The Green Bay Packers made the decision to hire Matt LaFleur as the new head coach. But based on what Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network had to say about the candidates, Green Bay was close to going in a different direction.
According to Rapoport, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken was a strong candidate to be the Packers head coach. The Packers were considering doing second-round interviews with LaFleur and Monken, but they ultimately decided to go with LaFleur as the new man in charge.
Monken was the Bucs’ offensive coordinator from 2016-2018. Of those three seasons, the Bucs were ranked in the top 10 in total offense twice including this past season where they were ranked third behind the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. The interesting thing about the 2018 season for the Bucs is they had two quarterbacks who started the same amount of games. Jameis Winston started nine games for the Bucs and posted 2,992 yards, 19 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and he posted a 90.2 passer rating. Ryan Fitzpatrick started seven games and notched 2,366 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and he posted a 100.4 passer rating.
“He has so much personality,” Fitzpatrick said when asked about Monken per Manish Metha of the New York Daily News (via NFL.com). “He’s energetic, but he’s also very honest. If you ask him a question, he’s going to give you the answer. … He’s going to tell it how it is. I think as a coach that’s really important. The two things that make you a good head coach in this league are if you can get the players to respect you and if you can come across with a clear, consistent message…”
“He’s always a guy who’s very consistent in what he’s doing. That doesn’t mean that we were always best of friends and he always agreed with what I did, but if he didn’t or had a problem with what I was doing, then he was going to be direct about it and tell me and not beat around the bush. That’s one of the most important qualities that I think you can have as a coach.”
Before taking the job as the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, Monken was the head coach of Southern Miss from 2013-2015. In his first season with the Golden Eagles, Monken led the team to a 1-11 record. However, he was able to turn things around right before he left as the Golden Eagles finished the 2015 season with a 9-5 record and played in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Monken’s time with the Bucs isn’t the only NFL experience he has as he was the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach from 2007-2010.
Monken is a strong offensive mind who did a good job in Tampa. However, fans are happy the team hired LaFleur.