Ravens OC Todd Monken not worried if Lamar Jackson holds out

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — At his introductory press conference Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens’ new offensive coordinator Todd Monken praised quarterback Lamar Jackson for his “elite skills” and said he believes Jackson is being underestimated as a passer.

It’s just unknown when Monken Jackson will be able to say that face to face.

There’s a chance that Jackson will skip all spring training and off-season training camps if he gets the franchise tag. The Ravens are expected to tag Jackson to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent if the sides can’t agree on a new contract within the next two weeks. The window to use the tag began on Tuesday and will end on March 7th.

Monken didn’t sound concerned that Jackson might wait until the week before the regular season opener to report, which would give him little time to learn the new offensive system.

“Sure he’ll be left behind but it’s still just football,” said Monken. “Sometimes we present that as way too much. We’re going to take care of what he knows and play.”

The biggest challenge to extending Jackson’s holdout is building a relationship with him, Monken added.

“I mean, like any player, the more time you spend with them, the more comfortable they become with any system. That’s more relationship, and that’s part of it. And there’s a big part of that relationship from a quarterback, coordinator, playcaller, position the coach where he’s comfortable and there’s confidence. And that builds over time.”

It’s been over two years since Jackson was eligible for a contract extension. A new deal is likely to materialize only if either side backs down on its stance on guaranteed contracts. Jackson wants a fully guaranteed contract like the one Deshaun Watson got last year, but Baltimore sees the Watson deal as an outlier, not a precedent, according to sources.

Monken was asked how Jackson’s long-term availability contributed to his decision to leave Georgia, where he won back-to-back national championships, and come to Baltimore.

“Sure, every player that’s part of a roster that you go into has an interest in what the roster is going to look like,” Monken said. “But ultimately I want to be somewhere where [there’s] Structure, organization, great defense from top to bottom. And everyone I spoke to said you want to be a Baltimore Raven, you want to be a part of this organization that’s moving forward.

Monken replaces Greg Roman, who resigned from the Ravens on January 19 after the offense continued to struggle, particularly in passing. In Roman’s four seasons as Baltimore’s playcaller, the Ravens’ passing game rankings were: 27th, 32nd, 13th, and 28th.

Over the past two seasons, Jackson has not developed as a passer, totaling 33 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions. Monken said he’s never worked with a quarterback like Jackson.

“He has an elite skillset,” said Monken. “I think he’s underrated as a passer in terms of his ability to make plays and throw them on the field. I’m no different than you. I’ve seen what you’re seeing and it’s pretty amazing.”

However, it is not known when Monken will start working with Jackson. If Jackson does not sign his franchise tag tender, he is not under contract and cannot be fined if he is absent from all training sessions and practices for the next six months.

Monken, who was hired a week ago, said he hasn’t had time to speak to Jackson or any other players.

“I’m just trying to figure out where I’m going when I’m driving to the facility,” Monken said.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/35707610/ravens-oc-todd-monken-not-worried-lamar-jackson-holds-out Ravens OC Todd Monken not worried if Lamar Jackson holds out

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

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