Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken
After the 2019 season saw Georgia football finish 49th in the country in scoring offense, it was clear something had to change with the Georgia offense.
And it’s safe to say the Bulldogs have done that with the addition of Todd Monken. DawgNation can confirm he is set to join the program, though the specific role is not yet identified.
Monken has spent the past three seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator. He worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before spending this past season with the Cleveland Browns. He did not call plays for the Browns, as Cleveland went 6-10 this past season and fired head coach Freddie Kitchens.
Monken does have experience at the college level, as he served as the offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State in 2011 and ’12. The Cowboys went 12-1 in ’11, winnig the Fiesta Bowl and Big 12. He also served as the head coach at Southern Miss for three seasons, going 9-5 in his final year before jumping to the Buccaneers.
The early returns on the move seem to be overwhelmingly positive. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit had perhaps the strongest praise, calling the addition of Monken as well as Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman, “exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed.”
Between Monken’s approach and QB Jamie Newman coming over from WF-exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed. https://t.co/KvzcCa4X9z
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) January 17, 2020
#Georgia is hiring Todd Monken as offensive coordinator, sources tell @Mark_Schlabach. This has been in the works for a while but is now happening. Monken has been #Browns OC. Important move for Kirby Smart and the Dawgs. #UGA
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 17, 2020
Good move https://t.co/JCYsKom1Y3
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 17, 2020
Kirby Smart continues to push Georgia's offense in the right direction this offseason.
Jamie Newman was a great pickup but he would not have succeeded in last year's offense based on what I've seen from him. Todd Monken's hire shows Smart willing to evolve his offense in 2020.
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020
Tampa led the NFL in passing in 2018 w/ Todd Monken as OC.
He inherited #112 scoring offense at Southern Miss, left them as #13 nationally.
Okla St ranked #2 & #3 nationally in scoring under Monken. https://t.co/OWHshbUK5K
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020
Georgia had to do something to provide a spark offensively. By adding Todd Monken to the staff — on the heels of bringing in former Wake QB Jamie Newman — I’d say they've accomplished that. https://t.co/FSG3jMsgjn
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) January 17, 2020
None of us know what will be the results of Kirby Smart’s hire of Todd Monken. But what it does show is Kirby Smart’s willingness to change and evolve offensively. It’s big for a man to admit mistakes and be willing to change. #InKirbyWeTrust
— Happy Hoyt (@brianhoyt24) January 17, 2020
I’m not unhappy with any coaching hire that puts a different offensive mindset in the room with Kirby and staff. Any way you look at it, Todd Monken’s mindset has proven to be very different from Kirby’s. #GoDawgs
— Jon Tweets Sports (@JonTweetsSports) January 17, 2020
It seems that the addition of Monken makes it clear Smart is willing to tweak his offense. Georgia had James Coley serve as the play-caller this past year, and according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, Coley is expected to remain on the staff but in a new role.
Georgia also added Matt Luke to the staff this offseason, as he replaced Sam Pittman as the offensive line coach. That means the Bulldogs will have two former college head coaches on Smart’s staff next year, as Luke was the head coach at Ole Miss.
This is a massive recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs, as they have a number of elite 2021 recruiting prospects in town. The most high-profile name is 5-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff. Landing him, or fellow 5-star quarterback Caleb Williams, would go a long way to helping the long-term health of the Georgia quarterback room.
As for stats about the last two offenses, Monken has worked on, Tampa Bay led the NFL in passing in 2018, while former Georgia Bulldog Nick Chubb ranked second in the NFL in rushing last year for the Browns. Monken though did not call plays for Cleveland last year.
Georgia opens the 2020 season on Sept. 7 when Georgia takes on Virginia.
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