Todd Monken: Lamar Jackson’s elite skillset is obvious on film

The Ravens have hired Todd Monken to be their new offensive coordinator, formally introducing him with a press conference on Tuesday.

While Lamar Jackson’s future with the franchise is in question with him currently set to become an unrestricted free agent next month, Monken was asked about the quarterback during the session. As one would expect, Monken had plenty of positive things to say.

“He’s got an elite skillset. It’s obvious when you watch it on film,” Monken said. “I mean, the things he can do with the 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.

“So, you’ve all seen it. I mean, I’m like you, I’m no different than you — I watch what you guys watch. And it’s pretty amazing.”

Given Jackson’s status, Monken was asked if the uncertainty with Jackson gave him any pause when considering the job. Monken said he has full trust in General Manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh when it comes to those kinds of roster decisions.

“They’re going to take care of anything that has to do with any player, not just Lamar,” Monken said. “Sure, any player that’s part of a roster you’re going into, you have an interest of what the roster is going to look like. But ultimately, I want to be someplace where structure, organization, great on defense from top to bottom. And everyone I talked to said you want to be a Baltimore Raven. You want to be a part of that organization moving forward.”

As for Jackson learning Monken’s scheme, the offensive coordinator admitted Jackson will be behind if he chooses to not attend offseason workouts. If Jackson is franchise tagged but doesn’t sign the tender, he wouldn’t be under contract and therefore would not be subject to fines even if he missed practices into training camp.

“I’m sure he’ll be behind but it’s still just football,” Monken said. “I think sometimes we make this out to be way too much. It’s just football. I don’t know when he started, maybe five years old with the purple pounders in Miami or something. I mean, it’s football. We’ll cater to what he knows and play.

“But, I mean, it’s like any player — any player is like that to where the more time you spend with them, the more comfortable they get with any system or relationship, that’s part of it. And there’s a big part of that relationship from a quarterback, coordinator, play-caller, position coach where they’re comfortable and there’s a trust that is a big part of that. and that’s built over time. Even beyond individual plays is that comfort of, hey, we’re going to give you the keys to this car, let’s see what you can do. That happens a lot more in the offseason. In the offseason is where you experiment, that’s where you have the quarterback have some range with it because you get closer to the season, that kind of goes away a little bit. You have to start game planning and really be dialed into what you’re going to do.”

The Ravens and Jackson have a lot to figure out for the future of the quarterback. But Monken appears confident he can have Jackson playing at a high level — that is, as long as the two men get to work together.

Todd Monken: Lamar Jackson’s elite skillset is obvious on film originally appeared on Pro Football Talk