise standards through some negative reinforcement. Yet, it’s still somewhat surprising, not to mention disappointing, the Ravens aren’t further along offensively.

Especially given all of the new faces, some of whom have already earned rave reviews this offseason.

Ravens Have Everything They Need to Be Better

Signing Beckham and fellow former first-round draft pick Nelson Agholor in free agency was a strong start to the Ravens getting better at wideout. Things looked more positive when the franchise doubled down by using the 22nd pick in the 2023 NFL draft to select Flowers.

Combining OBJ, Agholor and Flowers with skilled holdovers like tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely, mean Monken has everything he needs to improve Baltimore’s passing attack.

Flowers and Beckham have already made positive impressions. The latter caught this touchdown from Lamar Jackson on July 29.

This is the rapport the Ravens hope develops between Jackson and de facto No. 1 receiver Beckham. Yet, Flowers could claim that role all for himself during his first year.

The ex-Boston College is receiving plaudits for the way he’s performing at camp. Among the receiver’s fans, NBC Sports’ Peter King called Flowers “the most impressive rookie I have seen in six camps.”


With Flowers and Beckham catching the eye, Baltimore’s improvement through the air should be inevitable. A more explosive offense ought to be obvious during camp, but Monken’s assessment reveals a different story.

Perhaps the growing pains are the result of one problem that’s a holdover from 2022.

Stretching the Field Should Be Monken’s Priority

Jackson has more talented targets to aim for this season, but the newcomers will count for naught unless the Ravens produce more big plays through the air. Greg Roman’s run-heavy offense mustered just 33 completions of 20-plus yards last season, second-fewest ahead of only the New York Giants.

A small-ball passing game won’t suit Flowers, OBJ nor Agholor, yet that’s how the Ravens have been operating at camp. Zrebiec noted how “most of (the) completions were underneath” during the session on Wednesday, August 2.

There was a similar assessment of the depth and range of Jackson’s passes by The Baltimore Banner’s Jonas Shaffer: “He missed only one throw in his first few periods, though the bulk of his passes have been quick hitters.”

Quick throws usually mean short throws, but that’s not what Monken was hired to manufacture. Instead, he needs to design more expansive concepts.

It would help to have more vertical playmakers available among Jackson’s supporting cast, including a deep threat like Rashod Bateman. The latter is sidelined with a foot injury, but Monken doesn’t believe Bateman’s absence, along with running back J.K. Dobbins not participating at camp, should determine the current progress of his offense, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Monken knows he has enough core talent available to get his unit up to speed in a more daring and imaginative scheme. He’ll also know it’s still early days, so hopefully the Ravens’ offense will look a lot more like what’s expected as camp progresses.

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