As we head into the weekend, suddenly the floodgates are opening with Detroit Lions rumors. First, there was the report that the Lions were interested in Steve Sarkisian and Nathaniel Hackett for their offensive coordinator vacancy. Then we heard that Hackett actually scored an interview. Now, it appears a third name has entered the race.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Lions are one of three teams set to interview Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken:
Todd Monken hitting OC circuit, interviewing with Packers, Lions and Browns for coordinator Bob over next few days, per source.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 11, 2019
Monken is an interesting candidate to emerge, mostly because of his affinity for passing the ball and big plays—something this coaching staff seems somewhat averse to. Take, for example, this quote from Monken:
“We don’t need more 5-yard plays. Who needs more 5-yard plays? How can we be explosive? That’s what the game is about, man. People like big plays. I like big plays.”
That doesn’t exactly fit the mold of a team that has been harping on running the ball in December to be successful, or the team that spent the last four months grinding out long-lasting possessions with a dink-and-dunk offense.
Of course, that dink-and-dunk offense resulted in one of the worst offensive outputs for the Lions in years. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, had one of the wildest years offensively. They ranked 12th in points scored, third in yards, and 12th in DVOA. Perhaps most interesting, Monken’s offense ranked ninth in passing DVOA but just 23rd in rushing DVOA—which seems to go against the philosophy the Lions were transitioning to in 2018.
We’ll see in the upcoming days whether the Lions’ interest is real. If they’re interested, they’ll also have to convince Monken to come to Detroit, which may be easier considering the Browns and Packers have head coaches with offensive backgrounds, meaning Monken could have more freedom with the Lions. It seems likely Monken will land some job, as he already interviewed for several head coaching jobs, and he apparently “crushed” those interview (though, obviously, not enough to actually land the jobs).
One guy who's helped himself: ex-Bucs OC Todd Monken. Was runner-up for the Jets and Packers jobs, and I'm told he crushed the interviews. One source said he came off as an "Alpha" in that setting. (Also interviewed in Cincy FYI)— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 10, 2019