Todd Monken Explains Why He Took Ravens Job

OC Todd Monken

Todd Monken could have stayed at Georgia and was reportedly targeted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On Tuesday, one of the most highly sought after offensive coordinators explained why he chose to come to Baltimore.

Monken said he had a desire to go against "the best in the world," a nod to wanting to get back into the NFL after spending the past three years at the University of Georgia.

His time at Georgia worked out so well, however, that Monken wanted a "parallel" situation in the NFL.

"Part of the reason I went to Georgia – one of the main reasons – was because of culture; head coach, winning, really good on defense, obviously trying to find a way to do it better on offense," Monken said. "So, I thought that was a parallel that I thought fit me."

At Georgia, Monken worked for head coach Kirby Smart, who has a defensive background. The Bulldogs had a defense loaded with first-round picks that dominated the opposition. When Monken arrived, he built an offense that averaged nearly 40 points per game the past two seasons.

That pairing of a potent offense with an already dominant defense produced back-to-back national championships. The hope will be to do the same in Baltimore.

The Ravens finished last season ranked third in the NFL in points allowed per game (18.5), but 19th in points scored per game (20.6). With a defense that's returning many of its main pieces from a year ago, the expectation will be to have top units on both sides of the ball.

Monken said he took the job "irrespective of who was or wasn't going to be on the roster." He said he had not spoken to Lamar Jackson, or any player, yet.

Asked specifically about what he was told about Jackson's future with the team, Monken said General Manager Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh will take care of business with the team's players.

"Sure, any player that's part of a roster where you're going into, you have an interest in what the roster's going to look like," Monken said. "But ultimately, I wanted to be someplace where structure, organization, great on defense from top to bottom. Everybody I talked to said, 'You want to be a Baltimore Raven. You want to be a part of that organization moving forward.'"

Harbaugh revealed that the process of hiring Monken first started with a phone call from his sister, Joani, who suggested that he reach out. Her husband, Tom Crean, was the head men's basketball coach at Georgia the past several years and they had become friends with Monken and his wife, Terri.

"That really got me thinking in that direction," Harbaugh said. "Then just talking ball, and [it was clear] how really great, how extensive his knowledge is, how broad his knowledge is, how adaptable he is, how versatile he is in terms of what he's able to do with his X's and O's and his scheme stuff."

Monken said he got way too much credit for the offensive success Georgia had and expressed how grateful he was to Smart and the other coaches he worked with there.

"That was a great job, and it was hard [to leave]," he said. "You get close to the players, but you can't be two places at once and this is what's next."

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