How will this Ravens offense look different under Todd Monken?

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As Lamar Jackson reports to Owings Mills and the first team activities begin, Luke Jones and Nestor discuss the installation of a whole new program under new Ravens new offensive coordinator Todd Monken and new toys on the offense to scheme with in the spring as the mandatory camp approaches in June.


otas, lamar, questions, couple, position, talk, mark andrews, added, justin houston, year, roster, offense, ravens, quarterback, baltimore, wide receiver, good, patrick, football, feel


Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

What about w n s t Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive always with you after the Preakness yours headed up to New York all week long doing the Yankee Stadium thing and of course the Baltimore Ravens getting prepared for a season it’s just about to start right look, it’s gonna seasons gotta be ready to start here. It’s only late May we got OTAs we have mandatories coming up. Luke joins us now we’re gonna be at the local and fallston between now and then from the Maryland lottery to friends at window nation. I got the hat I got the shirt 866 90 nation. Reminder last couple of days for that 0% financing for five years. Take advantage of that. Look, you’re taking advantage of watching the Orioles and forgetting about the Ravens a little bit. But the ravens are still doing things the fact that the Orioles are playing meaningful games every night in the Bronx. And it matters and they’re the rage to get Odell Beckham starting to Preakness over the weekend. So horrible running around over there and Marlon Humphrey at the at old hilltop. It is still a football operation going on around here. And certainly, as much as the Orioles have taken the front page. The Ravens below the fold will be interesting, at least enough over the next couple of weeks to see how this whole thing comes together with Todd Monken.

Luke Jones  01:10

Yeah, no question about it. I mean, football never really goes away. The closest that comes to going away at this point is those first couple of weeks in July, you know, your post mini camp and everyone at the building gets away for a little while. And there’s not a whole lot of news that goes on that time of year in the NFL. But plenty of excitement. As you mentioned, there was a glimpse of some ravens players over the weekend at Preakness and certainly with OTAs. Starting this week, business starts to pick up still voluntary, still no contact, but this is the first time you have 11 on 11. This is the first time you have offense versus defense as opposed to very controlled kind of glorified walkthroughs during football school, as they call it, which is the second phase of the offseason workout program. But this is the week where the questions start to ramp up a little bit in terms of who’s there who isn’t there. And obviously Lamar Jackson being the big question, but hey, where’s Patrick? Queen? Hey, is Jk Dobbins going to be there is Odell Beckham going to be there. I mean, guys who haven’t necessarily been in the building a whole lot to this point, which is not a big deal. And I’ll remind everyone that Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, and Terrell Suggs were not guys that were there for the earliest portions of the offseason program. But it’s certainly interesting to track who’s there who isn’t even in the big picture. It’s not necessarily all that consequential, typically, but will be an intriguing and as you mentioned, I think there’s plenty of interest to see what this operation starts to look like under Todd Monken. And not that they’re going to give away too much with what’s going on in front of the media. But there’s certainly intrigue and interest. And as you mentioned, even though the Orioles are certainly doing everything they can to capture the imagination of the local sports scene, it’s still football, and it’s still the ravens and on the heels of Lamar Jackson being extended, I think there’s plenty of excitement. And not that it’s not not that everyone’s curiosity is going to be fully satisfied, because we’re only talking about practices and helmets and shells and shorts, but still gonna be good to get a look at this football team and start to not answer questions, but start to monitor the potential answers for questions that still pertain to this roster.

Nestor Aparicio  03:24

I think it’s it’s a time for the questions not to answer the questions is the time to say who’s gonna put left guard, you know, what’s the rotation look like on the defensive side? How are they going to distribute the football in the passing game, given this many receivers and we’ll talk about Mark Andrews and all this gets its back, come back, come back. And then Lamar, Lamar, Lamar, but there’s still other players and Ronnie Stanley, who’s, you know, still one limp away from not playing anymore, right? Like I mean, we put him in as an as because he played the end of the year last year, this time, the last three years, you’ve been questioning where he’s going to be? What you do, you’re 12 thoughts. I’ve just given you a couple of thoughts. For me, the most interesting thing for me is the Monken offense, and what they’re going to try to do that looks and feels different from what Greg Roman did.

