On Thursday, Todd Monken, the new offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers met with the media for the first time at his introductory press conference. Monken was officially announced to fill the positions under Head Coach Dirk Koetter last Sunday.
Monken dove straight into questions, but first took a moment to express his excitement for the role and a chance to work under Coach Koetter.
"I can say I'm fired up to be here. A couple of weeks ago, I didn't see this coming. I was obviously very excited for Dirk and his opportunity," said Monken in his opening statement. "I'm just very excited to be a part of it and to see this thing through for Coach Koetter and the Tampa Bay organization."
Photos from Bucs offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Todd Monken's introductory press conference.
Monken came to the Buccaneers from Southern Mississippi, where he served as head coach for the last three seasons. The Golden Eagles were coming off a 0-12 season before his arrival. By the end of his third season, Monken led his team to a 9-5 record, Conference USA West division championship and a Bowl appearance.
Despite his team's success, Monken embraced the opportunity to work not only in the NFL, but for a team he truly believes is on an upward trend.
"It's a special opportunity. It really is. I believe that it doesn't come around every day where you have an opportunity to be at the highest level and be with Dirk Koetter, who I've got an unbelievable respect for … and with a young talented team that I think is on the climb. And I want to be a big part of that.
"I enjoyed my time at Southern Miss, I've got a lot great friends there, we did some great things, but I'm really looking forward to every day, every week, every month, doing my part to see us continue that climb … At the end of the day, as much as I enjoyed my time there, I wanted to be in that chair upstairs."
Photos of offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Todd Monken.
His Southern Mississippi team ranked 13th in the nation in scoring offense (39.9 points per game), 12th in passing offense (329.7 yards per game) and 12th in total offense (509.5 yards per game). He'll take over a Buccaneers offense that finished 2015 ranked fifth in the NFL in total offense, the highest the team has ranked in that category in their 40-year history. The Bucs set franchise records in total net yards (6,014) and yards per play (5.9).
It is that talent level, coming from a young core group of players, along with the direction of the team through the last few NFL Drafts and the Buccaneers coaching staff in place that helped make his decision to come coach for the Buccaneers.
"This is a game about talent. I mean, it starts with having talent. You've to have talent. You've got to have people in position to draft talent. So my belief in the last couple of drafts and Jason (Licht) … my belief in Coach Koetter and Coach Smith and the staff that's been assembled, all of that has been a big part of it."
He added, "I love to be around players and see them achieve all their dreams. It's always about the players; it's what this game's always been about. It's about you helping them to become the best version of them. Plain and simple, that's what it's about."
Monken also has previous NFL experience. He spent four seasons (2007-2010) as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. During that time, he worked closely with Dirk Koetter, who served as offensive coordinator for Jacksonville from 2007-2011.