As he builds a new offensive recipe, Todd Monken is excited about the Ravens' ingredients.
The new offensive coordinator met with the media on Wednesday as the early stage of offseason activities continued. Since Monken arrived, the Ravens have signed Lamar Jackson to a five-year extension, drafted wide receiver Zay Flowers and signed wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor.
Those moves have made Monken a happy man.
"You're paid to move the football and score, and that's a lot easier with talented players," Monken said. "As I always say, 'Cookies take better with sugar than they do with vinegar.' So, you surround yourself with sugar."
Ravens players already have their Monken playbook. Though he's not in attendance at football school, Lamar Jackson said "from what I've seen, it looks different. I'm liking it so far." Wide receiver Devin Duvernay, who is coming back from last year's foot injury, likes what he sees too.
"It's been great," Duvernay said. "Learning from him [Monken], hearing him talk, [him] leading us, it's been great. I think this year will be big for a lot of us, and yes, we're all excited about the offense."
As more players arrive for workouts during the coming weeks, plans for the offense will take shape even more. Monken said the players who were in town were benefiting from the time together, as were the coaches. Building out the offense is a gradual process that will continue throughout the spring and summer.
"It's early because we've only really been on the field now [for] a week and a half, so we're just in the infant stages of doing some of that," Monken said. "In terms of the installs, game dictates tempo, players dictate tempo. So, as we move forward, we'll have a better idea in terms of where that presents itself for us.
"We're excited about the guys that are here, and I know they're working hard. It is voluntary, but we're excited about the guys that are here. I do think that we'll be able to get those guys here hopefully in a short amount of time, but until that happens, we'll get up to speed with the guys we have."
Monken has been an NFL offensive coordinator with the Browns and Buccaneers, but after spending the past three seasons at Georgia, he is making a transition back to the NFL.
"It's always a little more challenging," Monken said. "It was when I left the NFL and went to Georgia. Trying to assess the difference in levels. It's the same coming back."
The Ravens held rookie minicamp last weekend, giving Monken the opportunity to introduce Flowers to the offense. Flowers' ability to run after the catch fits Monken's vision of having an offense where playmakers have the space to pop big plays.
"Whenever you acquire talent, I think that's what you're always trying to do," Monken said. "Where can put those players in the best position to showcase their talent? A space player like Zay, you have to be creative in ways to get him the ball and showcase that."
During his career, Monken hasn't been wed to just one style of offense. As the offensive coordinator at Georgia last year, Monken's passing attack ran through tight end Brock Bowers, the leading receiver with 63 catches for 942 yards and seven touchdowns.