Luke Jones  04:13

Yeah. And I mean, you and I have have scrimmaged and followed and debated about how much more they’re going to throw. I’ve said all along, I don’t think they’re going to abandon the running game by any means. And I think you’d have very unhappy JK Dobbins and an offensive line, if suddenly you were just in past sets all the time, but they’re gonna throw more and I think it’s gonna be a different looking kind of an offense. And I think one thing that that comes to mind for me, not that we’re gonna really necessarily glean anything from it as far as OTAs go, but how much more spread? How much? How much more does this team try to spread out and run more 11 personnel more three wide receiver sets, and you clearly added at wide receiver I don’t think that means you’re going to continue to play a lot of two tight end sets. You know, I think there’ll be a time and a place for that but it’s I certainly don’t think that’s going to be their identity anymore. And by the way, you can run out of 11 personnel, you can have a lighter box for JK Dobbins and this offensive line to block you know, it doesn’t have to be all compressed and, and really busy in the middle of the field, you can spread out and run that way. But I think that’s the big fascination right now is what the passing game looks like. And, as I noted, and as Todd Monken, acknowledged a couple of weeks ago when he spoke to the media that as excited as he is, with all these weapons that have been added to the picture, he flat out acknowledged, hey, there’s one football, and that’s you know that that’s always going to be the case and not that this. Not that I’d call this wide receiver room an embarrassment of riches. Now, I don’t think they’re that incredibly prolific, but it’s certainly much improved. But you mentioned it, Mark Andrews is still this team’s best receiver. No disrespect to back home, or Rashad Bateman, or the potential of ze flowers. But Mark Andrews has been an All Pro tight end. And he’s been that dynamic that great of a player, you know, a top two or three tight end over the last few years easily. So, you know that it’s gonna be interesting to see how all of that looks. You know, I look at the offense. And, you know, the big question from a position standpoint that still stands out is who is going to be the left guard. It’s kind of the one position, putting aside personnel groupings and how much Patrick Ricard is going to play make in a Monken offense compared to a Greg Roman offense. But who’s replacing Ben powers? Is it Ben Cleveland? Is it John Simpson? Is it Patrick mCherry Is it some unnamed veteran who will be added between now and September. So that’s the one position the one competition that’s kind of up for grabs on the offensive side of the ball. Now defense, there’s some other positions you could talk about. But I just think there’s a lot of excitement because you have Lamar under contract, you’ve added to the wide receiver room, you’ve returned four of your five offensive linemen, you return your top two running backs, who should be healthier than they were a year ago, as they’re another year removed from their respective ACL injuries, you have Mark Andrews, and two other talented young tight ends who both flashed last year, there are no excuses for this offense to to not be really, really, really good, if not great. So go do it. And that doesn’t mean you’re gonna see it during OTAs. Because it is just practice. And it’s not even full blown practice just yet. But it’s gonna be our first glimpse. And as you mentioned, this is the time where you don’t answer those questions, but we begin to monitor them, you know, who’s lining up as the left guard first, you know, who’s getting the first team reps? You know, what does the wide receiver rotation kind of look like? You know, how much is Mark Andrews lining up in the slot as opposed to in line? And how much is Patrick Ricard involved and all those different questions. So it’s fun, you don’t make too much out of it. And certainly, I’ll be the first to tell you that there are so many guys, I can recall this time of year, looking great. And you start to say, Wow, this guy’s really taken a step forward, and this guy’s gonna be a big part of what they do. And then they’re forgotten the second week of training camp, or they’re forgotten after the second preseason game. So you always keep that in mind to to be measured in how you’re looking at all this. But there’s so much interest, there’s so much enthusiasm, and I think this this week will be a nice early preview of seeing exactly what that’s going to look like Come September, you know, for you

Nestor Aparicio  08:36

with pickups and where they are and where they’re lacking in their roster. We spent four months right talking about, they’re missing this, they lack that they got assigned the quarterback, they got assigned the quarterback that got assigned the quarterback, if they don’t sign the quarterback, what happens now that it’s all sort of done. Are you convinced that that they’re happy with where they are in regard to salary cap, adding players mean, where are the addition? We were wondering the addition to the quarterback? Well, they did that right? How are they going to make the wide receiver? Well, they did that right? They’re gonna get to court. Well, they did that. Right. So who are they going to draft? Well, they drafted in the wide receiver room, at least initially, to the linebacker room would have been a big issue last year until ro Quan Smith came along. I mean, the cost is really buttoned up. Were the things we could talk about at the end of May and at OTAs. To say, Well, where are they? We sit here with the orals right now, and they’re great, but they need pitching. Hey, you know, we can look at it say that, right? We know there’s going to be a Calvary. I don’t know what, what this football team I feel like they’ve done the work they’ve needed to do in the offseason I give them you know, give them high marks on putting a roster together. That looks credible on Memorial Day, at

Luke Jones  09:46

least. Yeah, and you just said it. I mean, is it a roster that you wouldn’t feel good about if there were no additions and you’re going into the season thinking it’s complete enough everywhere that you feel like you’re a playoff, a strong playoff contender and all that. Yeah. Are there positions that I still have some questions or some potential concerns? Of course, I mean, I already mentioned the left guard on the offensive side of the ball. You’re always wanting depth everywhere, right? I mean, you know that there’s that potential. And we saw this a couple years ago that if you get a few injuries at one position group, you’re going to be in trouble. And that’s something that every team deals with. So there’s only so much you can do with that with the salary cap with some of not just the Lamar contract, which still, really you aren’t going to feel the real effects of that for a couple more years from a cap perspective, but they’ve got lots of high priced players. I mean, that’s part of the deal. When you have good players, you got to pay him. But on the defensive side, a couple positions, I still look to a start up front defensive line, I feel good about it. I don’t think it’s necessarily a great group, but I think they do have depth for 2023. Now a long term outlook for that group. I think there’s question because you don’t have a whole lot under contract beyond this year other than Travis Jones or third round pick from a year ago. So you know, they’re they’re gonna miss class Campbell. Do I think that’s an insurmountable kind of personnel loss? No, but you’re hoping that Michael Pierce, even though he’s not the same, he’s more of a nose and a five technique three technique kind of guy. But you hope his healthy return helps to alleviate some of what you miss there without colonias. Campbell. So my long term concern about the defensive line, is there a short term I feel good about it. Not great, but good. linebacker off ball. I mean, obviously, you have ro Quan Smith and Patrick queen and you drafted Trent and Simpson to replace Patrick Queen after this season, presumably, I think that’s the realistic outcome.

Nestor Aparicio  11:46

But edge rushers feels like an embarrassment of riches a little bit. The linebacker position feels like they’re stronger than you would have thought they were going to be because we think differently about Queen at this position. And we sort of know what’s the end for him, and we also know that he’s playing to get paid, right? So like, yeah, you’re gonna get a version of Patrick queen out there looking to get a $60 million deal. Literally,

Luke Jones  12:06

you would hope so. Right. I mean, and that’s what I mentioned. I mean, he he being one of those players of interest in terms of is he showing up for OTAs? Or does he stay away? I mean, I think he has every motivation to say yeah, I’m a little frustrated I didn’t get the fifth year option and I’m a little frustrated that the Ravens Pedro Quan Smith and got him when when they drafted me a couple years ago, but boy, I’m gonna get to play with a guy like that next to me, and I already am coming off of my best season and I’m gonna have a chance to put up numbers and they’re gonna put me in good positions to blitz and play downhill and do the things that I do best and, and probably hide me a little bit from some of the things I struggle with a little bit more because ro Quan is there. Oh, he’s in a great spot. So I think off ball linebacker, you’re feeling good now edge. Look, they have it off AOA, they have David a job. Oh, I think everyone’s gonna be looking at a job Oh, big time this year with him being fully healthy and having a normal offseason and knowing last year was essentially a redshirt. But could they stand to add another edge guy between now and the start of the season? Whether it’s bringing back Justin Houston or adding someone of that ilk? Yeah, I think you look at the numbers there. You’d like to add another piece to the mix. And that doesn’t mean it’s going to be the highest profile guy. But you know, Justin Houston enjoyed his time here. I think certainly he left the door open. Eric Acosta left the door open at the start of the offseason, I would not be shocked to see Justin Houston or someone like that added to the mix. But your count No, no way. No Jabo. Let’s face it. I mean, those are guys that you drafted in the first round. And then the other guy you viewed as a first round pick that you got in the second round, because he was hurt last year. So lots of pressure on those two, lots of expectations on those two, always coming off of an underwhelming year, there’s no question about it. He’s a guy that, you know, if you want to say it’s the hot seat, or he’s under the microscope, or however you want to characterize it, he certainly you know, I think that would be an appropriate description. So edge is still one of those places where I don’t think it’s necessarily bad. But it’s a place where I think they could still stand to have an addition between now and the start of the season. So and then in the secondary, you know, they added rock usin so they have that outside corner spot opposite Marlon Humphrey decided on paper at the very least, but who’s going to be the slot corner? I think that’s still a question because it was Hamilton last year. But Hamilton’s moving into a startling safety roll with Chuck Clark. Now a New York Jets. So that’s still something I look to that still look at the corner depth, they have lots of young corners. But are those corners ready to be legit depth? Or are they inventory? Right? So we’ve talked about that a number of times over the years. You need at least a couple of those guys to take the next step to really be viable depth that that you have confidence in guys that you feel that if someone goes down they can stay been in play at a high level? So I still have concern? I don’t know if it’s No, it’s not grave concern. But would I like to see them add another corner to the mix up? Or maybe it’s a safety? And you know that that allows Hamilton to play nickel when you get into sub packages? And do do it like that? Yeah, I think you could do it that way as well. But, you know, that’s that those are a couple of the positions that I point to and say, not that you’re not ready to play. Not that you’re not ready to win games in September, as the roster is presently constructed. But if you’re talking in terms of tweaking and fine tuning, and really trying to optimize this roster, those are the positions that I look at right now and say, Yeah, I think there’s another veteran addition or two, in order, not necessarily this week, or even next month, but between now and the start of the season. I could certainly envision that happening. And I think with the Lamar deal being done, and some of the flexibility that they have, it’s not a ton, but it’s more than they certainly had. I think they’re in position where if the right move presents itself, I think Eric Acosta will be able to make that move and enhance this roster even more than where it is right now.

Nestor Aparicio  16:11

Yeah, you know, with Lamar, I don’t know what we’re waiting to see here. Other than playbook he’s been out running around the video him throwing the ball down in Florida. And, you know, we all the I wasn’t the guy that felt like Joe Flacco needed to be out in April throwing footballs with with his wide receivers. But clearly the internet feels that way. Right. So seeing Lamar stepping into that, but Lamar coming back here, and doing it here and doing in front of you, and the reporters that are out there and standing that this is a this is a peacock moment for a couple of weeks for the organization, much like the press conference was two weeks ago to say, Yeah, we kind of kept it all together here. We’re, we’re marching in the same direction, because it certainly didn’t feel that way. For months and months and months and months, it would be a good look to have all of them look like they’re marching in the same direction. And it’s a time for play instead of for pay.

Luke Jones  17:05

Yeah, no question about it. I mean, Lamar needs to be there. But he does at this point. I mean, and you know, I very much defended his his prerogative last year at this time where understanding he wasn’t under contract, and it was voluntary OTAs. We know the expectation of a franchise quarterback, and especially now, when you were just given a five year $260 million contract extension, because if you’re not there at this point, and look, I’m not saying it has to be a perfect attendance kind of a deal. But if he’s not out there, for most of the next three weeks, what message is that sending to the rest of your teammates who are out there, and that applied last year, but last year, there was a business element to this, that was very clear and obvious. And we saw how long it took. So that was a symptom of how painful and and long and difficult the negotiating process was. And we said that at the time that that was a symptom that all wasn’t perfectly fine with that. So it is fine. Now, he signed on the dotted line, he’s under contract for the next five years, the team has its franchise quarterback and they’re not happy to talk about we’ll Levis or Anthony Richardson or whoever they might have drafted or, or whoever they might assign as a veteran that got their guy,

Nestor Aparicio  18:13

this team has no holes right now. No holes, learn Todd Monken.

Luke Jones  18:18

I mean, learn that learn the Todd Monken offense and start throwing to your receivers. And no one’s saying it’s of this dire consequence of what’s going to happen the next few weeks just don’t be out there. And and I expect them to be out there. Let’s be clear about this. I expect them to be out there. I’d be if he’s not out there the next couple of weeks. I’d be really surprised by that. And I think that would be a bad look on his part. Because you are talking about a brand new coordinator and some new weapons with your offense. And oh, yeah, you’re coming off of an injury and you haven’t played since early December. And according to Lamar, when I asked him at his press conference in early May, how long he had been fully cleared, how long his knee had been right. You know, he said it had been about a month or a little over a month at that point. So you know, this was an injury that he was dealing with until February or March, right? So be out there. And that’s kind of what you’re gonna see around the league. Not that every quarterback is there for every single minute of every single OTA. But the general expectation is that quarterbacks are out there, that’s why they get the big bucks. So I think he’ll be out there. I think, you know, his attendance to me should be much ado about nothing. And we’ll see other veteran players kind of be in and out on and off the field. And that’s kind of how it works this time of year. And that’s fine. And we’ll have some fun observations to talk about and certainly shouldn’t take it too seriously. But this is the time of year where you’re starting to lay that groundwork and I think there’s a lot of excitement to see this entire thing come together and see what it starts to look like under Todd Todd Monken as the offensive coordinator

Nestor Aparicio  19:49

look me you know, it’s based Oh, there we go. It’s baseball season. Look, we’ll be watching all things Yankees this week and Orioles and monitoring all things that Owings Mills, you get find him at Baltimore Luke and of course it Luke at wn St. dotnet. I’m nessa Baltimore we’re easy to find around here from LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram to the Twitter place and at the local and fallston will be given away the America lottery scratch off the 50th anniversary in progress Ryan mountcastle at a $50,000 home run last week for BB all that’s up at the front of Baltimore Stay with us. We got plenty ahead

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